Minimum wage increase: Friction between unions and employers

As of next year, provided that the trade union’s proposal is accepted, the minimum wage should go up from 130 dinars to 156 dinars per hour. However, employers are willing to offer only 137 dinars.

Both the trade unions and the Employers’ Association have been discussing a possibility of increasing the minimum wage in 2018, with the trade unions insisting on the 20% increase.

“The 8% increase, as proposed by employers, is demeaning. It is not enough considering how much have the living costs (utility, groceries and similar) gone up. The proposed 10-dinar-hike is humiliating for workers”, says Ranka Savic, from the Association of Free and Independent Trade Unions.

According to her, Serbia takes the last place among the regional countries in terms of minimum salary.

“All of them have higher minimum wage – even Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our government has to do something to better the living standards of our citizens. It can abolish or reduce taxes on the minimum wage, i.e. to increase the tax-free segment of the minimum salary”, she adds.

“Increasing the minimum wage is absolutely required. We are not going to be satisfied with only a cosmetic increase. We want the increase to be in the double digits, because the industrial productivity in our country has also gone up”, says Zoran Stojiljkovic from the Nezavisnost Trade Union.

On the other hand, employers want minimum wage to go up by 6%, along with the government agreeing to increase the tax-free salary base.

“Raising minimum wage alone is not enough. It has to be accompanied by other solutions too. For years now, the tax-free salary base has been 11,600 dinars. This should be increased in the same percentage as minimum salary. Also, the government should consider other breaks for employers”, says Nebojsa Atanackovic from the Employers’ Union.

(Kamatica, 29.08.2017)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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