The Slovenia Times

Opposition offer different views on public sector pay demands


While the right-leaning New Slovenia (NSi) sees lower taxation of wages as the right path, the Left advocates a raise of the minimum wage and elimination of austerity measures.

NSi deputy Jernej Vrtovec told the STA on Thursday that Slovenian citizens deserved higher wages, adding that the party saw lower taxation as a solution. "Lower taxes mean higher wages."

According to him, the government opened Pandora's box at the beginning of the term in 2014 by starting to give in to certain trade unions. It failed to act systematically and fairly towards all groups, it started facing dissatisfaction.

This dissatisfaction is justified, but one should take into account the country's financial capabilities. It is of key importance that the government protects fiscal sustainability and not not undermine the public sector wage system, Vrtovec assessed.

The Left supports the announced strikes in the public sector. "The strikes are justified, because despite the economic growth, a record trade surplus and a 70% growth in profit, austerity measures are still in force, and wages stagnate," the party said in a press release.

MP Miha Kordiš added that it seemed that raising wages of those who are on minimum wage, whose wages are lower still because of austerity measures, was an unsolvable problem for the coalition. "The response of trade unions with a strike was thus necessary and we support it."

For the same reason, the party has proposed raising the minimum wage to EUR 700, higher welfare payments and elimination of precarious forms of employment.

Independent NP Alenka Bratušek meanwhile stressed that the government had been warned about what raising wages for only a part of civil servants would mean in the long run.

"We were also warning that appetites will be big ahead of the election. The government should have made a wage deal with public sector trade unions already when adopting the 2018 budget, but they underestimated the dissatisfaction of employees".


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