Public sector workers will get a 4% pay rise in January 2021 along with a HRK 1500 (EUR 200) Christmas bonus. This was confirmed in negotiations in November and reflects a success for the trade unions in the face of an attempt by the government back in the summer to freeze public sector pay. SDLSN (HR)
Transparency & Corruption, Low pay/minimum wages, Pay settlements, Croatia, Armenia
After four rounds of negotiations it was agreed that two pay rises of 2% foreseen for this year would be postponed and paid in January 2021. The existing collective agreement provided for the pay increases along with increases in other allowances and the Christmas bonus and the government had initially wanted to freeze all pay and allowances. However, the postponement was agreed and other allowances will be increased while the Christmas bonus will be negotiated later in the year.
The SDLSN trade union reports that wages for state workers have been increased by 3% from 1 January 2019 and a further increase of 2% will follow on 1 November 2019. The union also agreed with the government that negotiations over a range of rights and also increases on wages for next year would be undertaken during April and May this year.
On 12 May healthworkers in Sofia and Zagreb demonstrated over poor pay and working conditions and the crisis of understaffing. 5000 nurses, medical professionals, midwives and lab technicians joined a demonstration outside the Council of Ministers in Sofia demanding a 1500 Lev (EUR 765) minimum wage for health workers as a step towards stemming the flow of health workers out of the country. In Zagreb the call was also for improved pay and working conditions and in particular the respect for collective agreements in relation to overtime pay.
An analysis by the European Trade Union Institute shows that wage convergence between East and West in Europe was steady up until 2008. However, since then the trend has either stalled or gone into reverse. Taking national average pay as a percentage of the average across the pre-2004 EU15, Croatia and Hungary show the largest increase in the pay gap since 2008. There were also increases in Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.Most progress was made in Bulgaria but from a very low level (11.8%) to 17.7%, still less than a fifth of average pay in the West.