12 february 2013

Video conference on the fulfillment of commitments to increase teachers’ salaries


Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon everyone. As I’ve said before, we’ll discuss increasing teachers’ salaries because the project is being implemented. We have a video link with the regional heads who are in charge of the project. The work of a teacher should be paid decently and depend on the results of the teacher’s efforts. Decisions made by the President and the Government are aimed at doing that. Let’s discuss what has been done, what problems there are and which regions are having difficulties. I said I’d invite everyone to report on who has done what and who has failed to fulfill these instructions. The objective is clear – to make teachers’ salaries equal to the regional average. We have allocated enough money for this project; the regions should be able to fulfill this task.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science, and we will listen to our colleagues too, all regions have witnessed salary growth. In December 2012, the average teachers’ salary was over 31,000 roubles, which is almost 100% (again, in the whole country) higher than the average salary in January 2012. This is a significant increase, but every region has its own pace. In some regions, salaries have reached and even surpassed 100% of the regional average, but there are regions which show no results. I’d like to note that the most important thing is that each regional head is personally liable for failing to increase salaries, I stress, personally liable. After all, the lives of millions of teachers and the welfare of pupils depend on this project. I will not use pretentious words about the importance of the mission of a teacher, we all understand that, but we also understand that the wage level in the general education sector affects the quality of education. Therefore, I would like to hear how and when the objectives will be achieved. If you have any proposals or problems to report –  I am now addressing the heads of the regions which are lagging behind – please just come right out and say them.

In the near future, we will adopt a Government resolution on changing the regulations for granting federal subsidies to Russian regions for modernisation of general education from 2011 to 2013. The list of teaching professions, the salaries of which are being increased, will be expanded to include kindergarten teachers, child counselors, children’s speech therapists and some other categories. It is important that the average teachers’ salary will be calculated based on the regional average for the current, I stress, current period, not the previous one.

With this, I'd like to conclude my introductory speech. I’d just like to tell the Minister of Education and everyone here that I have just signed a directive appointing Mr Filippov (Vladimir Filippov, rector of the Russian People’s Friendship University) Chairman of the Higher Attestation Commission. He is a well-known and experienced person, he has worked as a minister and a university rector. I hope that he can, in the course of dealing with his responsibilities, pay attention to the procedure of granting academic degrees, because there are some problems in this area. It’s not about people but about system-wide issues.

Let’s start the dialogue. Mr Livanov (addressing Dmitry Livanov), please give a brief report on the situation, and then I will ask Mr Siluanov (Minister of Finance) to take the floor.

Dmitry Livanov (Minister of Education and Science): Mr Medvedev, colleagues. It’s true that we’ve been increasing salaries throughout 2012.


The average teacher salary amounted to 95.5% of the national average in 2012 and we think this is a very good figure. We changed the requirements in the middle of the year after the President signed the relevant executive orders. These requirements were raised, and apart from teachers we included other categories of educators into the system – almost 200,000 people and switched to calculating salaries based on the comparable rather than previous periods, as Mr Medvedev has mentioned. In our estimate, as a result the regions had to increase their budgets during the year and spend almost another 15 billion roubles on the salaries of educators.

However, the situation is not the same across different regions. I’d like to make one reservation – we don’t have Rosstat’s information on the average salaries for December. We expect to receive them on February 20 or a bit later. This is why we’ll be using our own forecasts for these assessments – experience shows they are fairly accurate. If we compare the salaries of teachers in the region in December to their average salaries for the entire year, we’ll see that almost all regions, 72 to be precise, have reached this goal. There are 11 regions that are not yet there but six of them are at the level of over 95%. We consider this to be admissible, because the forecasts are always prone to some mistakes and the regions use the forecasted average salaries for the year.

Nonetheless, I’d like to mention the regions where we consider the situation to be critical. They are lagging behind others and should take serious efforts to improve and catch up with the others in February. These are the Orenburg Region, the Republic of Mary El, the Chechen Republic, the Republic of Ingushetia and the Trans-Baikal Territory. The Trans-Baikal Territory is not doing well at all and I’d like to draw the attention of its executives to this problem.

