The plight of Portuguese teachers – with miserable salaries that ‘do not cover fuel costs’, ‘do not cover housing costs’ and ‘make it impossible to start a family’ – has seen thousands of teachers desert the profession over the past ten years. year.
The cruel reality of what it means to be a teacher in Portugal – remember that many are “placed” in schools tens of kilometers from their homes – has seen the participation of young people in training to become teachers drop by 75% during this period.
The future of the profession is in jeopardy, the reports explain.
The warning comes on the heels of a study by the Universidade Nova de Lisboa which predicts that Portugal is on track for a “university pandemic”: 34,500 new teachers will be needed by 2030/2031 due to the number of departures of the profession and outgoing.
Highlighting the dilemma, CIS has spoken to a number of teachers who point out that it will be nearly impossible to attract new students unless conditions change.
One of them, David Caldas, explained that “at the moment, I earn less than 21 years ago…”
He calculated this by the fact that 21 years ago teachers earned the equivalent of three times the minimum wage. Now, with the minimum wage rising, teachers are ‘virtually on par with minimum wage’ – many of them taking home just over €1,000 a month and unable to qualify for higher paid promotions (because these have been ‘frozen’ by successive governments).
Add to the mix “lots of bureaucracy, long hours and large classes”, and you have a dead-end cocktail of “disenchantment, worry and demotivation” which sees teachers who may remain in the sector seriously consider other options.
With elections on the horizon – and the Prime Minister hinting that the vetoed state budget will be back on the table if the PS socialists return – teachers are essentially warning today that they will campaign for much more in terms of wages and conditions, or the country will pay for ignoring them in the not too distant future.