Friday, 28 August 2020

Average Net Pay in the First Half of 2020 HRK 6,725

ZAGREB, August 28, 2020 - The average monthly net wage in legal entities in Croatia in the first half of 2020 amounted to HRK 6,725, which is a real increase of 1.7% and a nominal increase of 2.2% compared to the same period of last year, show statistics of the national statistical office.

The average net pay in the first half of this year was 2.4% higher in nominal terms and 2.2% up in real terms compared to the second half of last year, when the average net pay in legal entities amounted to HRK 6,583.

Wage trends this year have been affected, among other things, by the coronavirus pandemic, notably restrictions that were in force at the end of the first and the beginning of the second quarter.

(€1 = HRK ‎7.467610)


For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Unions Refuse Reduction of Public Servants' Rights

ZAGREB, May 6, 2020 - Union representatives on Wednesday said, after the start of negotiations with the relevant ministry regarding new collective agreements, that they would not accept a reduction of rights in the public sector, warning of the damaging consequences should the government persist with that intention.

The government has put forward a proposal that due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, salaries should not be increased in June and October for employees in public and state services and that employees not be paid Christmas and holiday bonuses this year.

Secretary-General of the Grand Council of the Independent Union in Science and Higher Education Vilim Ribić said the government's representatives were "destroying well-argued dialogue."

He claimed that not one serious economist in the country supports the idea of reducing demand or incomes in the public sector and that not one country in the EU has reduced salaries, and that some have even raised salaries in the public sector.

However, the Croatian government, Ribić said, is going in the opposite direction because an election is coming and it wants to satisfy the influential pressure by employers and part of the media.

Leader of the Independent Union of Secondary School Employees Branimir Mihalinec said that the government has no moral right to ask for a reduction in salaries and material rights in the public sector, much less to ask that salaries are not increased in the education sector which still need to reach the level of others in other public services.

He added that the unions had warned of the extent of the damage should the government persist with its demands to withdraw from the agreed increase of the base wage and Christmas and holiday bonuses.

"We asked that they withdraw that proposal, to once again think twice about where that would lead," unionist Igor Radeka said, adding that the unions would make their position clear once they receive the government's proposal in writing.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Companies to Profit from State Compensation for 131,000 Workers on Minimum Wage

ZAGREB, April 23, 2020 - The government-designed measure to help employers to retain workers during the coronavirus crisis will actually help some companies to profit from that measure for 131,000 employees on a minimum wage, the Večernji List daily said on Thursday.

The impact of the coronavirus epidemic on monthly salaries could not be seen in the latest statistical data on wages earned in February and paid in March. In nominal terms, the average take-home pay was HRK 6,789, 4% higher than in February 2019.

The median monthly wage in February was HRK 5,705, which means that 657,000 workers in Croatia earned less than that amount.

It has been known that over 96,000 companies have to date applied for assistance under the government wage subvention scheme.

Those companies have 560,000 workers on their payroll. The state sets aside funds for 3,250 kuna as the minimum wage per employee in March, while employers are supposed to cover the difference for their real monthly wage. In April, the government aid for a salary per employee is 4,000 plus contributions.

Before the corona crisis, some 131,000 workers earned the minimum monthly salary, and 130,000 earned a monthly salary ranging between HRK 3,640 and 4,188.

Companies with average salaries ranging between those numbers will have all the obligations for their workers' wages covered by the state aid, and the companies whose workers received the minimum salary could even benefit from the state subventions, the daily explained.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Minimum Wage Requested for 253,000 Workers

ZAGREB, March 28, 2020 - Labour and Pension System Minister Josip Aladrović has said that by Friday, 43,000 employers sought assistance as part of the government's first set of measures designed to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, asking the state to pay the minimum wage for 253,000 employees.

Asked if he was surprised by the large number of applications, the minister said in an interview with RTL that initial estimates had predicted that minimum wages would be sought for around 500,000 workers.

He recalled that between four and six billion kuna would be ensured for those wages.

"We are glad that payments started already on Wednesday, which means that the Employment Service has been dealing with applications swiftly... we believe that it is important that the right to be paid the minimum wage be granted to everyone meeting the set conditions by the time when March wages have to be paid," the minister said.

He also noted that the government's second set of measures designed to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economic sector would not include tax write-offs or the write-off of contributions.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Croatia Among Six EU Countries Where Average Pay Is Lower Than 10 Years Ago

ZAGREB, February 4, 2020 - Croatia is among six EU countries where workers' pay packets are lower on average than ten years ago, show data from the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

In the period from 2010 and 2019 average pay packets, adjusted for inflation (and including social security contributions and pay benefits), went down in Croatia by five percent.

