In recent developments, police officers and firefighters in the Czech Republic have been reassured by Interior Minister Vít Rakušan that their salaries will remain the same next year as this year. Teachers may even see a pay rise, the only group to whom the state intends to increase salaries. Politicians are also expected to maintain their current income levels. However, uncertainty remains for other state employees as ministers must cut payroll funds by two percent as part of a consolidation package.
This move may result in pay cuts or layoffs for some. The government anticipates a reduction of more than eleven thousand employees in state and public administration. Unions fear that several civilian employees in the police force and auxiliary staff in schools, where possible, will bear the brunt of these changes.
Unions have disagreed with the government’s steps, particularly the decrease in real wages and salaries. They are demanding a ten percent increase. In response, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions has declared a day of protests on November 27th.
Interior Ministry spokesperson Hana Malá confirmed that police and firefighters’ salaries will not decrease next year. The Interior Ministry has prepared an amendment to the state budget for the second reading. She said that reduced salaries would be boosted at the expense of the ministry’s operating costs. The specific expenses to be cut have not been specified.
Teachers’ wage resources will not be reduced next year. “It is the government’s commitment to increase their wages to 130 percent of the average wage in the economy,” said Ministry of Finance spokesperson Petra Vodstrčilová. However, the new law passed for this purpose allows for lower growth. The cabinet realistically expects teachers’ salaries to grow to barely 113 percent.
Despite the uncertainties and potential layoffs, the Interior Minister last week quantified in the parliamentary security committee that the Ministry of the Interior will add CZK 909.5 million to police and firefighters’ salaries from its operating expenses next year. An additional 18.5 million will be released for volunteer firefighters.