“Salaries in the nationwide electricity provide, the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS), should not go up in 2022 and 2023, but remain as they are at the moment. If they were to increase by about 10 per cent, it would mean that the increase in the price of electricity from 15 to 20 per cent for households and businesses would not be sufficient to cover the current losses, meaning that the increase would have to be over 20 per cent which is unjustified,” says the Fiscal Council of Serbia (FS).
“The state companies that operate in the national electricity sector (EPS, EDS and EMS) employ about 30,500 people, but support about 13,500 more. There is a surplus of employees in all major divisions of EPS,’ FS reports and adds: “For example, in coal production, EPS had over 13,500 employees in late 2020 or 65 per cent of the total number of employees. This number of workers excavates about 39 million tonnes of coal per year, which is 2,900 tonnes of coal per employee. In comparison, in the Czech state power company, one miner excavates on average about 4,300 tonnes of coal per year or 50 per cent more than the EPS miner. Polish companies for example produce twice as much electricity (more than 50,000-gigawatt hours versus 23,000-24,000 in EPS) and excavate 30 per cent more lignite than in EPS (47 million tonnes versus 39 million tonnes in EPS) and with a similar number of employees.”
Another problem, according to the Council, is that EPS has ‘an inadequate employee structure’. Analyses show that EPS lacks highly qualified personnel, mainly in engineering positions.
The average salary in EPS is still too high, mainly due to the fact that employees with lower qualifications are overpaid. In 2020, the average net salary in EPS, according to company data, was 103,130 dinars.
“Taking a closer look at the salary structure, it is clear that the problem stems mainly from the excessively high salaries of employees in lower positions, while employees in senior and higher positions actually have insufficiently high salaries,”’ the Council concludes.
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