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Unions want pay in public sector to be raised in September

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Prague, May 2 (CTK) – Czech trade unions would like the 10 percent rise in the pay in the public sector they demand to be split into this and next year, while they originally spoke about January 2017, CMKOS umbrella organisation leader Josef Stredula told CTK after a meeting with government parties’ heads on Monday.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) did not rule out this possibility recently, but said it will depend on economic development.

The CSSD agrees with the unions’ demand for a 10 percent increase in salaries, but only for teachers and medical workers. The others should only get 5 percent.

The junior government Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) have a similar opinion, Stredula said.

The ANO movement of Finance Minister Andrej Babis says selected professions should have their pay raised by 5 percent and the others by 3 percent as from January.

“Three percent is really little for us. In addition, 30 percent of any pay rise returns to the budget in the form of income tax and social and health care levies, Stredula said.

The salaries of teachers, police, artists, firefighters and other categories of employees could receive a partial pay rise this year already.

The salaries of doctors and other medical workers can only be raised as from January because they are connected with the decree on payments for individual treatments which always takes effect at the beginning of the year.

The government parties’ leaders met the union representatives before the government meeting on Monday, which is to discuss draft medium-term budget spending frameworks for 2017-19. The possible planned increase in salaries in the public sector would be reflected in them.

Politicians and trade unions will continue to discuss the pay rises. No date has been set as yet.

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