In the last minute, Hungary’s teachers received a modest raise

An extraordinary parliamentary session had to be convened because a 2011 law mandating a substantial increase in teachers’ salaries was in need of modification. The law was supposed to take effect on September 1, 2013, so time was in short supply. Yesterday the honorable members conducted an abbreviated version of the usual parliamentary debate and today came the vote. All went smoothly: 257 people voted for it, 34 against it, and 2 abstained. MSZP, LMP, and PM had great reservations but in the end voted for it. DK announced early on that their members would vote against it. One of the abstentions was Zoltán Pokorni, former Fidesz minister of education, who has had a longstanding battle with Rózsa Hoffmann, undersecretary in charge of education in the current Orbán government, over this government’s ideas about education in general.

Why was it necessary to modify the bill? The answer is simple. The original law that was enacted in December 2011 promised a substantial increase in teacher’s salaries. But then came 2012 and the first six months of 2013 and it became obvious that there was no money for it. But some boost in compensation had to be given to the teachers who by and large were Fidesz supporters in 2010. And the next election is not so far away. Thus came the “solution”: 150,000-160,000 teachers will receive 60% of the promised amount. The rest will be handed out in 10% increments until 2017. That, of course, is just another promise; the final decision will depend on the state of the budget. So Dóra Duró (Jobbik) was right when she complained that the extraordinary session was convened not to discuss “the increase in teacher’s  salaries” but rather their decrease.

Mrs. István Galló, leader of the Teachers' Union, Zoltán Balog, and Rózsa Hoffmann, January 2013

Mrs. István Galló, leader of the Teachers’ Union, Zoltán Balog, and Rózsa Hoffmann, January 2013

Moreover, the extra salary will entail more work. Instead of 21-22 hours of teaching a week, teachers will have teach 26 hours after which, whether they have formal obligations or not, they will have to spend an additional six hours inside the school. As Hoffmann said, it is not right that teachers can go home after they are finished teaching. I must say that one doesn’t expect such a stupid remark from someone who was trained as a teacher although admittedly she didn’t spend much time in the job. A teacher must correct tests, essays, and homework which he can certainly do at home. A conscientious teacher must prepare his lectures for the next day or write a study plan. I would say that one can do all this better at home than in the teachers’ room where most of the teachers don’t even have a separate desk. School teachers are not in the same position as university professors who normally have offices where they can work in peace surrounded by their books.

All in all, teachers will have to spend 32 hours a week or almost 6.5 hours a day inside the school building. Until now those who taught more than the base 22 hours got extra pay. This will no longer be the case. Under the new system only those teachers who have “homeroom” duties (osztályfőnök) or who supervise students who live in dormitories attached to the schools will get added compensation.

According to calculations, on average teacher salaries will grow by 34 percent.  There will, however, be significant variations. For instance, a twenty-seven-year-old teacher will get a larger raise than will a 53-year-old who had extra pay because he was also a vice-principal. As one teacher’s union leader said, the new system doesn’t reward more work, more diplomas, or better quality teaching because for none of these will a teacher receive extra remuneration.  Moreover, some teachers will receive even less money than before. According to estimates, there might be as many as 4,000-5,000 such individuals. Yesterday Zoltán Pokorni (Fidesz) tried to remedy this situation by offering an amendment that would have kept some of the extra pay for extra work, but by last night he withdrew his suggestion, most likely because of pressure from party and government officials. At that point Gergely Farkas (Jobbik) turned in the same amendment, which naturally the government majority voted down.

Fidesz used this partial fulfillment of the promised salary increase for teachers as an occasion to boast about its fantastic accomplishments. Antal Rogán, head of the Fidesz parliamentary caucus, touted the sharp rise in real wages in 2013. He claimed that between the second quarter of 2010 and the same period in 2013 real wages grew by 13.1%. He also announced that the salaries of government employees can finally be raised substantially, thanks to the freedom Hungary achieved by paying back early and in full the loan it received from the IMF and the EU. If that hadn’t happened, Rogán claimed, the Hungarian government couldn’t have raised the salaries of doctors and teachers. I think it is unnecessary to point out that this is an outright lie. But, unfortunately, most Fidesz and government propaganda has no basis in reality.

