Czech Railways will raise wages

Jaroslav Soukup, Novinky

Czech Railways will increase the tariff wages of most of its operational staff by four percent next year. Other employees, especially those in managerial positions, will see wage increases of between three and 3.5 percent on average. This is foreseen in the new collective agreement that the company concluded today with the trade unions. The wage increase will cost CZK 400 million. In a press release, České Dráhy informed about it.

The company employs about 15,000 people. According to a calculation, the average wage in the company is currently around CZK 39,000. 

The head of ČD, Ivan Bednárik, described the result of collective bargaining as a compromise. “Nobody leaves the table satisfied. Preserving the company’s functionality and social reconciliation is what I would call today’s result, ” Bednárik said.

He also reminded that the current anti-coronavirus measures and changes in people’s travel habits had deprived the company of billions of crowns in revenue. In addition, Bednárik said, the company’s external costs are skyrocketing. “This naturally limits the employer’s ability to increase salaries and extend benefits,” he added.

Most conditions and benefits for employees will remain unchanged. The only significant change is reducing one week’s holiday to a total of five for the approximately 4,200 workers who do not directly run the trains. However, if an employee uses up their leave in a given year, they will take an additional week of paid leave in the last quarter. The collective agreement also provides for modifications in the case of convalescent leave for the group of employees who do not bear the most significant responsibility for train safety. “This will help us plan our work better and increase efficiency,” Bednárik explained.

The railways will thus increase wages despite the current losses caused by the coronavirus crisis. Last year, the entire group, which includes passenger and freight carriers and other subsidiaries, lost CZK 4.1 billion. In the first half of this year, the group made a loss of CZK 217 million.