The latest ETUI data show that pay packets also went down in Italy, by 2%, in Spain and Portugal, by 4% each, in Cyprus, by 7%, and in Greece, by 15%.

ETUI notes that average pay packets practically froze with barely above zero increases over the last decade in Finland (0.1%), Belgium (1.5%) and the Netherlands (1.5%).

"Working people in six EU countries are worse off than they were 10 years ago," said Esther Lynch, ETUC Deputy General Secretary.

"EU leaders like to talk up the so-called recovery but the crisis is not over for millions of working people in many EU countries."

"The EU must do much more to promote increases in wages and in minimum wages, and to support stronger collective bargaining in almost all EU member states," Lynch said.

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Croatian Police to Have Higher Wages in 2020

ZAGREB, December 18, 2019 - The government on Wednesday decided to greenlight a rise in monthly pay of Croatian police officers according to the model of 3% rise plus 1% and an additional 2% throughout 2020.

Thus, the wage earned this December and paid in January to police officers with secondary school education will increase by 3%, plus 1% for the wage earned in June 2020 and paid a month later, and in January 2021 they could except the monthly wage increased by 2%.

Thus, the monthly wage of police staff who are employed in the positions for which completion of secondary school education is required will rise by 6.11% in aggregate in January 2021.

Other police officers can count on a 3-percent rise their monthly wage as of September 2020.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović said that this agreement "is the continuity of the performance of this government" and its wish to ensure higher wages to police officers in accordance with the financial possibilities. alongside the provision of better work conditions and equipment.

The agreement on the new model for rising police officers' pay will be signed later on Wednesday by the government and representatives of trade unions of police staff.

More police news can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Wage Increase in Public Services of National Interest

ZAGREB, October 11, 2019 - The leader of the Association of Croatian Trade Unions (MHS), Vilim Ribić, said on Friday that a radical, double-digit wage increase in public services was a first-class national interest, assessing that there was 4.7 billion kuna available for that in the state budget.

"Our children are leaving the country, 400,000 have left. In that situation all dogmas about financial consolidation, public debt and deficit need to be put aside. We have to use our last internal reserves," Ribić said after the start of negotiations on an annex to the basic collective agreement for public sector employees.

Ribić recalled that Finance Minister Zdravko Marić had forecast a deficit of 0.9% of GDP yet a surplus was generated. That means that there is about 4.7 billion kuna available for a possible wage increase, he said.

"That leaves room for a double-digit wage increase. That is a psychological message to the people that things are changing for the better, that they need to stay in Croatia and that not everything is hopeless. We should not be bailing out companies before we save the people," said Ribić.

"We constantly have situations like the one in Uljanik and it is time for citizens of this country to have their turn," he added.

The government's negotiation team, Ribić said, insists that there is a lack of money due to financial consolidation, however, public sector unions have pointed out that the enormous number of people emigrating, low wages and the dissatisfaction of the people are a much more important problem.

"We believe that considering the current budget potential, the government can meet union demands without any problems. We expect a significant step forward regarding wage increases because wages are growing much faster in neighbouring countries. Of all eastern European countries, Croatia has been at the bottom of the ladder regarding wage increases over the past five years," Ribić underscored.

Negotiations on the collective agreement for public services will continue over the next ten days, with Ribić underscoring that there is a lot to be discussed, however, raising the base pay is a priority.

Commenting on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's message that the strike in schools was absurd, Ribić said that the message is irresponsible. The prime minister is a diplomat who is not familiar with economic processes, he said. "People have the right to strike and he has to re-examine his starting position," Ribić added.

More news about trade union in Croatia can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Finance Minister Not Neglecting Teachers or Other Public Services

ZAGREB, September 11, 2019 - In negotiations on wage increases for healthcare workers the government is not neglecting teachers or other public-sector workers, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić told reporters ahead of an inner-cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

"We are not neglecting teachers or other services. We will continue talks. The situation is specific in that the collective agreement for teachers lasts for another three years while that for healthcare workers has expired. I should recall that ten days ago the base wage was increased for all by an additional two percent. We are ready for further dialogue," Marić said.

He said that all demands for wage hikes were challenging. "We cannot ignore not just the challenges but also our priorities and the possibilities that we have. It is not good to jeopardise public finance with a measure, and these individual matters should not lead to such circumstances."

Asked if wages would be eventually increased for all public-sector employees because of the forthcoming elections, Marić said he did not know. "We are pursuing a good dialogue and policy that is ultimately trying to detect challenges and problems and we are trying to rectify certain things. If someone thinks that everything is down to the lack of finance, that's not true."

