3rd February 2023, Skopje –My personal and MoF’s management initiative was to increase the wages of MoF staff, and we remain committed thereto, which will be realized via systemic solution or a provision, causing no ambiguity as regards its legal interpretation, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi said.
“I remain committed to the initiative for the employees, whose working duties are directly related to budget matters, as crucial, to have a three times higher wages, and as such should be resolved. The idea was to regulate it and give an opportunity therefor under the Organic Budget Law, since it governs the matter at hand. However, from a legal point of view, at the time when it was supposed to be applied in practice and to make wage payment calculations, different interpretations occurred. Rather than paying the wages and having the employees to return funds, we allowed for the possibility to assess the actual situation “, Besimi stated.
He went on by saying that every employee will receive what he/she is legally entitled to, rather than the intention being to deprive them of any rights. On the contrary, the Minister stressed that this was not an issue undergoing any negotiations with the employees of the Ministry of Finance or with the trade union but it was rather his personal and MoF’s management initiative, given we recognized the real needs therefor and the pressures by the labor market.
“There is no doubt that the rights of the employees will be exercised, which was my personal and MoF’s management initial intention. The idea was to make a distinction between the Ministry of Finance and the other ministries, as an institution supporting all government institutions, and providing for their uninterrupted functioning. Therefore, a systemic solution is being sought, as was the case when resolving the issue related to the minimum wag and the retirees, last year”, Minister said.
He explained that, under this systemic solution, the minimum wage will be increased as of March already, as already envisaged under the 2023 Budget. Hence, by harmonizing, as per the set criteria, wage of all state administration employees, will be increased by around additional Denar 2,200. Thus, the wage of a State Adviser, being Denar 39,000, will increase by 5%, with even higher increase for the others. All employees are covered , not just the employees in the Ministry of Finance, and what is even more significant is that no employee in the public sector will receive a wage below the minimum one”, Minister Besimi explained and added that, over the recent years, the wages in various sectors were increased at several occasions, such as judiciary and prosecutor’s office by 15%, education by 15%, higher education by 8% and 7%, inspectorates by 10% in three consecutive years, health, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Army and other institutions.
Minister also clarified that this systemic solution is sought to be regulated under a new Law, the Ministry of Information Society and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Ministry of Finance are working on, or by additional modifications and amendments to the Organic Budget Law, with such solution safeguarding the living standard of the citizens and the integrity of the public sector employees.