Judges and prosecutors secure better pay
Slovenian judges and prosecutors will benefit from a substantial increase in their base pay under a deal reached with the government after the Constitutional Court found judge pay is so low it jeopardises judicial independence.
The lowest salary for a judge will rise to €4,400 gross, while the highest paid positions, those of the presidents of constitutional and supreme courts, will be 23 brackets higher, Public Administration Minister Sanja Ajanović Hovnik announced as the government approved the accord on 6 July.
According to the newspaper Dnevnik, the president of the Supreme Court as the top ranked judiciary official would get €8,400 in base gross monthly pay, up from €5,900 gross.
Under the deal, judges will also be eligible for a bonus for incompatible office restrictions amounting to 10% of base pay. The payouts will start on 1 January.
The agreement means that the judges will be the first professional group to be moved onto a new salary scale planned under the public sector pay reform.
The legislation allowing the implementation of the deal is yet to be agreed on and passed by the National Assembly.
The agreement follows a week after the Constitutional Court declared judge salaries low to a point where they jeopardise the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers. It ordered the legislature to remedy the situation within six months.
It came after judges lodged appeals against the pay rise they received earlier this year that they thought was insufficient after Prime Minister Robert Golob's promise of a €600 monthly bonus as a stop-gap measure fell through over concerns it might be unlawful.
The judges welcomed the news that the agreement had been approved. President of the Judges' Association Vesna Bergant Rakočević expressed the hope that judge salaries will remain off the government's table for as long as possible.
Supreme Court President Miodrag Đorđević said the deal marked the fulfilment of one of three objectives he set when taking over his position, and that the government's understanding for the situation contributed to the agreement being reached.
Mirjam Kline, the head of a prosecution's advisory task force, was happy that the government recognised the need for a office incompatibility bonus. "This s important above all because it defines the great strictness regarding extra work in the judiciary."