We have fully resolved all methodological issues and believe nobody will have any questions in this respect. We are switching to state statistical accounting of salaries and will ensure that the collection of this information is fully objective.

I’d like to emphasise that on September 1, 2013 the federal law On Education in the Russian Federation will come into effect. One of its norms stipulates that the salaries of teachers of general educational schools should match the average for a given region. Thank you.

Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.

Mr Siluanov, please go ahead.

Anton Siluanov (Minister of Finance): Mr Medvedev, ladies and gentlemen. I will give you a brief account of the budget administration in the regions of the Russian Federation for the past year and the beginning of this year. In general last year their own fiscal tax and non-tax revenues increased by 10%; the expenses went up by 9% and the share of salaries in these expenses is 28%. This is not so much. In some years the share of salaries made up about 30% of all expenses in regional budgets. Last year the regions managed to decrease the loan payable by 40% – it amounted to just 16 billion roubles. This shows that apart from fulfilling their primary expenditure commitments, regions repaid their old debts.

This year had a good start. In January revenues increased by 14%, especially owing to higher profits and income tax. Expenses went up by 12%. Mr Medvedev, in January we had a surplus of 80 billion roubles.

In January we signed agreements with all regions of the Russian Federation on the transfer of financial support. In turn, the regions concluded contracts with the relevant ministries and departments on implementing presidential executive orders. We also signed agreements with the Ministry of Education. All regions that are entitled to transfers have signed agreements with us with the exception of the Chechen Republic, but I hope we’ll sign an agreement with it in the near future.

The transfers that we have envisaged for the regions for implementing the presidential executive orders on increasing salaries of teachers…We have already transferred 60 billion out of 100 billion roubles and will provide the remaining sum of 40 billion roubles to the regions after they attain the parameters determined by  mentioned agreements withthe relevant ministries and departments.  like to emphasise for our colleagues from the regions that apart from increasing salaries we must also improve the quality of services rendered by state-funded organisations. Let me recall that in his May 7 executive order the President said that the increase of salaries must be determined by better quality and higher quantity of services rendered. In other words, we must not just automatically raise salaries, but also demand better services. Indicators of quality must be part of the agreements with relevant ministries and departments that are now being signed by the regions.

Mr Medvedev, we plan to be signing these agreements until May 1. Maybe it is possible to speed up their signing to give the regions a clear understanding of the indicators of quality that are required from state-funded organisations and that are to be used for assessing their performance, in particular, on implementing the President’s executive order. Thank you.

Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you Mr Siluanov. Colleagues, I’m now addressing the regions that we are now connected to. I think the easiest way would be to do the following – I will give everyone a chance to speak. Please talk for one or two minutes but no more.

Tyva, go ahead please. Mr Kara-ool, the head of the Republic of Tyva.

Sholban Kara-ool: Mr Medvedev, thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak about our problems. We have fulfilled all institutional and administrative measures on the executive order, and have established a commission envisaged by it… We have also done the methodological work. I’d simply like to speak about our major problems. We have done everything we can to determine what internal resources we have in the republic. We must streamline the structure of the educational process. To our great regret, we have had to reduce the number of educational institutions that overlapped with each other and did not perform their functions properly. We removed dual salary rates and tried to determine what administrators and managers do not directly influence the quality of education.

Now about our problem. Mr Medvedev, I’d like to use this opportunity to speak about our problem, all the more so since the Minister of Finance is also here and I hope he will correct me if I make a mistake.