53 comments

  1. And something else that I find disturbing: Obligatory ‘after school care’ (napkozi) – and,according to one local paper,this law is to get kids off the street,no hidden agenda,of course!

  2. “If that hadn’t happened, Rogán claimed, the Hungarian government couldn’t have raised the salaries of doctors and teachers. I think it is unnecessary to point out that this is an outright lie.”

    Isn’t there a vital piece of logic missing from Rogan’s explanation: to whit, how, exactly, did paying back IMF allow the government to give those other raises?
    Did he mean that it was easier to raise government money by selling 6/7% bonds?
    Wow! That’s some achievement.

    Can’t the ‘opposition’ find some way to highlight these fallacies to the public?

  3. So, three working days before the new school year, teachers will finally learn what their take-home pay is going to be (so much for economics and home economics!), and will have to juggle their lives at the very last minute over a sudden 50% increase in their time commitments to the school. It’s a wacky way to treat teachers, their families and their students.

  4. The costs of education for the students and teachers are going up again.
    First the students need sport every day, despite that there were not enough teachers and sport places or horses.
    Second Retired policemen must be stationed at various schools to reduce drug usage?
    Third Teachers have to stay an additional five hours without pay per week, which normally was paid out.

    Questions:
    The real wages Rogan mentioned is that net or gross?
    How did he come to 13.5%?
    What is the actual raise(s) of the salaries, What part of the teachers salary is abolished?
    Why is the opening of you school year done in the basilica in Eger without students?

    Any body knows the answers.

  5. Ivan :

    So, three working days before the new school year, teachers will finally learn what their take-home pay is going to be (so much for economics and home economics!), and will have to juggle their lives at the very last minute over a sudden 50% increase in their time commitments to the school. It’s a wacky way to treat teachers, their families and their students.

    And this is not the end of it. Lack of textbooks, children who will have to stay in school all day regardless what kind of other commitments they have: private music lessons or privately learning English or German since Hungarian schools don’t provide adequate knowledge of foreign languages. Kindergarten that are compulsory for everyone from age of 3 on regardless when there are not enough kindergartens. It will be lots of fun.

  6. Ron, you are asking difficult questions. How did Rogán come up with this figure? Who knows. Someone will come out tomorrow or the day after tomorrow and prove that this isn’t so, but by that time all Fidesz propagandists will repeat this lie five times a day.

  7. tappanch :

    … did indeed abstain. [I wish we had a correction button]

    We all make mistakes, don’t worry about it. But, let’s face it, Pokorni never has had the guts to actually say: no!

  8. OT The Forint went again through the 300 barrier, and it seems that it is there to stay.

    According to me one of the reasons why is high again is the cut of the interest rate by the MNB, while in the rest of the world it seems to stabilize the interest rate or even go higher.

  9. Eva S. Balogh :

    Ivan :
    So, three working days before the new school year, teachers will finally learn what their take-home pay is going to be (so much for economics and home economics!), and will have to juggle their lives at the very last minute over a sudden 50% increase in their time commitments to the school. It’s a wacky way to treat teachers, their families and their students.

    And this is not the end of it. Lack of textbooks, children who will have to stay in school all day regardless what kind of other commitments they have: private music lessons or privately learning English or German since Hungarian schools don’t provide adequate knowledge of foreign languages. Kindergarten that are compulsory for everyone from age of 3 on regardless when there are not enough kindergartens. It will be lots of fun.

