Czech trade unions believe there is room for teachers pay hike in budget

Umbrella trade union CMKOS head Josef Stredula said on public broadcaster Czech TV that there is room in the state budget for satisfying teachers’ demands for their pay to be raised by 15% and that of other public servants – by 10%. He noted that the wage hike demands must be satisfied as Czech teachers are worst off among OECD countries in terms of their pay in relation to the average pay in the country. Stredula underlined that there is room for further wage hikes also in view of the fact that the Czech GDP is 88% of the EU’s, its labor productivity – 60%, while wages – only 30%. The union’s head also said that next year CMKOS will demand stronger wage increase than the demanded this year 5-5.5% as they project the economic growth to accelerate to 3.5%.

Recall that on Wednesday teacher trade union declared strike alert over the governing coalition leaders failing to approve its wage hike demands. CMKOS is to decide today whether to join the strike alert. The government wants to increase wages of teachers and other civil servants in a differentiated way, but has not agreed on the percentages and as of when. As FinMin Ivan Pilny says there is no room in the budget for the demanded wage hikes unless the planned CZK 50bn state budget deficit for next year is raised, which the coalition partners’ leaders reject, he and PM Bohuslav Sobotka (centre-left senior ruling CSSD) are to seek reserves at the individual ministries, including unspent budget allocations from previous years, to find room for the hike.

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