Teachers' salaries reached 91% of the average salary of 21,313 roubles, or 19,623 roubles, according to the results for the first 11 months of the year. In October-November, teachers’ salaries reached 95%, or 21,563 roubles, of the average salary of 22,501 roubles. As the Minister of Education stated, our situation fell in line with the common trend. In reality, Mr Medvedev, these achievements are due to the fact that the 2012 state debt of the Republic of Tyva grew by 3.3 times as of 1 January 2013. In 2012, we received budget loans of 825 million roubles, commercial bank loans of 390 million roubles and state guarantees for 206 million roubles. For example, we allocated commercial loans for the construction of a kindergarten. We tried to focus on a boiler house that unfortunately became well known to all of Russia. We failed to complete the construction of the kindergarten with that loan, but we plan to complete the construction in August. And so, our debt has increased by 3.3 times. In December, we lacked 77 million roubles for our salary tasks. In 2013, the deficit is about 1.55 billion roubles. I have a clear understanding of the distribution of our expenses… There is only 1.32 billion roubles left for implementing investment projects, for the economic development of the Republic…

Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Kara-ool, I understand that you do not have many growth sources in your republic compared with other republics. I know your financial situation. We are aware of your difficulties. What are the proposals? Because we are not talking about hardships in life... Everyone has them, even Moscow has them... We are discussing a specific objective to increase teachers' salaries. What should be done to increase the figure to the necessary parameters? 

Sholban Kara-ool: Mr Medvedev, on our behalf, we will make every effort to find internal sources. Meanwhile, I ask you to help the Republic of Tyva with the available funds from the Ministry of Finance – possibly without increasing the state debt. Excuse me, as that may sound rather banal.

Dmitry Medvedev: I see, yes, rather banal... But I have heard your request. In any case, let's divide these subjects. You can ask for financial support as any head of a region can – they do so regularly. However, it is necessary to resolve the task concerning teachers' salaries. Have you heard me?

Sholban Kara-ool: Consider it done!

Dmitry Medvedev: Agreed. Over to you, Mr Markelov of Mari El.

Leonid Markelov (Head of the Republic of Mari-El): Mr Medvedev and meeting participants! In my republic, the average teachers' salary is 14,682 roubles. According to the forecast for 2012, the average salary in the republic was due to amount to about 15,000 roubles. The economy in the republic is intensively developing. In industry, we reached 10% production growth and our agricultural production grew by 14%. Salaries have grown more than projected. I know the goal that you have set. I will simply tell you about the difficulties and I will say how we intend to cope with them. From April 1, 2013, we will raise wages by 17% to 18,953 roubles – this is higher than the projected average wages because according to the forecast for late 2013, the average salary would amount to 17,165 roubles. To this end, we need 271 billion roubles. I will find these funds. I will not request federal support. I will find internal reserves from tax and non-tax receipts. Thank you.  

Dmitry Medvedev: Good, agreed, Mr Markelov. In any case, this is more understandable for us than anything else. Let’s accomplish this within the timeframe that you mentioned. Mr Orlov of Kalmykia, please go ahead.

Alexei Orlov (Head of the Republic of Kalmykia): Good afternoon, Mr Medvedev. The average teachers' salary for December 2012, including the markup, was 15,256 rubles, or 104.1% of the average monthly salary in the Republic of Kalmykia.

In the past two years, the average teachers' salary increased by 56.5%. Of course, though, there are serious problems. Another serious problem, Mr Medvedev, is the continuing lack of balance in our republic's budget, which has persisted for years. Since the share of non-market services in the republic's economy amounts to almost one-third, and the extensively developing agriculture has approximately the same share, we will not be able to accomplish this task by 100% through our efforts alone. Although this task is being resolved successfully at the moment, we have various data confirming this fact. We will surely achieve this task in the coming six months if we receive a bit of support to cover our small deficit of funds – if we receive subsidies to equalise the [budget] lack of balance.

Dmitry Medvedev: You should achieve this task not if “we get a subsidy”, but rather because the President and the Government issued the relevant decisions to do so. Do you understand, Mr Orlov?

Alexei Orlov: Yes.

