POLITICS

Public wages to be frozen in 2014

Only debutant teachers will enjoy a 10 pc wage hike, while resident physicians will receive allowances of RON 670.

The wages of public employees will remain at the level of this year in 2014, according to an emergency ordinance drafted by the government. The executive justifies the measure by the fact that a salary increase next year would generate a supplementary impact of 4.6 pc of the GDP on the deficit of the general consolidated budget, significantly affecting the sustainability of the public finance. The only categories of personnel that will enjoy higher wages are debutant teachers, and resident physicians and pharmacists.
Under a draft emergency ordinance concerning the pay of public employees and other public spending matters in 2014 posted by the Finance Ministry, the teaching staff in the public pre-university and university education with job seniority of up to 6 years could get a pay rise of up to 10 per cent in 2014. This teaching staff makes up nearly 21 per cent of the total pool of teaching staff on government payroll. “Given the special importance of this sector in the overall development of the Romanian society, more attractive pay should be secured for this staff category and especially for the young teaching staff. Their better motivation could lead to their improved job performance and, implicitly, to better education of students,” reads the fundamentals of the draft piece of legislation.
On the other hand, resident physicians and pharmacists earning less than RON 3,000 in gross pay will get scholarships worth RON 670 each. The decision is generated by the fact that resident physicians are currently paid unattractive wages that do not motivate them to practice in Romania, and the medical sector has witnessed a huge drain on medical staff, who leaves to work abroad. The draft piece of legislation also says that the total of base pay and benefits of the public employees will be frozen at the December 2013 level if there is no modification in the work conditions. “The main public employers are allowed to approve the start of procedures to promote staff to higher functions, grades and ranks, provided that the change does not entail a change in the personnel spending approved under budgets,” reads the draft ordinance.
The emergency ordinance drafted by the government also provides that the overdue salaries that will be won by civil servants next year in lawsuits against the state will be paid in instalments over a 5-year interval, under the system in effect currently, with a quantum of instalments that will increase each year.
Local authorities receive money for arrears, wages and winter expenses
As the year nears its end, the government will transfer to local authorities money from the reserve budgetary fund for the payment of arrears, urgent spending generated by winter conditions, and for other expenses. “It is necessary to pass measures with respect to using the budgetary reserve fund of the government, provided in the state budget for 2013, as there is the risk that some institutions of the public administration will be unable to honour their overdue payment obligations, including expenses with salaries, from the approved budget, which can lead to arrears at the end of 2013. Moreover, according to the weather forecast, a transfer of Arctic air masses is expected in Europe, which will cause abnormal freezing and an increased consumption of electricity and thermal energy this winter. In these conditions, there is the risk that local authorities will be unable to secure the supplies necessary to providing the thermal agent for the population in optimal conditions, during the cold season of 2013,” the government announced as a justification of its measure. Yet, PM Ponta said yesterday he is not aware of this emergency ordinance, adding he asked the Meteorology Institute and “no frost is coming for now”.
Draft budget, due in Parliament later this week
In a different move, PM Ponta announced yesterday, after the meeting of USL, that the government will send the draft Law on the State Budget for 2014 on November 14, with the proposal that it is debated by committees until December 1st and voted by the Legislative early in December.
The opposition Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) will not vote for the draft 2014 national budget and table instead a simple motion this week to demand the withdrawal of the draft from parliamentary debate, PDL national leader Vasile Blaga said Monday before a convention of the party’s National Political Bureau.” We will not cast our votes on it. Moreover, we will table a motion that we will unveil this week regarding the economic involution of Romania, the rise in tax burden and that will even call on the draft budget to be withdrawn from consideration,” Blaga said, as quoted by Agerpres.

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