Pellegrini: We Agreed on Highest-ever Salary Hike in Public Sector

Pellegrini and trade unionists (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 28 (TASR) – Salaries for public servants should increase by 10 percent on average as of next year, as Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) and trade unions signed a declaration on higher-level collective agreement in the public sector for 2019 and 2020 on Thursday.

“We’ve sealed the results of the collective bargaining that we held for several weeks. We wanted to clearly show that what we managed to negotiate is actually true,” said Pellegrini following the agreement’s signing.

The increase should apply to over 400,000 public servants. Pellegrini said that they managed to resolve several things during the negotiations. “This is the highest salary hike to be reported in the sector,” he said.

“I’m very pleased, as it is important that the state does not put pressure only on the private sector to pay higher salaries to employees and praise the quality of their work, but it’s necessary to pay people working for the state better, too. These are not only clerks, it’s a huge number of people we meet, for example, in social-service facilities, these are nurses, caretakers. If we want high-quality people to work for the public sector, it’s our duty to create conditions that will motivate them to work for the state,” said Pellegrini.

Public servants will see a 10-percent salary hike in 2020, too. “The results of the collective bargaining bring three important moments that are unique in the history. The first is the highest-ever salary hike in the public sector. Another is that we’ve achieved agreement for two years, which is also unique. The third moment is that after many years of unjust remuneration and the unjust setting of public servants’ salaries, we agreed on a remedy for this situation,” stated Slovak Trade Union Confederation vice-president Monika Uhlerova.

In line with the new rules, the lowest salary rate will be at the level of the minimum wage. “We’ve removed tariffs that were below the minimum wage. In addition to salary hikes, we agreed on further benefits for employees in collective agreements, such as severance payments above the framework of the law, longer holiday, shorter service time and increased contribution to supplemental pension saving funds,” said Uhlerova.