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PM wants to narrow gap between minimum, average wages

ČTK |
8 September 2015

Bratislava, Sept 7 (CTK) - The Czech government wants to gradually bring the minimum wage close to 40 percent of the average wage, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said after a meeting of the Czech and Slovak tripartite teams in Bratislava Monday.

The tripartite is a body comprised of representatives of the government, unions and employers and aimed to help maintain social peace in society.

The Czech and Slovak tripartite meeting discussed the minimum wage which is higher in Slovakia than in the Czech Republic.

"The fact that the [Czech] rightist cabinets failed to raise the minimum wage for six years has caused the big gap that yawns between the minimum wages in the two countries now," Sobotka told journalists.

The cabinets of Mirek Topolanek and Petr Necas governed the country in 2006-2013, except for Jan Fischer's interim cabinet from mid-2009 to mid-2010.

"While in Slovakia, the minimum wage will be about 43 percent of the Slovak average wage as from January 1, 2016, in the Czech Republic it will reach about 36 percent of the average wage," Sobotka said.

In August, the Czech cabinet decided to raise the minimum gross monthly wage by 700 crowns to 9,900 crowns as from next year.

In Slovakia, the present minimum wage is 380 euros (an equivalent of 10,260 crowns), and it is to increase to 400 euros (10,800 crowns) at least as from January.

Slovakia's one-party government of Robert Fico (Smer-Social Democracy) promotes the raising of the minimum wage in spite of employers' protests.

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