According to Finns, EUR 3,000 is a suitable monthly starting salary for class teachers – the salaries of early childhood teachers must be raised in a similar fashion

24.01.2020 - 11:30 Press release

OAJ’s demand that the salary level of highly educated groups working in the public sector must be corrected using a salary programme is supported by public opinion. Around nine in ten Finns think that a salary of about EUR 3,000 a month is suitable for recently graduated class teachers.

Finns’ ideas and opinions about the starting salaries of class and early childhood teachers were examined through a survey conducted by Taloustutkimus. According to the responses, Finns think teachers’ starting salaries should be higher than they currently are.

The starting salaries of those with a master’s degree should be increased to EUR 3,000 a month. Of course, this cannot be achieved at once, but rather over the course of several collective agreements. During this spring’s negotiations, a salary programme that safeguards the earnings development of the female-dominated public sector must also be agreed on in addition to other increases.

– It is important that teaching and other demanding public sector expert and managerial positions are competitive in relation to the private sector. We must also ensure good salary development, says Olli Luukkainen, President of OAJ.

Around 40% of Finns do not think a starting salary of EUR 3,400 a month would be too high for class teachers. The current starting salary for class teachers is around EUR 2,700 a month.

According to Finns, the salaries of early childhood teachers should be increased in a similar fashion.

– This means that public opinion also supports OAJ’s demand that the salaries of early childhood teachers must be increased considerably, says Luukkainen.

Teachers are trusted and higher education is valued

The results of the survey support the idea that Finns value teachers’ work, training and competence.

85% of Finns consider it important or very important that teachers are required to have completed a university degree (normally a master’s degree) and teacher training.

– This result is a great achievement even by international standards. Finns trust teachers and value their work, says Luukkainen.

High-level labour market discussion at Educa on Saturday, 25 January

Salaries and the current status of negotiations in the education sector will be discussed on Saturday, 25 January, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Educa’s labour market discussion event. The participants are Teemu Hassinen (CEO of Finnish Education Employers), Minna Helle (Executive Director, Industrial Relations of Technology Industries of Finland), Markku Jalonen (Director General of KT Local Government Employers), Olli Luukkainen (President of OAJ) and Petra Siltainsuu, a class teacher from Espoo. The event is hosted by Eeva Lehtimäki (head of MTV’s politics and economics desk) and Petri Lindroos (Negotiations Director of OAJ). You can watch the event live via OAJ’s Facebook page (@oajry) as well as OAJ’s website at

Taloustutkimus conducted a survey on Finns’ opinions about teachers’ salaries for OAJ. The data was collected via an Internet panel between 30 December 2019 and 2 January 2020. The survey was targeted at people between the ages of 25 and 60, and the number of respondents was 1,214 (21% response rate). The responses were weighted by age, sex and place of residence to represent the general population. Source: Suomalaisten mielikuvia opettajien palkoista 2020 / 15 January 2020 Taloustutkimus.


OAJ negotiates

  • The collective agreements will end on 31 March, 2020.
  • Find information on the negotiations:
    The Opettaja -magazine
    OAJ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • You can participate in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #oajneuvottelee.
  • Check your contact info under your member information. How? Read here.
  • Information pack on negotiations on OAJ negotiates -page.
  • If you feel you are unable to find information you need, please contact OAJ through your preferred channel. Contact information.

Do you want to join OAJ? You are most welcome! Here you'll find out how it is done.