For a long time now, the Czech and Moravian Trade Union of Workers in Education (CMOS PS) has been putting a lot of efforts to have teachers’ salaries increased to at least 130 per cent of the average pay in the country (around 1309 Euros per month).

In the beginning of 2016, CMOS PS launched a campaign titled The End of Cheap Teachers, which was linked to a campaign of the National Trade Union Confederation The End of Cheap Work.  During the campaign, CMOS PS contacted several times in writing the Minister of Education, the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister of the Government of the Czech Republic and organised several meetings and negotiations with the Czech government. Moreover, Trade Union actively used social networks and made a blue graphic T-shirt with the title #theendofcheapteachers, which was the main symbol of the campaign. It was widely supported by the public, parents’ and students’ organisations, and non-profit organisations.

During the year, CMOS PS organised several meetings and in the autumn, they were even considering having a strike. Its members contacted their representatives in the Parliament and organized several press meetings where they gradually increased the pressure and demonstrated the support of the public. The End of Cheap Teachers reached its peak at the conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the status of teachers which was held on 30 September 2016. At this conference, the representatives of the Czech government confirmed the plan to increase expenses on education.

CMOS PS demanded from the government to increase teachers’ salaries by 10 per cent starting from 1 January 2017, but its request has not been fully met. Nevertheless, the increase by 8 per cent as of 1 September 2016 which was agreed on is considered by the trade Union as a positive step. CMOS PS’s original request was to increase the financial funds for education by 8.4 billion Czech crowns (around 311 million Euros). The overall increase after the pay rise on 1 September 2016 and the upcoming rise on 1 January 2017 will equal to the increase by 8.2 billion Czech crowns (around 303 million Euros) from the national budget.

CMOS PS believes that this compromise was reached mainly through the campaign The End of Cheap Teachers because the original drafts of the increasing teachers’ salaries contained much lower rate than the present 8 per cent. This achievement is the first step on the way to education becoming the national priority, something that has been promised to trade unions long time ago.