Dmitry Medvedev: You should do everything according to the instructions in the documents. As for the lack of balance in the budget – as I said when a representative of the Government of the Republic of Tyva was speaking... Naturally, any region, yours as well, can request the relevant funds. We will consider this request based on the overall situation – the allocations that have been extended to the republic in the past and the loans that were extended earlier. Based on the overall situation... Agreed? 

Alexei Orlov: Thank you!

Dmitry Medvedev: How much time will you need to resolve this issue?

Alexei Orlov: We will conclude this issue during the second and the third quarters. In fact, we have already made these steps. In the first quarter, we will increase the salaries by 12%. And by the end of 2013, we will reach the salary projected by the Ministry of Education. 

Dmitry Medvedev: What is it now, 70%? I have data that the correlation between the average [teachers'] salary and the average regional salary is 70.6. Is this correct? That is in December.

Alexei Orlov: Mr Medvedev, that is the forecast of the Ministry of Education.

Dmitry Medvedev: What numbers do you have?

Alexei Orlov: Based on the actual data, we have 15,256 in December and an average of 14,860 for the region.

Dmitry Medvedev: That is almost 92%, correct?

Alexei Orlov: Yes.

Dmitry Medvedev: Good. Then, we need to do all of this. One more thing. What about the deadlines? What do you think? Isn’t that too long?

Olga Golodets (Deputy Prime Minister): Yes, it is long.

Dmitry Medvedev: Isn’t it? Two quarters is a lot of time.

Alexei Orlov: I hear you, Mr Medvedev.

Dmitry Medvedev: Go ahead and resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Alexei Orlov: We’ll perform the raise in the first quarter.

Dmitry Medvedev: Agreed.

Alexei Orlov: Thank you.

Dmitry Medvedev: The Perm Territory is here. Governor Basargin.

Viktor Basargin: Mr Medvedev and colleagues, pursuant to presidential executive orders, the Perm Territory has drafted a roadmap that is now at the top of the list of things that we want to accomplish. We started out with teachers’ salaries averaging slightly above 15,000 roubles. In 2012, we set aside an additional 814 million roubles in the budget. By late 2012, teachers’ salaries in our territory were 21,339 roubles, which is slightly above the target. We have allocated an additional 890 million roubles for 2013. Our target for teachers’ salaries is 23,100 roubles, which we will certainly achieve.

Beginning in 2013, we will raise the salaries of preschool teachers and staff. In 2012, their average compensation was 12,000, whereas we plan to raise their salaries by 60% to 19,265 roubles in 2013.

Dmitry Medvedev: All right, I see.

Viktor Basargin: With regard to problems and issues…

Dmitry Medvedev: I see. Are there any questions for Mr Basargin? The situation in your region looks fine. This is why I gave you the floor, so that people could see that we have regions with consistent, steady growth. Do you have any problems other than a lack of financing?

Viktor Basargin: There is a problem. We are addressing the preschool issue. This year, we plan to open 19 new such institutions. We have built 11 preschools in the Perm Territory over the past seven years, but we can see an even greater problem ahead – new school construction. We would like to have a federal programme developed that will include all aspects of our demographic situation and transition to single-shift schools. I believe that we will need the federal government's help. Thank you.

Dmitry Medvedev: All right, thank you. We’ll give it a thought. Let’s go back to the regions that do have problems. Bring on the Khabarovsk Territory, if you will.

Sergei Shchetnev (Khabarovsk Territory Vice Governor): Mr Medvedev, the work to raise the salaries of educators in the Khabarovsk Territory started back under the regional general educational system modernisation project. Salaries for the fourth quarter of 2012 were 29,984 roubles, or 115%, compared with 2011. In order to fulfil Presidential Executive Order No 597 dated May 2012, the avergae teachers’ salary was raised by 6% on October 1, 2012, and to 29,165 roubles on December 1 to match the average salaries in the region. As a result, the average teachers’ monthly salary was 34,716 roubles in December 2012, or 112.3% of the average annual salary in the region. Salaries increased by 50% compared to January 2012. Appropriate measures have been taken to fully match teachers’ salaries with the average salaries in the region in 2013. Beginning on January 1, teachers’ salaries will increase to the average regional salary of 32,520 roubles. Preschool teachers’ salaries will equal the salaries paid to general school teachers.

