Pay rise for public service staff from November rubberstamped

Foto: Archiv Radio Prag

Public sector employees can anticipate a pay rise of 3 percent next month. The previously agreed deal was rubberstamped on Monday morning, the government’s spokesman, Martin Ayrer, announced via Twitter.

Photo: archive of Radio Prague
The members of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s cabinet approved the move in a conference compartment on a train from Prague to Ústí nad Labem, where ministers were holding a special session.

The salary increase will concern employees such as librarians, social services staff and police and fire officers. Teachers can look forward to receiving a slightly higher rise of 3.3 percent from November.

In its original draft of the salary hike proposal, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said it reflected current and expected economic trends in the Czech Republic as well as a stagnation in state sector pay in the period between 2009 and 2013.

The government agreed the deal with union leaders in mid-September. At the end of that month ministers voted to increase this year’s public salaries budget by CZK 866 million.

CZK 398 million for pay and bonuses will go to teachers and school employees. The minister of education, Kateřina Valachová, said that this decision proved that education was a priority for the government.

Looking further ahead, Monday’s deal will cost the exchequer CZK 2.5 billion in extra salaries in 2016. A further CZK 1.92 billion will go towards teachers’ pay packets.

The government had originally decided to boost public sector pay by 3 percent from next year. Trade unions leaders had been pushing for a significantly higher pay rise of 5 percent and complained that the government ignored their arguments.

The unions also pointed out that members of parliament, ministers and other senior officials would see their compensation improve by more than 3 percent in 2016.

Last November also saw a salary increase – of 3.5 percent – for state employees. This year’s pay rise will mean public sector workers get on average CZK 800 more per month. In total 420,000 people will benefit.

Some employers in the public sector have complained about the move. Representatives of the Olomouc Region said its social security outgoings would increase by CZK 3.2 million this year and CZK 20 million in 2016; the subsidies it receives from central government will not cover the rise, they say.

Ministry of Labour officials say that a financial injection of CZK 780 into the country’s social services in July can be used to cover extra outgoings in the last two months of the year. The overall amount handed out in subsidies will be lower in 2016 than this year.