    Let us be honest! This ‘pupils having to stay all afternoon’ lark is an absolute nonsense and a travesty. First of all I’m sure that the real reason is precisely what one of the commenters said: To keep the youngsters, who in the eyes of the average Fidesznik are all hooligans, off the streets. They obviously completely forgot about the nice, well brought up children who are doing other things after school, like sport, music etc. Or did they? I suspect that the provision of the Head Teacher having the right give permission for exceptions on application is aimed at those children, in other words the poor teachers will be playing policemen/women to those children whose parents will use their school as a free child minding service, for no extra pay and in all other respects everything will be as normal.
    The kindergarten point is also an absolute hypocritical nonsense. Can you imagine the government suddenly building hundreds of childcare centres? Nonsense and empty, lying propaganda!

  10. More smoke and mirrors…

    I hate to give them ideas, but if they operated according to British “standards” of political communication, the government could solve this problem instantly by justifying the lower increase on the grounds that teachers are “lazy and inefficient”. Though perhaps that particular meme doesn’t play so well in Hungary: in Britain it works like a miracle, simply because this “fact” has been drummed into us so thoroughly over the last 25 years that the wheel instantly slots into the well-worn rut.

    I was amazed again and again this week talking with a friend who works as a teacher in Austria. The way she’s treated and paid is utterly unimaginable in the UK. She had to compete for her job, and she’s expected to work to a very high standard, but hearing about the utter lack of petty, skinflint nastiness from her employer was a revelation. She seems to be simply treated well, paid well and allowed to get on with her job.

    Particularly interesting was that she gets a 13th (or possibly 14th as well) month’s pay (Weihnachtsgeld and Urlaubsgeld). Now I’m confused, because isn’t it an established fact that only “lazy, good-for-nothing Greeks/Southern Europeans” indulge in this despicable practice? (This was one of the child-friendly, pre-chewed political “arguments” I regret missing out of my list in a previous post). But she’s a German and works hard! (This is either two true statements, or, if you believe the press, a tautology…)

    So at least, if the Hungarian government is lying and obfuscating, at least it hasn’t stooped so low as to make it the teachers’ own fault that they’re getting less money than they’ve been promised. Though this might be a matter of “watch this space”…

  11. OT but interesting. there is an organization called CareerBuilder that found that 1/3 of Hungarian job seekers actually lie about their references. When the person/persons mentioned are called it turns out that they don’t even know the applicant.

  12. Eva S. Balogh :
    OT but interesting. there is an organization called CareerBuilder that found that 1/3 of Hungarian job seekers actually lie about their references. When the person/persons mentioned are called it turns out that they don’t even know the applicant.

    Not even that. Years of experience is that 25% of the diploma’s are a fraud, around 75% can not speak/write or read English, despite that they took (according to their CV) an English exam and qualify themselves as fluent in English.

  13. Eva S. Balogh :
    OT but interesting. there is an organization called CareerBuilder that found that 1/3 of Hungarian job seekers actually lie about their references. When the person/persons mentioned are called it turns out that they don’t even know the applicant.

    I am so surprised…… Do not forget Schmitt gave the best reference he could. Orban backed him up even after they proved that he was cheating left and right. Does it really matter who is one’s reference in Hungary any more?

  14. Eva S. Balogh :
    And this is not the end of it. Lack of textbooks, children who will have to stay in school all day regardless what kind of other commitments they have: private music lessons or privately learning English or German since Hungarian schools don’t provide adequate knowledge of foreign languages. Kindergarten that are compulsory for everyone from age of 3 on regardless when there are not enough kindergartens. It will be lots of fun.

    Let’s not forget that textbooks in Hungary are not free for elementary and secondary schools. Parents pay big money. THis years’ books are not ready as the book distribution was taken away from the regular suppliers (like the tobacco shops), given to a party friend, officially raised the profit margins, but they did not do the rewriting of books in time. Fidesz decided to rewrite a whole bunch of book with the same speed and same style as HUngary’s constitution in a day or two.

  15. Some1 :

    Let’s not forget that textbooks in Hungary are not free for elementary and secondary schools. Parents pay big money. THis years’ books are not ready as the book distribution was taken away from the regular suppliers (like the tobacco shops), given to a party friend, officially raised the profit margins, but they did not do the rewriting of books in time. Fidesz decided to rewrite a whole bunch of book with the same speed and same style as HUngary’s constitution in a day or two.

