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Minimum salary of civil servant must be at least two subsistence minimums by 2019 – official

Subsistence minimum is set at 1.700 hryvnya.

Over the past two years, the salaries of civil servants have grown thanks to the Law on the Civil Service, but there is an immense difference between the lowest and highest salaries in public sector, Chairman of the National Agency of Ukraine for Civil Service, Kostyantyn Vashchenko, said at the round table conference at Gorshenin Institute on Friday, 26 January Vashchenko said lowest and highest salaries in public should be 1: 7 and not 1:40 as is the case now.

He said the average salary of a specialist of the local state administration has grown from 3,100 hryvnya in 2015 to 6,900 hryvnya in 2017. In the central bodies of the executive power, such salaries have grown from 4,700 to 12,600 hryvnia over the same period of time.

"Is it a competitive salary? I don't think so. But I shall remind that we are now in a transition period, and according to the law, we aim to reach the minimum official salary of a civil servant by at least two subsistence minimums by 2019," said Vashchenko.

The structure of remuneration of civil servants has been distorted for decades, he said. In particular, the basic payments that an employee was only 30%, of his earnings while the rest were premiums and bonuses, which made the employee critically dependent on the manager.

According to Vashchenko, this situation came to being in conditions when 40% of Ukrainian state employees out of 295 thousand in 2015 received salaries below than the minimum wage. The then minimum salary was 1,385 hryvnya, while official salaries in the district administrations were as low as 800 to 900 hryvnya. To provide the compliance with the law that banned the employer to pay less, the difference was covered by premiums, which instead of encouraging and stimulating the quality of work, patched holes, the official said.

"In many countries, bonuses for civil servants make maximum 10 - 15% of basic salaries. The rest is what the employee is guaranteed to receive. Currently, we have reached the proportions of 70 to 30, when the basic pay, which under the new law consists of salary, bonuses for rank and long service, should be at least 70%, the remaining 30% are premiums and bonuses," said Vaschenko.

Prime Minister Groysman has recently set the task of determining the objective size of the subsistence minimum.

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