She turned to senators with a request that they propose repealing the measure. If they do not succeed, the Constitutional Court will probably come next, the president of the union, Libor Vávra, told Prav.
“We intend to turn to the Senate to consider whether to support this part of the law. This is now the first step,” he told Právu Vávra.
The second step may be to address President Petr Pavel if the Senate does not listen to the call of the judges. “We have to agree on that. We go from match to match,” he added.
We will freeze your salaries, Blažek told the justice
He reminded that the attempt to reduce judges’ salaries had already been rejected by the Constitutional Court in the past. He therefore believes that the judges could succeed this time as well.
“The Judges’ Union will provide all support to the judges who, in the event of the government’s bill being adopted, will claim their salary claims through the courts,” the union states in the resolution.
“The bill is a continuation of the executive branch’s long-term effort to gradually erode and dismantle the legally established remuneration system for judges, whose salaries have been frozen or reduced many times in the past, most recently in 2021 and 2022,” the judges say.
We intend to turn to the Senate to consider whether to support this part of the bill
The judge of the District Court in Vyškov, Pavel Vrcha, who is often critical of what is happening in the judiciary, warns that salary reductions can have negative consequences. “It may also happen that this will to some extent change the internal attitude of judges or prosecutors towards the functioning of the state. They will, of course, still have to fulfill their statutory obligations. But for many of them, a certain mistrust may appear due to the unpredictability or instability of the state’s behavior, without the need to add anything further,” he pointed out in his blog.
Senators: We have bigger problems
But the senators are not going to deal with the claims of the judges. “I doubt anyone would suggest that. There are far bigger problems in the consolidation package. Even judges should live with the state as such. The measure concerns us, it should also concern them,” Zdeněk Nytra, head of the strongest senatorial club ODS and TOP 09, told Práv.
Even the senator from the constitutional and legal committee, Michael Canov (STAN), does not see the issue of judges’ salaries as burning. According to him, it should not even appear in the accompanying critical resolution that the senators are preparing for the consolidation package.
While the salary of judges now depends on the salary base, which is the product of the average wage in the national economy and the statutory coefficient of three, the coefficient is now set to drop to a value of 2.822.
In practice, this means a reduction of the monthly salary by several thousand crowns compared to what the judges would receive without the legal changes.
At the same time, the Constitutional Court has repeatedly formulated the opinion that material security is one of the guarantees of judicial independence. Therefore, the government should not treat judges’ salaries according to current budgetary needs.
In 2015, the government had to pay back 1.15 billion crowns to judges and state prosecutors due to an erroneous calculation of the salary base of the Ministry of Labor for three years. The amount was originally supposed to be higher, but the then Minister of Justice Helena Válková (ANO) agreed on a compromise with the judge.