Marić said that the government needed to ensure that all financing was in line with the budget and that that was its obligation to taxpayers.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Government for Pay Rise for Everyone

ZAGREB, September 5, 2019 - Labour and Pension System Minister Josip Aladrović said on Thursday the government advocated a horizontal pay rise for everyone and not just some groups.

Speaking to the press before a cabinet meeting, he said there had been several horizontal corrections, with a 11.5% pay rise for everyone over the past two years. "We expect, with a further pay rise and positive economic trends, to correct (wages) for everyone, not just some selected groups."

As for teachers' demands for higher wages, Aladrović said he would hear their demands today and see if any talks were necessary given that branch collective agreements were signed last year and the demands were not related to collective negotiations.

Commenting on healthcare workers' demands for higher wages, he said their branch collective agreement expired on October 31. "We will do our best to arrive at a solution. I think we are close to a solution," he said, adding that what had been initialled would cost 395 million kuna.

Speaking of a national pension, the minister said it would be fully implemented in 2021 and that the legislative framework would be ready by autumn 2020. He said the national pension "will become an element within the pension and welfare systems" and that it was too early to say how much it would cost the state.

There is a group of 53,000 people who will be over 65 in 2021 and have no income, he added.

Education Minister Blaženka Divjak, who approved teacher unions' demands for a 6% wage index increase, before today's cabinet meeting said that it was necessary to open a dialogue between the government and unions.

She said investing in education was an investment, not an expense, adding that the teachers' wage index lagged behind the wage index of other public sector workers and that this "injustice" has to be resolved.

About 1,500 teachers are protesting today outside Government House, demanding a 6% wage index increase.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić on Thursday said that funds for additional demands by health and education unions had not been foreseen in the sate budget and called for patience until negotiations were concluded.

"We will be asking for some savings to be made during the year on the expenditure side of the state budget in order to secure those funds. There are some ministries that do not have the funds to cover even the 3% base wage increase, while the unions' additional demands weren't planned," Marić said ahead of the cabinet meeting on Thursday.

He added that the health sector was a current topic because the collective agreement had expired. "As of 1 September, the base wage for all public servants was increased by 2%. These are all matters that we are taking into account so that employees can be satisfied," he said, adding that the government was "working so that we all as citizens and taxpayers have a better and efficient service."

He underscored that there are some sections of public administration that have to be re-analysed but "we all need to work on creating positive pressure and a positive environment" and to head in that direction.

Reporters asked if that means that workers in the education sector were the last on the list for their base wage to increase. "No, if anything needs to be changed, we have to advocate a horizontal approach because we cannot neglect any sector of the state administration but look at everything together. No one is first or last," he explained.

He added that negotiations and talks were being held with all sections of state public administration regarding the base wage.

There is no cause for panic but we have to be responsible toward public finances, Marić said.

He added that the base wage had increased by 11% over the past three years and that the government is prepared for further talks.

Asked whether a horizontal wage increase would prevent the strikes that have been announced, Marić said that that decision was not up to him and added that negotiations with the health sector were continuing.

He informed reporters that the three percent base wage increase would cost the government 900 million kuna annually, while an additional 2% would cost an additional 600 million kuna. Anything else above that is a topic for talks and analysis, he added.

More news about the public sector can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

SDP Says There Is Money to Raise Salaries in Healthcare, Education

ZAGREB, August 28, 2019 - Social Democratic Party (SDP) president Davor Bernardić said on Tuesday there was money to raise salaries of healthcare workers, teachers, police officers and firefighters but that the government does not have the political will to do so.

Addressing a press conference, he wondered why the finance minister said there was no money to raise salaries in the public sector if the economy and tourism were growing and the deficit was decreasing.

Bernardić said that according to fiscal policy guidelines for 2020, the government predicted 3 billion kuna higher tax revenues and that they were predicted to rise this year by 5.3 billion kuna. He said this meant there was money and the only question was where it was going.

He said the annual cost of raising salaries in line with current union demands was 800 million kuna and that this was only 2% of the amount annually set aside for public employees.

The SDP supported the union demands for higher salaries and reiterated its proposal to raise the non-taxable income from 3,800 to 5,000 kuna, saying this would mean 350-500 kuna higher salaries for 700,000 people.

Bernardić said the SDP's proposal and the union demands would result in 13% higher salaries for teachers, healthcare workers, police and firefighters and 10% higher salaries for doctors. He underlined the need to raise salaries for doctors, nurses and teachers, "or the whole system will collapse."

He went on to say there was a bad inter-ethnic climate in the country and that this suited the right-wing members of the ruling HDZ party ahead of the presidential election "in order to avoid talking about poverty in Croatia and emigration."

More SDP news can be found in the Politics section.

Page 1 of 5