Czech Republic Assures Police and Firefighters of Unchanged Salaries, Uncertainty Looms for Other State Employees

In recent announcements, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan has provided reassurance to police officers and firefighters in the Czech Republic, confirming that their salaries will remain consistent next year. This assurance extends to teachers, who may even witness a pay rise, making them the only group set to experience increased salaries. However, for other state employees, there is an air of uncertainty as ministers are tasked with reducing payroll funds by two percent as part of a consolidation package.

This cost-cutting measure could potentially result in pay cuts or layoffs for some state employees. The government is anticipating a reduction of more than eleven thousand employees in state and public administration, raising concerns among unions. These unions fear that civilian employees in the police force and auxiliary staff in schools may bear the brunt of these changes.

Disagreements have emerged between unions and the government, particularly regarding the decrease in real wages and salaries. Unions are advocating for a ten percent increase, prompting the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions to declare a day of protests on November 27th.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Hana Malá has confirmed that salaries for police and firefighters will not decrease next year. The ministry has prepared an amendment to the state budget for the second reading, with reduced salaries potentially being offset by cuts to the ministry’s operating costs, though specific expenses to be reduced have not been disclosed.

Teachers, on the other hand, can expect their wage resources to remain unaffected next year. The Ministry of Finance spokesperson Petra Vodstrčilová stated that it is the government’s commitment to increase teachers’ wages to 130 percent of the average wage in the economy. However, the recently passed law allows for lower growth, and the cabinet realistically expects teachers’ salaries to grow to barely 113 percent.

Despite the uncertainties and potential layoffs, the Interior Minister affirmed last week in the parliamentary security committee that the Ministry of the Interior plans to allocate CZK 909.5 million to police and firefighters’ salaries from its operating expenses next year, with an additional CZK 18.5 million earmarked for volunteer firefighters.

Article by Prague Forum

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