As a result, this can mean a decrease in salaries or layoffs. The government expects that the number of employees in state and public administration will decrease by more than eleven thousand. Unions fear that many of the police’s civilian employees and support staff in schools, where possible, will be affected.
The trade unions do not agree with the government’s actions, and especially with the decrease in real wages and salaries. They want a ten percent increase. Last week, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions announced November 27 as a day of protests.
Trade union leader Josef Středula Právu said that the real incomes of people working for the state will drop by a fifth between 2021 and 2024 due to the never-ending increase in prices. The unions demand that the government raise the salaries of the employees. However, the ministers did not allow concessions.
The inside will compensate for the slump on its own
Hana Malá, spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Interior, confirmed to Prava that the salaries of police officers and firefighters will not decrease next year. “The Ministry of the Interior has prepared an amendment to the state budget for the second reading. Reduced salaries will be strengthened at the expense of the ministry’s operating expenses,” she said. Which they will be, but she did not specify.
The Austrian minister calculated last week in the parliamentary security committee that the Ministry of the Interior will add 909.5 million crowns to the salaries of police officers and firefighters from its operating expenses next year. Another 18.5 million will be released for volunteer firefighters.
The reduction in the volume of wage funds next year will not affect teachers. “The government’s commitment to increase their salaries to 130 percent of the average wage in the economy applies,” said Petra Vodstrčilová, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Finance.
However, the new law adopted for this purpose allows the growth to be lower. In reality, the cabinet is counting on the fact that cantors’ salaries will rise to a level of barely 113 percent. This year, they should reach an average of around 48,000 crowns. But if in many places the directors have to distribute the money intended for cantors’ rewards to other employees, it can be expected that their salaries will not increase even to the given 113 percent of the average salary.
A total of 8.5 billion extra should be spent on this. But at the same time, the salaries of non-teaching staff, such as cooks, cleaners, janitors or housekeepers, are to be reduced by two percent. Two percent less money will also be spent on other teaching staff, which include assistants, teachers in groups and children’s homes, and school psychologists. The savings should represent 3.5 billion crowns.
Bek hopes to avert a teachers’ strike
The ministry is also supposed to stop paying money for eight thousand unfilled positions of non-teaching staff. As a result, school budgets would lose a total of CZK 3.2 billion. But the directors complain that they paid money for unfilled positions precisely for extra work to those who had to work even harder for the missing employee.
Not even the politicians will be offended
However, the salaries of top politicians will probably remain basically at this year’s level next year. However, there was a change in their calculation as part of the consolidation package. If the current formula were to remain in effect, the year-on-year increase in the salaries of political representatives would probably exceed six percent.
Money for salaries is cut in other budget chapters. “The state budget 2024 as a whole anticipates a decrease in the volume of wage funds across chapters by two percent year-on-year,” stated Vodstrčilová.
In this way, the volume of funds for employee salaries will also be reduced, for example, for employees of the House of Representatives.
Individual ministers are looking for different ways to avoid having to fire too many people. According to the draft budget for next year, the number of employees should fall to 487,668 from the current 499,056. job positions. I don’t consider it the last step by any means. I am convinced that we are now concentrating on canceling the agenda,” the head of the state treasury, Zbyněk Stanjura (ODS), declared recently on Prima.
The Ministry of Labor claims that by canceling vacant positions and moving workers within the framework of the agendas, the average salary could even increase slightly in its department, namely by three to five percent.