State, Unions Reach Agreement On Wage Increase

Alena Schillerova

Prague, Aug 31 (CTK) – The Czech cabinet and the trade unions today agreed on an increase in the wages in the public sector as of January 1, 2019, which will raise most employees’ base pay by 5 percent, and further money will raise bonuses, PM Andrej Babis (ANO) and Finance Minister Alena Schillerova (for ANO) told the media.


The pay increase will not have an across-the-board character. It will be the steepest for the lowest wages, Schillerova said.


Teachers will see their pay increase by 10 percent.


The CMKOS umbrella trade union originally demanded a 10-percent increase in the base (tariff) pay for all employees plus an increase in the overall sum spent on wages.


It considers today’s agreement a compromise.


The CMKOS will see to that the money designed for bonuses is divided appropriately and reaches the relevant recipients, its spokesman Pavel Bednar said.


The cabinet originally wanted to raise the sum going to the wage increase by 6 percent, which would have cost the state 22.3 billion crowns.


On Wednesday, the government ANO movement and the Social Democrats (CSSD) agreed to raise the sum by another three billion, which enables an 8-percent pay increase.


“We have reached agreement. A compromise has been struck on the base pay increase. We [cabinet] planned to raise it by 4 percent, while the final agreement raises it by 5 percent,” Babis said.


Schillerova said the professions with the lowest wages will see them rise the most of all.


The state will raise the sum designed for the pay of non-teaching workers at schools by 10 percent, for courts’ civilian staff by 13 percent, for the state attorney’s office staff by 15.9 percent and for the Social Security Administration staff by 9.5 percent, she said.


The sum designed for the rest of civil servants provides for an average 7.4-percent pay increase, and an 8-percent increase for the police and firemen, whose base pay will go up by 2 percent and the rest will be spent on danger bonuses.


Bednar said further talks are yet to be held between the health workers’ union and the Health Ministry on the structure of wages in healthcare.


“The state will significantly support the [healthcare] personnel. Nurses working on shifts will see their [monthly] pay rise by 5,000 crowns, which is a 15 percent increase on average,” Health Minister Adam Vojtech (ANO) said.


Some 682,500 people worked in public sector in the first quarter of this year, their average gross monthly salary reaching 32,725 crowns. It rose by 14.2 percent year-on-year.


A half of the sector’s employees earned over 30,623 crowns, while the national average pay in the first quarter was 30,265 crowns.


This sector employees are paid by the state and self-rule bodies or from the public health insurance.