Higher minimum wage soon?

Serbian trade unions will request for the minimum monthly wage to be increased by 5,000 dinars and expect the state authorities to agree to an increase of at least 2,500 dinars, during the negotiations which are to start in 10 days, the Blic reports. Employers, however, are offering less.

The minimum wage in Serbia currently stands at 24,882 dinars, with a total of 350,000 workers currently receiving this amount.

“We will start out the negotiations with rather radical demands. We will ask for the minimum wage to be increased from 143 dinars per hour to 170 dinars. This means that the minimum wage would increase from 24,822 dinars to 29,580 dinars”, claims an unnamed Blic source.

The same source says that, judging by their past experience, the unions can count the Government agreeing to an increase by around 10%, which would be around 2,500 dinars.

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“In this case, workers on minimum wage would get 157 dinars per hour, or a guaranteed wage of around 27,300 dinars a month”, the Blic source says.

The source reveals that the negotiations between the state authorities, the unions and employers are expected to start in mid-August, whereas the final decision on the minimum wage is expected to be made in mid-October and come into effect on January 1, 2019.

On the other hand, Nebojsa Atanackovic, the president of the Serbian Association of Employers and one of the members of the negotiation team, told the Belgrade newspaper that employers had been trying for years to apply the only possible economic approach to the said issue.

“All wage increases should be equal to the annual GDP growth and the inflation. This year, that amounts to 6% and the unions’ request to have the minimum wage raised by 10% is not realistic”, he explains.

Atanackovic adds that employers will ask for the minimum wage to be around 152 dinars per hour, or 26,300 dinars in total, which is 700 dinars less than the minimum request by the unions.

(B92, 03.08.2018)


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