The unions will negotiate wages with Babiš, Středula wants a general increase of three thousand crowns

On Monday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (YES) will discuss with the unions their demands for salary growth in the public sphere. This will be followed by a tripartite meeting at which representatives of the government, employers and trade unions will assess the budget for next year. The chairman of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, Josef Středula, expects talks on wage growth in the range of between 3,000 crowns, as requested by unions and the CSSD government, and 3.5 percent growth, which Finance Minister Alena Schillerová spoke about after YES on Thursday. Středula said that she sees a shift in negotiations after this week. “I believe that the positions will come closer. Of course, the final decision will be up to the government,” he said. He also wants to negotiate with Babiš on the minimum wage and the expansion of the list of occupational diseases.

Schiller said on Thursday that the salaries of employees in public administration could rise by inflation, ie by about 3.5 percent. However, it is not yet clear whether this will be an increase in percentage, a fixed amount or a combination of both. The Ministry of Finance was given the task of preparing documents and calculations of individual variants.

Trade union leaders, Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček and Minister of Labor Jana Maláčová (both CSSD) are proposing to increase the salaries of all public sector employees by 3,000 crowns from January. “It’s a negotiation, so at the beginning there is a requirement of 3000 crowns for everyone in their tariffs. The 3.5 percent variant was mentioned, there is a big band in between. I assume that the discussion will be not only about the extreme variants, but also about the band between,” hinted to him, what a result he expected.

According to the Social Democrats, about 21 billion crowns would be needed to increase salaries by three thousand crowns. Maláčová then proposes an increase in the minimum wage from 15,200 to 18,000 crowns from January. The unions support this. Schiller has reiterated several times before that she does not expect to be added to the budget. The government must send his proposal to the Chamber of Deputies on the last day of September, and the lower house will decide on it in the new form that emerged from the October elections.

According to the unions’ proposal, firefighters, police officers, teachers, doctors, nurses, officials, cultural or social workers and all other public employees should receive an additional 3,000 crowns from January on the tariff, ie on the basis of earnings. In the first quarter, 699 thousand people worked in the public sector. If everyone were to receive an additional 3,000 crowns from January, it would be 25.2 billion. To this it is necessary to add levies. In the case of an increase only by inflation, the increase in wages will be reflected in an increase in the total amount for wages by units of billions.

The average wage in the Czech Republic in the second quarter of this year rose by 11.3 percent year on year to 38,275 crowns. In gross terms, employees received an average of 3,893 crowns more than a year ago. Including growth in consumer prices, earnings rose by 8.2 percent in real terms. In general, however, two-thirds of employees do not reach the average wage. According to statisticians, the significant increase is due to a low comparison base and the payment of extraordinary rewards to health professionals.

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