LabMin Vasilescu on drop in public sector salaries: It was known since May 2017 that the salaries of approx. 3 pc of public sector employees would drop

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The Labour Minister announced on Tuesday that it was known since May 2017 that the salaries of 3 percent of public sector employees would drop, and that she herself had announced this on several occasions. Lia Olguta Vasilescu pointed out that confusion was made between the salary law and the modifications to the Fiscal Code.

“It was known since May last year that the salaries of approximately 3 percent of public sector employees would drop. I announced it several times, in several interviews. (…) We didn’t start off from the idea of cutting any salary, but in order to observe the 1:12 ratio some salary adjustments were necessary,” Lia Olguta Vasilescu stated on Tuesday.

The Labour Minister pointed out that a confusion was made between the salary law, adopted in June 2017 and enforced on July 1, and the modifications brought to the Fiscal Code in what concerns social security contributions.

“The President’s salary determines the maximum level within the public sector and no other employee can surpass it. (…) The system will balance itself out only in 2022, namely the same office and pay grade will be paid at the same level,” Lia Olguta Vasilescu said, adding that the public sector has very big imbalances that must be corrected.

The Labour Minister added that the salary hikes started in 2017, “totalling 22 percent, in some cases lower, in some at 50 percent.”

 

“Union representatives voted so that OUG regulating part-time employees’ salaries should not be included on CES’s order of the day; I wonder whether they really represent the employees”

 

Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu added on Tuesday that, during the meeting of the Social and Economic Council (CES), several union representatives voted so that the government emergency ordinance (OUG) regulating the salaries of part-time employees would not be included on the order of the day, wondering whether these union leaders really represent the employees.

“In the public sector we have many part-time employees. The salary law does not affect in any form their salary rights, but Emergency Ordinance no.79/2017 established that the employees will pay contributions in rapport to the minimum salary. Excluded from this ordinance are a series of categories, such as pupils, students, apprentices up to the age of 18, persons with disabilities, persons who retired based on age limit, except those earning special pensions and those who already have full-time jobs,” Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu stated.

She said that, against the backdrop in which the public sector has part-time employees working as janitors, accountants, or professors, it was decided that the relevant ministries would try to turn their contracts into full-time contracts and see whether anyone can be excluded from the emergency ordinance.

Likewise, Vasilescu pointed out that “bad news” came from CES, namely that several union representatives voted so that the OUG would not be included on the order of the day.

“During the next Government meeting, an emergency ordinance will be issued for those who do not meet these conditions, and we can solve this. Unfortunately, we received bad news from the Economic and Social Council, one we were unable to understand. Even though unions have asked us in recent days to find a solution and solve this problem, and we drafted this ordinance, today the CES did not include it on the order of the day. Union representatives voted against it being included on the order of the day. It makes me think whether these representatives really represent the employees,” the Labour Minister explained.