Swiss cantons to raise teacher salaries to combat staff shortages
To combat a significant shortage of teachers, three Swiss cantons have decided to raise salaries in order to attract more workers, with many others looking to follow suit. However, some cantons have questioned whether wage increases will be enough to ensure the Swiss school system is properly manned.
Cantons in Switzerland face staff shortages in schools
"61 measures were formulated, all of which are now being examined," said Ruth Marxer, head of the education department in Canton Schaffhausen. Like other cantons across the country, Schaffhausen is facing an acute shortage of teachers across primary and secondary education. The crisis has forced some cantons to use temporary or unqualified teachers to help plug the gap.
To combat the shortage, Marxer announced that Schaffhausen will increase teachers' salaries. Teaching students in higher education will also be offered internships at local schools, with generous support packages from the canton.
Swiss cantons invest millions into improving teacher salaries
In Canton Aargau, 63 million francs is being invested into the education system to help attract more teachers. “This will significantly improve the competitiveness of wages,” said cantonal spokesperson Sascha Katja Giger.
Alongside higher wages, new teachers in Canton Bern are being supported by mentors and given other generous benefits which are now written into their work contracts. There has also been a call for teachers who are retired to return to work, with some areas offering refresher courses to get older teachers back in the classroom.
Other cantons across the country are more hesitant to offer wage increases, with officials in Canton St. Gallen arguing that raising salaries will not solve the problem. When asked for comment by 20 minuten, the cantonal government said, "We believe that various factors have led to the teacher shortage," and that other solutions, like flexible working hours and more trainee teachers, are needed to solve the issue in the long term.