Labour minister Olguta Vasilescu came out on Wednesday with further explanations on the declining wages in the public sector after more categories of state employees (healthcare, social assistance, culture or judiciary) complained the new salary law had cut their monthly incomes. The minister argues that there are no cuts, but the salaries are miscalculated by the Human Resoures departments, as the law is misinterpreted.
“If the healthcare employees are discontent, I don’t know what to say anymore, for you know very well the salary hikes there (…) If they have something to reclaim, we are waiting for them at the ministry, to talk to them (…) for today we found out, after meeting the officers of the court, that their salaries are miscalculated by the human resources department, which is misinterpreting the law,” Vasilescu stated.
“This situation is not generated by the law, the salaries didn’t’ fall, it’s just somebody has miscalculated and maybe they should assume responsibility for this,” the minister added.
Vasilescu pointed out that over 90% of the state employees are content with their wages.
“Let’s see the pay slip, to see who is tricked, to see from which sum the salary has declined, for it seems you are feeling sorry too much for those with high salaries. In order to balance the system and to reach a 1 to 12 report, it has been the only way to adjust some wages. I think over 905 of the state employees are content, of course it’s a huge scandal for 3% of them (…),” the minister argued.
However, it seems something is missing from the Labour minister’s new explanations, as trade unionists say there are salary cuts for employees who already have low salaries, so the cuts are not applying just to the ones with high wages. For instance, complains have flooded in the media that a lot of state employees working in the social assistance, healthcare, culture (museums and libraries) or judiciary will have their wages cut.
Cuts in salaries in the private environment are due to employers
At the same time, the Labour minister also said that the cuts in the salaries of the employees working for private companies are due to the fact that employers wanted to increase their profit, and not because of the Fiscal Code (editor note: which has been amended so that all social security and health contributions had been transferred from employer to the employees).
Asked about the salary cuts in the private environment, Vasilescu replied: “The transfer of the contributions should not affect the net salaries of the private employees, for it’s the same expense the employer also had last year. If their salaries declined, it means the employer wanted to increase his profit and that’s it, so the employer stole from the employee, to put it bluntly, it’s not the Fiscal Code to blame”.
As for the pensions Law, Labour minister stated calculations are under way and that the Pensions House needs reorganization, for five million pensions cannot be calculated by the current number of public servants.
Yet, the salary cuts for the programmers are a fact, with Finance Ministry announcing on Tuesday that the issue of the employees in the IT sector who were exempted from the income tax and are now risking considerable salary cuts will be fixed by an emergency ordinance.
More precisely, the Finance Ministry has issued a draft ordinance proposing that a part of the employers’ expenses on social securities should be supported by the state, so that the employees in this category should not see their wages cut.