    I highly recommend to read my 2008 list of what a first-grader needs in one particular elementary school in Budapest. Your head will be spinning. Mine did!

    https://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2008/08/28/back-to-school-in-hungary/

  16. Eva with regard to your 2008 article. The following:
    Dobokocsca is a game for mathematika training http://www.tulli.hu/szines-korong-es-dobokocka-keszlet-31800
    A Hurkapalca is for making things, such as flags, constructions, handy work, in the autumn with chestnuts, etc.

    What is not on the list, and most likely asked separately is toilet paper, paper handkerchief, hand wash liquid and other hygienic stuff.

    Further people need also to pay for food (breakfast, lunch, in between (uszona), and other activities, such as basketball, football, horse riding, boxing, etc.

  17. I recommend conducting a bit of a media review with Index for the near future.

    Index, taking into account that it is owned by a serious Fidesz oligarch (Zoltán Spéder) has been in the past pretty critical of Fidesz and its governance, though not so much lately.

    However, as we get closer to the elections it seems to me, Index is almost trying to ante up the conflicts between MSZP and Bajnai and keep their issues in the news cycle. Of course conflict and controversy mean more traffic to the site, but also they will influence the issue. (Needless to say MSZP people are a big source, they always talk and leak, there is zero discipline and there never will be at MSZP.)

    The most recent article (http://index.hu/belfold/2013/08/28/nyilt_haboru_johet/) was written by Szabolcs Panyi, formerly of Véleményvezér blog. He moved to Index proper at the time the 444.hu people left Index.

    Panyi is a self described ‘anti-communist’ conservative, and he and his generation of late 20-somethings simply lough out MSZP, Bajnai, DK and LMP as hopeless losers and goners. (Also younger people like him and especially the bloggers love and expect a strong charisma and toughness from any politician. So if you don’t have it, well, not good.)

    So expect that Index will be the main forum for showing the impotency and leaderlessness of the left (both of which are true, though) until the elections. It will be a constant topic and they will never let it die. (Always remember the rule of the corrupt and the stupid.).

    This is an important point because all media (Tvs, Radio channels, print media) are now strategically directed against the Left with detailed and segmented roles for each outlet, except for the internet, which has been more or less pragmatic until now.

    But now you will see that Index will also be happily performing its role in the media mix. It will surely be more pragmatic, it will not be as biased as Heti Válasz or National TV, it will just show day after day that MSZP is a hopeless loughing stock and you don’t’ expect them to govern, right? Right.

  18. OT: As many of us aware, there have been problems with the taxis in Budapest for years. The price you had to pay for a trip were all over the map. Now comes Fidesz to save the day in Fidesz style. They mandated that all taxis will have the same rate. Sounds good at first. Except there is no flat fee any more to or from the airport!!!!! THe sad part is the comments regarding this. The typical Hungarian attitude (yes, I am generalizing), like “if you can afford to fly, you should afford to take the taxi or take public transport”, “in every European country the tariffs are fixed, what is the problem with it”. THis small issue is the perfect reflection on the Hungarian psyche, the lack of information but full expression of opinion, the jealousy of others, and so forth.
    At this point when you pre-ordered a taxi from the airport, you know they will be there and they will try to get you to your address fast, and directly. From now on, I bet the foreign tourist will get to know Budapest before they will get to their address. The EUR 20 trip will be triple. Mark my words.
    http://www.vg.hu/vallalatok/kozlekedes/egy-vagyonba-kerul-a-taxizas-ferihegyre-a-rendelet-miatt-410528

  19. “Hungary’s teachers received a modest raise” and “According to calculations, on average teacher salaries will grow by 34 percent” both from Dr Balogh’s above tirade. No further comment needed.

