Yesterday, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) adopted the draft Budget of BiH institutions for 2023, as well as a proposal to increase the base for calculating salaries in state institutions.
The base, that is, the minimum salary for a civil servant, is currently 535 BAM, which is why the trade unions demanded an increase to 630 BAM. Yesterday, however, the Ministers approved an increase in the base to 600 BAM.
The trade unions demanded this increase due to the poor status of workers employed in state institutions in the lowest jobs, however, according to the law there is one base for all civil servants, this means that the salaries of politicians will be increased again, and in a much larger amount than will be increased for those for whom they decided to change the base.
An identical case happened last year when high-ranking politicians received an increase of 500 BAM and more, and those in lower positions received only 60 BAM and more. This year, they expect a similar increase, 5 BAM higher than last year’s base salary, but for high-ranking employees, this means an increase of up to 650 BAM.
How is the salary calculated for employees in BiH institutions?
Namely, the salary is calculated based on the base times the coefficient that the officials have, depending on the function. Those with a lower coefficient will have a smaller salary increase, while those with a higher coefficient will receive a larger salary increase.
Such a way of increasing wages is illogical and disproportionate, and it could also easily be avoided in the BiH Parliament. There are several ways to do it, and one of them is to refer to the parliamentary procedure of legal solutions, which would exclude from the increase the employee with a high salary coefficient. It is possible to propose an amendment to the law with the aim of reducing the coefficient or an amendment to the law according to which there would be two bases.
Caring for cleaners and drivers is an excuse for personal gain
Deputies and delegates, when there is a discussion about increasing the base, defend the need to adopt such an amendment, under the pretext that lower civil servants really have poor incomes and that they need to improve their standards. That’s true, but they need to find a way to increase the base for those with the lowest wages, instead of using them to collect extra money.
Branislav Borenovic is a parliamentarian who had both the last and this mandate and was against the increase of the base last year. Now he says that he is not sure what is the smartest thing to do.
“We will support any solution that will increase the incomes of those with very low incomes, but also a solution that would limit high wages. Perhaps you should not support a solution that does not include the entire solution, but then the question arises whether in this way you will stop the increase of, for example, a cleaner who really has a low salary,” he stated.
However, taking into account the fact that by approving the base increase, the cleaner will receive only 65 BAM more, and the parliamentarian at the same time 500 BAM more, Borenovic says: “Perhaps the best solution is to vote against it and to overturn it”, Klix.ba reports.