TALLINN - The new wage system for Estonian civil servants will come in force at the start of next year, which will bring wage increases of over 20 percent to government members, secretary generals of ministries and several other high level state employees, reports Postimees. Although the law on official wages of higher civil servants was approved already in 2009, it was partly enforced last year for parliament members and partly in July this year for all judges.
Implementing the rest of it has been repeatedly postponed, referring to a shortage of funds. A year ago, Finance Minister Jurgen Ligi said that implementing the law would bring an average 21 percent wage increase to the majority of higher level civil servants, which would require 3.3 million euros from the state budget. Then the government didn’t consider such a wage increase possible.
The draft state budget for 2014, however, already allocates for the wage increase. A Finance Ministry spokesperson said that the wage increase for the president, prime minister, ministers, secretary generals of ministries, head of the State Audit Office, Legal Chancellor, State Secretary, state arbitrator and gender equality and equal treatment commissioner will require 375,450 euros next year.
“The additional cost of salaries of courts, including Supreme Court justices, in addition to the wage increase implemented in July this year is 1.6 million euros,” the spokesperson noted.
After the law of official wages comes into force, the wages of higher level civil servants will not be determined on the basis of average wages anymore, but according to wage grades that are multiplied with certain coefficients. The president’s wage grade is 5,200 euros and coefficient 1, for example. The wage grade is indexed with an index based on inflation and social tax collection growth. The wages of Riigikogu members have been indexed since this spring, for the rest of the civil servants it will be done from April 2015.