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Retvari: ‘Wage hikes to benefit teachers across the board’

Wage increases will benefit all teachers in Hungary, a government official said on Thursday.

Hungary is set to receive EU operative funding of 530 million euros in this year, paving the way for a 32.2 percent wage hike for school and kindergarten teachers from Jan 1, Bence Retvari, the interior ministry state secretary, told a press conference.

Monthly pay will range between 528,800 forints (EUR 1,395) and 630,000 forints, while teachers who also carry out research will receive 750,000 forints, he said, adding that wages of special needs teachers will increase by 20 percent.

The latest pay rise for teachers was “the biggest” of the post-communist period, he said, adding that another 21 percent increase would follow next year.

The state secretary criticised Hungary’s left wing parties and their MEPs for their “attempts over the past couple of years to block the payment of EU funds”, money that was necessary for implementing the pay hikes.

Announcing the receipt of the EC approval on Wednesday, Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said that 530 million euros of EU funding would cover 12 percent of the raise until 2030.

Istvan Hollik, the communications director of the ruling Fidesz party, said in a video message that despite the Hungarian left wing’s efforts “to obstruct” the payment of EU funds to Hungary, “it is now certain that teachers and kindergarten staff will receive a substantial wage hike ensuring that their salaries amount to 80 percent of average pay in 2025.”

He said left wing politicians “stood in line” in Brussels asking the European Commission to keep setting new conditions before making any payments to Hungary, but “their efforts have failed again”. “The dollar left has again proved that when it comes to choosing between the interests of Hungary, the wage hikes for teachers and their petty political interests, they always opt for the latter,” he said.

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