Budget employees who are not satisfied with the announced increases for next year are announcing a protest. Among others, the following people will take to the streets: court and prosecutor’s office employees, but also firefighters and bus drivers. The protest will take place a month before the elections.
On September 15, i.e. exactly one month before the parliamentary elections, the “March of Anger against the Chancellery of the Prime Minister” will take place. Budget employees who are not satisfied with the raises planned in next year’s draft budget will take part in it. They assume that every budget employee will receive a salary in 2024 higher by 6.6 percent (the so-called single-indicator raise). Additionally, an increase of 5.7 percent is planned for the remuneration fund, but it will not cover all employees and not equally. According to Business Insider Polska, the protests announced mainly by professional groups that do not receive much from this second pool of funds and have been feeling the lack of appropriate pay raises for a long time.
Who will protest?
– Employees will certainly protest, including: judiciary, prosecutor’s office, ZUS, National Labor Inspectorate, civilian employees of uniformed services, firefighters, local government employees, psychological and pedagogical counseling centers, voluntary labor groups, bus drivers and Warsaw tram drivers, employees of the National Library in Warsaw – says in an interview with the portal Urszula Łobodzińska, vice-chairman of the trade union of judicial employees KNSZZ “Ad Rem”, representative of the Protest Committee of Public Sphere Employees.
Łobodzińska emphasizes that the protesters are demanding a 20% increase. this year, paid with compensation from July, and by 24 percent next year. – The proposal presented by the government means that salaries will increase by 6.6 percent, because the remaining 5.7 percent it will most likely be spent on equalizing the salaries of people earning the minimum wage. Many employees currently earn close to the minimum wage and after its increase from January 2024, their salaries will have to be increased – Łobodzińska emphasizes.
Trade unionists remind that in the years 2021-2023, cumulative inflation amounted to over 30%. Meanwhile, increases in one indicator in the budget sphere amounted to only 7.8 percent at that time.
A mechanism unfavorable for employees
Business Insider Polska points out that the fight for higher salaries is hampered by the currently applicable mechanism for shaping salaries in the public sector. For employees, a better solution is an increase through one indicator for all people, meanwhile the government prefers raises through an increase in the wage fund, because these funds – unlike a raise based on one indicator – are not distributed “equally” to all professional groups. The government can therefore distribute money, e.g. only to specific units, professional groups or positions. As a result, it often goes to institutions/formations supervised, e.g. by influential ministries or represented by strong trade unions.