  20. Louis Kovach :
    “Hungary’s teachers received a modest raise” and “According to calculations, on average teacher salaries will grow by 34 percent” both from Dr Balogh’s above tirade. No further comment needed.

    bahahaha Shows how informed you are. How much was the raise promised? DId everyone received such wage hike or was that an average? DId you know that some teachers actually will receive less? You know the Fidesz style numbers, like the flat tax.. while Orban and his buddies were paying way less taxes, the poor paid often twice as much taxes.
    No comment needed Kovach. I hate to say this but you truly need to educate yourself!

  21. Some1 :

    bahahaha Shows how informed you are. How much was the raise promised? DId everyone received such wage hike or was that an average?

    Of course, the crux of the matter is that although the average raise sounds high but by the time you multiply and divide the numbers, most likely it is a very slight raise given the higher number of hours the teachers will have to teach which also involves more work outside the classroom. And they will be deprived from getting extra compensation for substitute teaching.

  22. @Some1….” I hate to say this but you truly need to educate yourself!”
    We all educate ourselves daily by reading this blog, not to mention the comments. The fact is that teachers were promised salary increase during the past ten years and now they got some increase.

  23. kormos :

    @Some1….” I hate to say this but you truly need to educate yourself!”
    We all educate ourselves daily by reading this blog, not to mention the comments. The fact is that teachers were promised salary increase during the past ten years and now they got some increase.

    Yes, but for more work. I have the feeling that the actual gain is relatively little.

  24. For a 50% increase in time commitment, many highly qualified (at least to a Masters level) teachers will continue to receive less net pay than the social security levels in other EU states – and this in what is fast becoming, in many ways, one of the more expensive countries. This is not a golden day for teachers. It’s propaganda.

  25. Louis Kovach :
    No further comment needed.

    Hehe. You wish, Kovach! Unfortunately to you, further comments are needed.

    The teachers workload significantly increased. Without tossing them a few chips the Fidesz would have faced a massive teacher strike right at the start of the school year, 8 months from the elections.

    Meanwhile on Planet Hungary …

    2 news items (same day):

    – The world famous Peto Institute is on the on the brink of bankruptcy. Layoffs are imminent.
    – The Szombathelyi Haladas soccer club is going to have a new stadium (9 billion HUF).

    The Ramses of Felcsút lost his marbles.

  26. “The Ramses of Felcsút lost his marbles.”

    A hundred years from now, Hungarian gypsies will still sing the praises of their Vajda who ruled the country; made the ‘whites’ pay; and got even for 1000 years of humiliation.

    HAJRA MAGYAROK!!!!

  27. kormos :
    @Some1….” I hate to say this but you truly need to educate yourself!”
    We all educate ourselves daily by reading this blog, not to mention the comments. The fact is that teachers were promised salary increase during the past ten years and now they got some increase.

    The math kormos is certainly not your strength, is it? You know it is like this, when you see those ads in the newspaper for $199 lease for a brand new car. WHo can beat that if you do not read the small print, which usually contains that it is bi-weekly for four years, with $5,000 downpayment, and $10,000 buyout at the end. THere are always takers for those, just like for the Fidesz great deals. More money for more work with less benefits after . hmmm How is that considered to be a great raise exactly kormos?

    The last three year’s CPI (consumer price index) inflation is 16.74% it total (4.9%, 3.9%, 5.66%, 2.28%). Obviously these are the numbers that truly matter to the average citizen.
    That is exactly the increase that is offered to the new teachers.
    After five years, there is 31%, take off the 16% add the extra hours…..

    So, they were promised money in exchange for their votes three years ago, they gave them an average of 60% of what they promised, the books they supposed to teach from did not arrive yet to the schools (thanks for Fidesz tobacco store like contracts), they will have more hours, less benefits.
    http://www.global-rates.com/economic-indicators/inflation/consumer-prices/cpi/hungary.aspx

    At the same when Fidesz did not have the money to deliver on their promise, they were able to allocate 31,939,200 to build new soccer stadium in Szombathely.

