Cultural Organisations in Estonia Call for Increase in Salaries and Operating Grants


    TALLINN: More than 30 of Estonia's cultural institutions, including the Estonian Film Institute, the Estonian Film Industry Cluster, the Estonian Cinema Association, Forum Cinemas, Artis Cinemas and the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), have appealed in an open letter to the government for an increase in salaries and operating grants.

    “According to Statistics Estonia, the average gross monthly wage in the second quarter of 2022 was 1,693 EUR, compared to 1,302 EUR in the cultural sector. Subsidies in the cultural sector Piret Hartman - Estonian Minister of Culture, credit: Kadri Purje (kadripurje.com)have, for a long time, lagged behind the growing operational costs. (...) Culture is the engine of our economy and society. (...) Yet, at the same time, the cultural sector is almost five times larger than the amount of money being channeled into it through the Ministry of Culture”, reads the open letter published by ERR News.

    The Minister of Culture Piret Hartman confirmed for the Estonian press that the issue will be a top priority for the Ministry of Culture in the state budget negotiations. "On the one hand, these are state employees in the cultural sector, and we want to increase their salaries next year," Hartman said. "On the other hand, an overall increase in expenditure is also important for us. At the moment, all prices and costs are going up, so we are also asking for an increase in (funds to cover) operating costs in the state budget negotiations. We are now asking for almost 13 million euros for this," the minister said in an interview on Klassikaraadio quoted by ERR News.