Pay-rise promise fails to stop protests

7th March 2003 at 00:00

Russia's long-suffering teachers have been promised a pay rise of up to 40 per cent as part of the Kremlin's pound;1 billion drive to tackle years of neglect in the education sector.

The federal budget for teachers' pay will be increased by a third from October, education minister Vladimir Filippov announced a fortnight ago.

But the news was not enough to prevent a wave of strikes and demonstrations last week when teachers, health workers and other public-sector employees demanded the government clear wage arrears totalling more than pound;50 million.

The pay increase, announced by Mr Filippov during a televised Kremlin meeting with President Vladimir Putin, promises more than 1.4m teachers between pound;20 and pound;40 extra a month.

"Teachers' salaries depend on seniority and in which regions they work, but most earn between 3,000 5,000 roubles ((pound;60-pound;100) a month," a spokeswoman said.

In a country where teachers have long come at the bottom of the list of government priorities, and where chronic wage arrears were a feature of the system until recently, the increases will be welcome.

Four years ago Russia's teachers were shocked by the death of Alexander Motorin, a 43-year-old teacher from the central Russian city of Ulyanovsk, where he had been on hunger strike over unpaid wages. Since then education has crept up the political agenda.

Last year the education budget exceeded that of defence for the first time in Russian history, although teachers remain cynical.

Vyacheslav Sashenkov, a secondary school head from central Russia, said:

"Most of our salaries depend on regional payments, and much-vaunted increases rarely turn out to be so good in reality."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today