  28. Some1: I quoted Dr Balogh “According to calculations, on average teacher salaries will grow by 34 percent”. Some1 asks ” DId everyone received such wage hike or was that an average?”

    Obviously someone failed even the reading classes…… forget about comprehension….

  29. Some1 :
    OT: they will try to get you to your address fast, and directly. From now on, I bet the foreign tourist will get to know Budapest before they will get to their address. The EUR 20 trip will be triple. Mark my words.
    http://www.vg.hu/vallalatok/kozlekedes/egy-vagyonba-kerul-a-taxizas-ferihegyre-a-rendelet-miatt-410528

    My experience with taxi’s in Budapest is that if you *don’t* fix the price before hand you will get taken for a ride. Most airports post prices to different areas which does limit gouging. Lets see if the Budapest airport follow this practice.

    On topic, we’ve shedded the Hungarian public schools and I must say our new school is night and day from where we were… The problems with the Hungarian public system stem from two problems, the first is that they are horribly underfunded. The second is those leading the system lack vision as they are looking backwards and not forward. While I wouldn’t say that teachers are overworked, they are very much under paid. This combined with the uncertainty of the current situation and the threat of losing their job has been very demoralizing. In fact you can see a difference between teachers that are in good financial situations vs. those that aren’t. The fact that class sizes have exploded (due to over crowding of schools) hasn’t helped. The underfunding means that school (and teachers) are so far behind in the effective use of technology it’s not even funny. Add in lack of vision from Budapest and the culture of those on top know best even though those in the weeds that do care maybe telling Budapest what needs to be done and boom, you’ve got a perfect storm leaving students that will be ill prepared to deal with the world as it is evolving today.

    Next, keeping kids in school ’till 4. One of the things that I liked about the Hungarian system is that the kids got out early enough that they still had energy to be involved in extra curricular activities such as music, sports or whatever. We had an awesome music school very close to where we lived and we took full advantage of it. I fear that this school, which has suffered from being underfunded for years, won’t survive. Sad, very sad indeed.

  30. Mutt writes: “The teachers workload significantly increased. Without tossing them a few chips the Fidesz would have faced a massive teacher strike right at the start of the school year, 8 months from the elections.

    Meanwhile on Planet Hungary …

    2 news items (same day):

    – The world famous Peto Institute is on the on the brink of bankruptcy. Layoffs are imminent.”

    It was stated in the posting that teachers spent extra time at home on various school related tasks. Now, they can spendit at school and get paid for it. The so called “work at home” is always a nebulous term and often a guess.

    Again a 34 % raise is not ‘tossing a few chips” to the teachers.

    The Peto Institute is a complex issue, becaus eit is a private foundation. However the newsis not exactly as you scared the readers ”

    News portal Index reported earlier on Tuesday that the Peto Institute’s income had declined from the previous annual level of 2.2 billion forints to 1.5 billion.

    The Ministry of Human Resources said that it would support the Peto Institute with about 420 million forints (EUR 1.4m) in the forthcoming year.

    In a statement, the ministry said the institute had initiated concluding a new public education contract in August, arguing that without supplementary central support it would go bankrupt. Negotiations on the contract started last Saturday, the ministry said.

    Rector Schaffhauser Franz told MTI that the Andras Peto Institute of Conductive Education and Conductor Training College had faced financial troubles for several years but counted on support from the government.”

    Of course, to the Stuhrmer and Krokogyil minds, facts are not an issue.

  31. Louis Kovach :
    Some1: I quoted Dr Balogh “According to calculations, on average teacher salaries will grow by 34 percent”. Some1 asks ” DId everyone received such wage hike or was that an average?”
    Obviously someone failed even the reading classes…… forget about comprehension….

    The exact point Kovach. Everyone does not equal Average. Do you comprehend this concept? So yes further comments are needed, because there are people like yourself. Do you understand that average does not translate to all, but it could mean that one person received 110% and all other lost 20%? Of course I am exaggerating, but I am nit sure how to get through to someone with so much lack of sarcasm, logic, and general understanding of basic math skills. Regards. No further comment needed.

