President Petr Pavel in a picture from March 15, 2023.
Prague – President Petr Pavel today called on the government to find a solution with the opposition on the issue of freezing the salaries of constitutional officials. According to him, it is not possible to reduce the growth of pensions and, on the other hand, keep the salaries of constitutional officials at the current level. At the press conference, he criticized the government for the fact that last week the coalition majority rejected the inclusion of the proposal of the opposition to discuss the salaries of constitutional officials in the meeting of the House of Representatives. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL) said that he is ready to act with the participation of the head of state on the principle of setting politicians' salaries. According to the head of deputies of the opposition movement ANO, Jurečka mentioned at a joint meeting today that he wants to convene a broader political meeting.
Pavel said that he received with concern the news that the government coalition, thanks to its majority in the House of Representatives, refused to include an item on freezing the salaries of constitutional officials in the meeting of the lower house of the Parliament. “I am convinced that in this difficult time it is not possible to reduce the growth of pensions on the one hand and on the other hand to keep the salaries of constitutional officials growing. And that is why I call on the government to discuss with the opposition an adjustment that will ensure that we have no difference in savings everyone should participate,” he said.
On Friday, the opposition movement ANO proposed the inclusion of a freeze on politicians' salaries for five years at an extraordinary meeting. The coalition mostly rejected it by one vote.
Jurečka said that the then opposition and coalition agreed on linking the salaries of constitutional officials to the average salary in 2015. He pointed out that the goal was for politicians to no longer decide on their salaries. “This is how we set it up and said that we will no longer interfere with it… I am ready to be at the negotiating table as the chairman of the party, even with the participation of Mr. President, and ask myself if the principle is set incorrectly, or if we want to set it in a different way, or to say whether there will be some form of solidarity here,” Jurečka said.
Schillerová stated that ANO representatives spoke with Jurečka today about the salaries of politicians at a joint meeting on pension changes. According to the head of the ANO deputies, Jurečka said that he wanted to convene a “broader meeting across the political spectrum”.
The leader of the movement, Andrej Babiš, recalled in the House of Representatives last week that the average salary increased to 43,350 crowns per month last year, but real wages fell by 7.5 percentage points. The salaries of top politicians, judges and prosecutors increased by roughly 12.7 percent year-on-year. The salary of an ordinary deputy and senator increased by CZK 11,600 to CZK 102,400 per month. The President receives CZK 341,200, CZK 38,500 more than before. The lowest monthly gross salary of a judge exceeded 100,000 crowns and the lowest salary of a prosecutor exceeded 90,000 crowns. Compensations for politicians and judges were also raised.
ANO submitted the proposal in November 2021, but it has not yet been discussed. ANO has therefore requested an extraordinary meeting.
According to the law in force since last year, the salaries of constitutional officials are based on the average gross monthly nominal wage for the calculated number of employees in the entire economy. Until then, they generally depended on salaries in the non-business sector. Salaries are calculated from the so-called salary base, which is the product of the average salary for the previous year and a coefficient of 2.5.