The total amount of funds released from the regional budget for the above purposes in 2013 is about 4 billion roubles. Thus, the presidential executive order to increase teachers’ salaries in the Khabarovsk Territory in 2013 will be met in full.

Dmitry Medvedev: When?

Sergei Shchetnev: We started working on this issue on January 1, 2013.

Dmitry Medvedev: What’s your take on the situation in the Khabarovsk Territory?

Dmitry Livanov: We believe that the slippage in September and October was completely overcome in December. Indeed, we have the same data here. It is important to have this work continue without disruptions in January and onwards.

Dmitry Medvedev: In other words, you are not worried much about the situation in the region? Do you believe that things will return to normal?

Dmitry Livanov: Yes, we do.

Dmitry Medvedev: All right, thank you. Let's go to the Trans-Baikal Territory... Let’s listen to what they have to say.

Natalia Zhdanova (Deputy Prime Minister of the Trans-Baikal Territory): Mr Medvedev and meeting participants, the Trans-Baikal Territory is performing serious, system-wide work to fulfil the presidential executive order. We have taken into account the objective difficulties and complexities that we faced in 2012 with regard to raising teachers’ salaries. Thus, the territorial Government has decided to raise the salaries of all categories of teachers starting January 1, 2013. Thus, a law has been passed to increase the salaries of all teachers. The appropriate funds have been set aside in the budget, 832 million roubles, and all multipliers and bonuses have been calculated for all job categories from preschool staff to speech therapists, social care teachers and psychologists. In short, all teaching jobs... The average salary in 2013 is projected at 26,000 roubles. Our goal is to bring the average teachers' salary to 26,000 roubles by late 2013, which is what we are focusing on now.

One problem that we have is defining the additional spending on increasing the salaries of teachers working at children’s homes. Overall, over 100 million roubles is needed to raise salaries for these workers. We are now looking for internal sources of funding and may apply for financial support. That concludes my report.

Dmitry Medvedev: Well, what do you think, colleagues?

Olga Golodets: The forecast isn’t good because if we set the goal of achieving the projected figure of 26,000 by late 2013, we will fail to comply with the presidential order. We have a Government resolution that states clearly what we need to do on a yearly basis. Achieving in December, even in November, the average level of salaries in the region for December or November will result in our failure to perform properly under the order. I believe that the work is done poorly. Other measures need to be taken, and I think that we will develop them on our own.

Dmitry Medvedev: I see. Do you support this (speaking with Dmitry Livanov)?

In fact, the numbers are bad, meaning that the work was poorly organised. Please come up with other proposals. I am now issuing a directive to the Government, the Deputy Prime Minister in charge, and the Minister to consider ways to respond to the situation in the Trans-Baikal Region. Where is the Governor?

Natalia Zhdanova: He is on an official business trip to Moscow.

Dmitry Medvedev: Perhaps this issue does not fall under his responsibility. All right. Please do everything that you need to do, or we’ll have to punish everyone.

Natalia Zhdanova: I see.

Dmitry Medvedev: The Irkutsk Region. Please go ahead.

Sergei Yeroshchenko (Irkutsk Region Governor): Mr Medvedev, colleagues, in 2011, the average teachers’ salary in the Irkutsk Region was only 14,800 roubles per month and hadn’t been adjusted since 2008. In December, the average salary was 26,936 roubles with the average projected figure for 2012 standing at 25,365 roubles, or an increase by 106%. The salary growth rate in the public sector is 128.5%. The growth rate of the average salary has more than doubled at 114%.

