Saturday, 11 July 2020

Czech social workers' union launches campaign for pay increase

11 April 2017

Prague, April 10 (CTK) - The Czech union of health and social care workers (OSZSP) launched today a campaign for an increase in employees' pay with the motto End of cheap labour in social services, its chairwoman Dagmar Zitnikova told journalists yesterday.

The union wants the government to transfer social workers to the same pay categories that are used in rewarding nurses, for example.

The highest gross monthly pay of workers in social services is about 18,000 crowns including overtime, weekend and night hours in a situation where the average wage in the country was 29,320 crowns in the last quarter of 2016. Zitnikova said.

"The job offers on the labour market are much better in private companies and in the production sector, which is also why people are far from eager to work in social services," Zitnikova said.

The government plans to cancel the first two lowest pay categories and transfer the employees concerned to the third category.

"Our trade union has announced that it considers the [government-planned pay] increase insufficient for the employees in social services," Zitnikova said.

The pay will rise by 9 percent for those in the first category and 5 percent for those in the second category, she said, adding that the employees' work is so underfinanced that a steeper increase is needed.

Later today, the government's draft directive was discussed by the tripartite, a body comprised of representatives of the government, unions and employers.

Afterwards, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) told journalists that the planned reduction of a number of pay categories from nine to six as from July will improve the remuneration of workers in the public sector.

He said the government will discuss the draft directive soon and that he wants Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) to guarantee the earmarking of a sufficient sum for this purpose.

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (CSSD) previously said the reform would raise the pay for the professions such as cultural workers, artists, nurses, midwives and workers in social services.

It will concern about 93,000 employees who are paid from the state budget and another 72,000 who are paid by self-rule regions and towns, Marksova said.

($1=24.999 crowns)

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