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February 8, 2023

PM Grindeanu: Negotiations on uniform public pay bill aimed at designing fair wage pyramid

The purpose of the current negotiations on the new law on the public sector uniform pay is that of designing a fair pyramid, so that the wage levels correctly reflect the public employees’ responsibility, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu told public broadcaster Radio Romania Actualitati (RRA) on Tuesday.

“There must be a fair pyramid, this is actually the purpose of the uniform pay law. It is just fair and a normal view that the wage level is reflected by the responsibility of the public sector employees,” Sorin Grindeanu told an interview with RRA when asked about the subject of the current negotiations carried at the Labour Ministry on the new uniform pay bill: blanket wage rise or a better design of the wage grid.

Asked about the recent statements of Labor Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu, that wages up to 4,000 lei gross would double, Grindeanu said that this will happen at the end of the respective period.

“I saw the public debate triggered by the statements of Mrs. Minister, about what will happen at the end of this period. I wish we could triple [the pay] if possible and that we had the resources to do this. (…) But such steps must be in close relation to the economy and the desire to have sustainable economic growth year after year. That’s what a perfect balance means,” said the Premier.

Asked on how much would the public sector’s wage budget envelope increase in 2018 according to his estimations, the Premier said that under the uniform pay law the envelope is 32 billion lei and is pinpointed in the budget.

He said he is optimistic that the current governing coalition will succeed in adopting a new uniform pay law in the term committed to under the governing program.

“The deadline, as per the governing program, is the end of Q2, but things already got started and it is normal for debates on such an important law to start in advance, so that the ranking in this pyramid be as fair as possible and reflect the desiderata I was talking about. It’s very good that discussions with the social partners have begun this month. Of course, what you refer to means the 2020 – 2021 horizon, but there’s something else. In the spirit of this law I want executive bonuses – beginning with the President of Romania, the Prime Minister, the heads of Parliament chambers down to the bottom of the pyramid, to be directly linked to Romania’s economic performance, and not be in a fixed amount,” said Grindeanu.

He cited as an example the pay of the President or the Prime Minister which should be correlated with the country’s economic performance.

“Let me give you an example: let the wage of the President or the Prime Minister be four to five times the average national wage. If the economy grows, you – who also have incumbent responsibilities – see your earning grow. If it declines, your income falls too. It’s an important component that directly links the fate of the people at the helm of the country, of a county, or a city to economic performance. And this is just one of the principles of the uniform pay law. I say this again, and as broad as possible debate with the social partners and not only, followed by debate with the political forces in Parliament, all this must happen in this form, so that at the end of the second quarter, more precisely at the end of June, we have the blueprint of the uniform pay law ready,” said Grindeanu.

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