Czech teachers worst paid in Europe

More and more young teachers in the Czech Republic are quitting their jobs. The reason for this is their low rate of pay. So low in fact, that a recent OECD study has shown that Czech teachers are the worst paid in Europe. Nick Carey has this report:

The study prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, covers twenty of the most developed countries in the world, and the report's findings are simple: Czech teachers are the worst paid in Europe, in all respects, whether they are new to the profession or have been in the job for up to thirty years.

The average Czech teacher with no experience, for instance, gets just under eight thousand dollars a year, while the average salary within the OECD is twenty three thousand dollars. Considering the fact that the report contains rich western countries such as Switzerland, where new teachers are paid a comfortable forty seven thousand dollars a year, this is hardly surprising.

It is when the salaries that teachers are paid are compared to the buying power, GDP and average salaries in their countries, that the difference becomes apparent. New Hungarian teachers, for instance make less than Czech ones in dollar terms, but their salaries make up a higher percentage of the average GDP, making them better off. In terms of average salaries as well, Czech teachers' salaries are lower than the average salary, which is not the case elsewhere in Europe. In order to catch up with the rest of Europe in terms of average salary, teachers in the Czech Republic would have to receive salary increases of up to thirty percent, and would only be effective if everyone else's salaries stayed the same. The Czech government has promised that teachers' salaries will be raised by thirty percent within the next three years, but experts say this is highly unlikely, given the current economic situation in the Czech Republic.

In the meantime, teachers in the Czech Republic are leaving the profession in droves, saying that with families to feed and clothe, they simply can't afford to stay, even though many of them say they love their jobs.