  32. Louis Kovach :

    You know, even at 34% the take home is *still* dreadful. And if you look at the details, it’s not 34%, it’s more like 13.5% which is less than the cost of living increases since the last raise. One can only assume that rest will come in time but by then inflation will have eaten into that so I don’t really see much of a gain. And, it still doesn’t deal with the over crowding, under funding and complete lack of a 21st century vision.

  33. Louis Kovach :
    Again a 34 % raise is not ‘tossing a few chips” to the teachers.

    Again it is. This is basically the problem percents Kovach. They were working for peanuts before. Now they work for 4 peanuts instead of 3. The low wages of course cannot be blamed solely on the Fidesz. As Kormos mentioned the last raise was given when the Socialists took over in 2002. Since then – nada. But again, it is important to mention that in 2002 there were no strings attached, like the increased workload, and it was AFTER the elections.

    Also I didn’t blame the Fidesz for the perils of the Peto Institute. It just sounds sooo Hungarian when you put the 2 news items side by side.

    Some numbers. The cost of the raise is 45B HUF this year and 180B HUF next year and every following year, plus 40-50 BHUF each year from 2015 on a yearly 10% raise. So this means 1 Billion US each year. That’s .7% of the GDP. Am I right?

    I’m just curious. Where did this money come from? The GDP is shrinking. Stadiums are popping up everywhere, like mushrooms after rain, the rebuilding of the Kossuth square alone is 20B HUF. I’m guessing bonds …

  34. I don’t know much about teachers’ salaries in Hungary, and nor am I much of a mathematician. But, if Mutt is correct that they haven’t had a rise since 2002, then a rise of 34% after 11 years would mean an actual drop in pay in real-terms – even if inflation had only been at 3% during that time*.

    As it happens, I’ve been visiting and living in Hungary for almost exactly that time, and I’m pretty sure inflation was above 3% (some times considerably so) in every one of those 11 years.

    So, pay rise? Not in real terms. And it’s in real terms that we pay the mortgage and buy our food.

    (*In fact, assuming my maths is correct, at just 3% inflation pa over 11 years, you’d need a rise of 38% just to stay even.)

  35. Just talked to a friend of mine who works at a secondary grammar school,and she said this so-called pay rise is a fairy tale. Some of her colleagues will get even less than before. She had actually set up her own ‘English Club’ with lessons in the afternoons (following school) which had been doing well – she had hoped this would continue to supplement her income,while she worked at the school. That plan has now been completely scuppered,as she (and her students) will not be able to leave school till 4pm. So she has had to give up this business,which would have provided much-needed extra income (she also has 3 children) and be forced to stay on school grounds for a fraction extra. This is how we reward the educators!

  36. Slightly OT On June 13, 2013 Companies relates to the Budapest City Council were allowed to have a 20-40% bonuses, on top of their very big salaries. Day before yesterday, another group of people received bonuses (btw they call them premiums).

    http://www.hir24.hu/belfold/2013/08/27/millios-premiumokbol-nyaralhattak-az-onkormanyzati-cegek-vezetoi/

    Back on topic, some Mayors apparently informed the people, that they personally took care that the school books were delivered on time.

  37. Some1 writes : “The exact point Kovach. Everyone does not equal Average. Do you comprehend this concept? So yes further comments are needed, because there are people like yourself”

    Let me repeat it, this time slowly. T h e p o s t i n g s t a t e s t h a t i t w a s a n a v e r a g e. Y o u a s k i f i t w a s a n a v e r a g e….. W h a t p a r t o f t h e “a v e r a g e” y o u d o n o t u n d e r s t a n d????

  38. Nicky writes: ” That plan has now been completely scuppered,as she (and her students) will not be able to leave school till 4pm. So she has had to give up this business,which would have provided much-needed extra income (she also has 3 children) and be forced to stay on school grounds for a fraction extra. This is how we reward the educators!”