The regional Government did everything that it needed to do to implement the presidential decree in 2013, and we hope that we will be able to achieve the salary targets. The appropriate legal framework has been put in place. The Irkutsk Region Ministry of Labour and Employment has been created, which is coordinating activities to reform the ways that compensation is paid to public sector employees.

The salaries of general education teachers increased by 15% on January 1, 2013. The salaries will be raised again on April 1 and September 1, which will increase the salary fund by 34%, or 2.2 billion roubles. The budget for 2013-2015 seeks to allocate 8.7 billion roubles annually to increase salaries, including 2.4 billion under the executive presidential order. Another 1.7 billion will come from the federal budget as balance subsidies.

In order for us to be able to achieve the recommended salary benchmarks in 2013, we need at least another 4 billion roubles, including 2.17 billion for general education teachers. The regional budget will increase to the tune of 3.1 billion roubles in April to provide the remaining funds. The rest will come from local budgets. Thus, the Irkutsk Region's Government has taken all of the measures that are needed to comply with the order. Last week, we attended a meeting chaired by Minister of Finance Siluanov and shared our proposals for replenishing the Irkutsk Region's budget up to 2015. We hope, Mr Medvedev, that you will get a chance to see these proposals and to support us.

Dmitry Medvedev: All right. I hear you. What is your take on the situation in the Irkutsk Region, colleagues (addressing the audience)?

Olga Golodets: Mr Medvedev, they are coming out of a very bad situation. Their starting conditions were much worse than the national average, but they are moving at a good pace now. If everything that the governor mentioned gets done and we provide reasonable assistance to the region, they will cope with the task. However, they will need some assistance, which, I think, we will talk about.

Dmitry Medvedev: The governor just mentioned this. All right. I understand.

The Kurgan Region please.

Oleg Bogomolov (Kurgan Region Governor): Good afternoon, Mr Medvedev.

Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, Mr Bogomolov.

Oleg Bogomolov: Colleagues, we are taking measures outlined in the executive order as well. I will not elaborate on them. I will just say that we reached the average salary in the region in November, with the average teachers’ salary reaching 16,857 roubles. This is 101% of the average salary in the region in November, and 19,116 roubles, or 111% of the average salary in the region in December. Over 9,000 teachers saw their salaries raised, and we haven’t stopped this work... We expect the average salary in our region to reach about 18,940 roubles in 2013, and we have provided the requisite financial resources to achieve the figures outlined in the order. That’s an additional 520 million roubles compared with 2012. This will allow us to pay our teachers salaries in the projected amounts. The salaries will increase 40% this year, with over 9,200 people benefiting from this raise. We started out with a salary of 17,200 roubles in January, which was the average salary in our region in December. In February, we will pay them the same amount, whereas in March we will raise salaries by increasing the incentive funds based on the average actual salary in January and February, so that we can avoid the draw-down...

Unfortunately, we do not have the statistical guidelines for computing monthly salaries, so we will start based on real salaries and adjust the average salary quarterly in the third month, so as to come up with an annual average of 18,940 roubles. We have identified all of the necessary resources, and I hope that we will be able to deliver on our promises and have all of the issues sorted out. I will keep tabs on things on a monthly basis. I am on top of the salary situation of each employee at every school.

Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Bogomolov, this should be monitored daily, not monthly.

Oleg Bogomolov: Yes, I know. But I am referring to the statistics that we sum up every month.

Dmitry Medvedev: Well, statistics is one thing…

Oleg Bogomolov: Yes, I know.

Dmitry Medvedev: Each day, you should instruct your staff to watch closely how this process develops.

Oleg Bogomolov: We do this regularly, Mr Medvedev. This is why we managed to find additional resources in November and December and to achieve the average pay level for the economy. In January, we followed this timetable.

Dmitry Medvedev: I see. What do you think of this, ladies and gentlemen?

Olga Golodets: I would say that the progress that they’ve made is encouraging, but they are still among the 10 worst regions in terms of performance and thus they require special supervision.

Dmitry Medvedev: Please follow the developments closely. It’s a deal. Keep up the progress.

