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Minister promises 7-percent rise in culture workers’ pay

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Karlovy Vary, West Bohemia, July 3 (CTK) – Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman’s (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) priority is to secure at least a 7-percent increase in the wages of the state employees in culture as of next year, he said in an interview on Czech Television (CT) Friday.
“Our state-subsidised [cultural] organisations are still underfinanced. I want the people who work in live culture and heritage conservation not to be punished for working for the culture of this country,” Herman said.
For the time being, he has agreed with the Finance Ministry on a 7-percent pay increase. “We are still negotiating about an additional 250 million crowns to raise the pay increase to 10 percent,” Herman said.
There are about 6,500 cultural workers in the 10.5-million Czech Republic. Their wages stand some 2,500 crowns below the national average.
Most of these people are university graduates.
The average gross monthly wage in the country is roughly 26,500 crowns.
Herman said he expects the Culture Ministry’s budget in 2017 to exceed 12 billion crowns, the largest sum in history.
The draft 2017 state budget, still under negotiation, earmarks 11.84 billion crowns for the Culture Ministry, which is 0.91 percent of the overall state expenditures.
The ministry’s budget for 2016 was projected at 11.7 billion crowns.
($1=24.435 crowns)

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