    Hmmm….the requirement is for 32 hrs a week, a little more than 6 hrs a day. If they start at 8:00 AM, how come the day ends at 16:00 ?

  39. Louis Kovach :
    Let me repeat it, this time slowly. T h e p o s t i n g s t a t e s t h a t i t w a s a n a v e r a g e. Y o u a s k i f i t w a s a n a v e r a g e….. W h a t p a r t o f t h e “a v e r a g e” y o u d o n o t u n d e r s t a n d????

    Kovach, if you write slowly we won’t understand you better …

  40. Louis Kovach :
    Hmmm….the requirement is for 32 hrs a week, a little more than 6 hrs a day. If they start at 8:00 AM, how come the day ends at 16:00 ?

    The remaining 8 hours is the time left to prepare for the 26 hours of class work. 18 minutes to get prepared for an hour of teaching.

  41. Louis Kovach :
    Hmmm….the requirement is for 32 hrs a week, a little more than 6 hrs a day. If they start at 8:00 AM, how come the day ends at 16:00 ?

    That is the requirement to be physically present (and be available to fill in as a substitute if so ordered–with zero compensation) at the school. It does NOT necessarily include prep time. With any luck one can get SOMETHING done when sitting in the teacher’s room in the afternoon, but this is rarely the case.

    Anyone who has taught school in just about any country will tell you that the first two years in the profession are sheer h***. Try 18-hour days of work, evenings spent prepping for the next day, evaluating and marking papers, the stress of dealing with parents, the requirement to come BACK into the school during the evenings to chaperone parties, etc. Yes, “The so called “work at home” is always a nebulous term and often a guess” and there are teachers who are lazy and do little prep. But there are actually A LOT of teachers who are not satisfied doing the same thing year in and year out and DO try new things, spend evenings working. These are the ones who are usually the most creative and effective… and often they burn out and quit within a short time.

    Teaching is not an 8-4 job where one comes home and forgets everything until the next day. And being required to sit in the school until 2 PM when nothing can get accomplished (cramped, noisy working quarters) helps no one.

    And 18 minutes of prep time for one lesson may be one thing for a P.E. teacher, for someone marking essays in a subject where writing and analytical skills are required it is a whole different ball game…

  42. Louis Kovach
    ‘Hmmm….the requirement is for 32 hrs a week, a little more than 6 hrs a day. If they start at 8:00 AM, how come the day ends at 16:00 ?’

    Because teachers will have gaps in between lessons,during the day,but obviously cannot go home in that time. And, as Mutt said, there is extra time needed for lesson-planning,which is extremely hard to do in a crowded classroom,with constant interruptions. My point is that it seems there is no such thing as part time teaching anymore. Part time jobs are extremely hard to come by in Hungary anyway. However,teaching was supposedly a good job for a working mum,as it allowed her to finish early in the afternoon,and therefore spend time with her children. Fidesz, the so-called ‘family-friendly’ party is effectively eroding family life,and taking away choices.

  43. Just wanted to check that info,and I was indeed mistaken to say teachers have to stay on school premises till 4pm (although obviously there will be napkozi duty for some,and they will have to stay till 4) My teacher friend told me they have 32 hours per week,which means 7 hours per day. If you start at 8am it means you finish around 3pm. You cannot leave school during free lessons. The picture she paints is pretty bleak. No ink in the school printer,the school cannot provide the money for this,and they are awaiting money for ink from KLIK. Meanwhile the teachers have to do all their photocopying at home. The other problem is regarding pay. According to my friend,the difference between gross pay and net pay is huge. A concrete example: one of her colleagues worked a lot of overtime in June (with preparation for exams,sitting exams,etc..) Her gross pay that month was 403,000 fts. However she actually received 157,000. What you are hearing about in the news is gross pay. According to my friend,some teachers will get less pay,even though they are working extra hours. Despite all this, she and her colleagues are trying to remain upbeat,and are determined to do the best for their students,and provide a great learning experience. I have tremendous respect for them. Theirs is a labour of love.

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