The Arkhangelsk Region.

Igor Orlov (Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region): Good afternoon, Mr Medvedev, colleagues. Pursuant to the presidential executive order, the Arkhangelsk Region passed the relevant legislation in 2012, boosting the wages of teachers by 9% and the wages of educational workers by 47.1%, to 30,300 roubles and 29,300, respectively. In the meantime, the average pay in the industry is 25,900 roubles. We believed that we had surpassed the indicators by 13%, but the Government issued a resolution in December that changed the calculation method for these figures. We have taken this into account, earmarking 586 million roubles additionally to this end. But we have to keep adjusting the budget to meet the regulatory requirements. In March, we will submit the adjustments to the Regional Legislative Assembly, so that we can measure up to these indicators. We have developed all of the required solutions and we have been working with the Ministry of Finance on an agreement.

Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Orlov, do I understand correctly that you will remove this issue from the agenda altogether in March?

Igor Orlov: That’s right.

Dmitry Medvedev: Okay, I hear you.

The Yaroslavl Region.

Sergei Yastrebov (Governor of the Yaroslavl Region): Good afternoon, Mr Medvedev, colleagues. In 2013, the Yaroslavl Region will allocate 1,212 million roubles for pay increases, including 564 million in municipal subsidies. However, the overall demand is for 2,856 million roubles. On January 29, 2013, we signed an agreement with the Ministry of Finance for 630 million roubles in subsidies to partially compensate our additional expenditures. This entire sum will be used to increase teachers’ salaries. We had no problem paying these salaries in full in November, December and January. The average salary was 17,707 roubles in November and 20,988 roubles in December. The same amount is expected to make the average pay in the economy in 2012. Adjustments, if any, will be insignificant.

The Ministry of Finance has calculated that we need 3 billion roubles to achieve the targets outlined in Presidential Executive Order No 597. If we have subsidies, there will not be any problems in that regard. For the rest of what we will need, we will rely on our internal resources, or draw credit as a last resort.

Dmitry Medvedev: I see. Please comment, ladies and gentlemen.

Olga Golodets: They are moving forward, albeit at a slow pace. They should keep up this rate moving forward and everything will be fine.

Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Yastrebov, when will you be through with this?

Sergei Yastrebov: We are through right now. The salaries are paid in full in all categories. At preschool institutions, the pay increase is 20% over the previous year.

Dmitry Medvedev: But my table here shows that you have reached only 78% of the target.

Sergei Yastrebov: I can’t argue with that. My own table says 100%.

Dmitry Medvedev: All right. Please check all of the figures and keep up the rates that you have achieved.

Sergei Yastrebov: We will, Mr Medvedev.

Dmitry Medvedev: We have agreed. Mr Yevkurov (Addressing Yunus-Bek Yevkurov), you have the floor, please.

Yunus-Bek Yevkurov (Head of the Republic of Ingushetia): Mr Medvedev, we have learned from our previous mistakes. I would like to tell you right off that we have raised these wages by 100% from January 1, 2013. At the same time, I would like to stress that, although we lacked funding, we managed to raise the wages of educators at pre-school institutions by 100% in December 2012. All other previous wage levels are being retained because we were unable to raise those wages. We have contacted the Ministry of Finance, and we will meet with Ms Golodets tomorrow to discuss this and other issues. We need an additional 742 million roubles this year in order to accomplish this objective. We are investing about 180 million roubles from the republic’s budget allocations. Of course, we will make adjustments if this funding is not enough. But we need this assistance. We are unable to accomplish this objective without borrowing from other sectors.

We have been leading the way nationwide in terms of collectability and our own incomes for the past three or four years. How can this be explained? It’s because we don’t minimize the importance of this sector, and because we are doing our best to find various sources of revenues. We are accomplishing the objective in 2013 so far. Again, from January 1, 2013 we are ensuring the 100% wage level under the Presidential Executive Order. 

