Ljubljana – The parliamentary Labour Committee voted down a proposal by the centre-left opposition yesterday for the government to secure an extra EUR 16 million for higher wages of staff at care homes through a state budget reallocation after the ruling coalition tabled an amendment to the same effect to the long-term care bill.
The opposition called the committee’s session to adopt their call on the government after the latter recently agreed a EUR 123 million pay rise for 35,000 health and social care staff where it said EUR 16 million was to be secured through higher care home fees.
While the government initially calculated the fees for aged-case homes would need to go up by 5.6%, Labour Minister Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said yesterday there would be no rise in fees as a result of the amendment to the long-term bill.
However, Miha Kordiš of the Left noted that neither the amendment nor the bill were passed yet and Social Democrat Marko Koprivc said the bill was problematic not only for part of the opposition but also for stakeholders and could end up in a referendum once passed.
The National Assembly will vote on the bill on Wednesday.
The decision to secure the missing funds from the budget was hailed by care workers’ trade union, the association of social care institutions and pensioner associations.
Meanwhile, Srebrna Nit, an NGO campaigning for dignified old age, believes it would be better to back the opposition-sponsored proposal as the long-term bill is yet to be passed.