Dmitry Medvedev: I know that the situation in your republic is rather difficult. Nevertheless, we need a common approach. This objective must be accomplished, no matter what, simply because this decision, which has been adopted and is to be implemented.  As for financial support requests, we will, naturally, examine them individually. The same concerns the other regions. We will examine these issues at today’s meeting. I would like everyone here to note the problems in Ingushetia. You’re aware of the situation. The colleagues are working hard and I find it difficult to say anything against them, but   nevertheless, this objective must be accomplished.

Yunus-Bek Yevkurov: We will accomplish it.

Dmitry Medvedev: I see. These are most of our problem-ridden regions. Mr Vorobyov (Addressing Andrei Vorobyov), what’s the situation like in the Moscow Region?

Andrei Vorobyov (Acting Governor of the Moscow Region Ad Interim): Mr Medvedev, colleagues. Obviously, we consider the fulfillment of the executive order to be a priority. We’ve approved a comprehensive programme for implementing a road map up to 2018. This programme has already been coordinated and submitted to the Ministry of Education and Science. Ms Golodets oversees the process. Thus, we will be able to proceed with mid-term wage increases.

The Moscow Region has 1,500 schools, 37,500 educators and 1,900 kindergartens. The latter employ 23,000 instructors. Starting on December 1, 2012, we have managed …

Dmitry Medvedev: This is so that everyone can understand the problems... Please make concise statements so that everyone can understand each other’s scales.  

Andrei Vorobyov: Yes, Mr Medvedev, our scale is impressive. In reality, the wage increases are also substantial. We managed to raise the wages of kindergarten employees, which now total about 28,500 roubles, from December 1, 2012. We will raise these wages by 6% from May 1, 2013 and by another 9% from September 1. School teachers will therefore receive 36,000 roubles. This is quite impressive because the current salaries average 33,600 roubles. Primary-school teachers will receive 25,000-28,000 roubles. At the same time, the employees of pre-schools will receive 32,500 roubles. This means a substantial wage increase. Again, this is our top priority. Mr Medvedev, as before, we are counting on your support and on the support of the Government. We also hope that new investors can be found. A strong economy will guarantee our success and further wage increases.

Dmitry Medvedev: All right, it’s agreed then. I wish you every success.

I suggest that we end this discussion. Ms Kovtun (Marina Kovtun, Governor of the Murmansk Region) who is here will probably say a few words simply because we are meeting today… As I see it, you don’t have any major problems.

Marina Kovtun: Mr Medvedev, colleagues. The Murmansk Region has accomplished the task of the Presidential Executive Order to raise the average salaries of educators and employees of secondary educational institutions in the Murmansk Region in 2012. As for a comparable period, if we take the fourth quarter … The average wages of educators equaled the average regional wages by the fourth quarter of 2012. The relevant salaries, which were to have totaled 42,970 roubles, reached 43,327 roubles. During this period, the calculated wages for teachers totaled 45,597 roubles. I repeat, these wages totaled 45,597 roubles. The average wage was to have been 36,750 roubles in 2012, but, in reality, 35,429 rouble wages were posted. There are plans to gradually raise the wages of public sector employees still further under the 2013 consolidated budget. Considering federal budget subsidies, the wages in this category of employee will equal the average regional wage. In 2013, the average regional wage is to reach 40,560 roubles.

Dmitry Medvedev: All right, thank you.

Colleagues, those present and absent, those attending the meeting and those who have problems, I have gathered you together for a reason … I hope that all the problems that have been mentioned will be dealt with on schedule or sooner, that these specific wages will reach the required levels, and that they will equal the average regional wage. Naturally, every region has its own problems, and you have every right to request assistance in solving them. We’ve heard everything, and we understand your problems, but the specific objectives to raise the wages of educators must be unfailingly accomplished and in accordance with our deadlines because we can now see a rather substantial lag. Please concentrate on and resolve all your issues in order to prevent the situation from getting worse.