MINSK, 23 December (BelTA) – Salaries of public sector employees were discussed at a meeting hosted by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, BelTA has learned.
“The topic of today's conversation is about salaries and cash allowances of state employees. As you know, I have recently made a decision to increase salaries for public sector employees, including teachers, civil servants, military personnel, in other words, all those who are on the government payroll. Despite certain problems, we have found a way to support these people,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that during the pandemic special COVID-19 bonuses were paid to medical workers. Later it was decided that the healthcare system could keep this money and use it for salaries. A number of decisions were also taken concerning salaries in the education sector.
“Today's topic has to do with monetary allowances for the military personnel; special forces, special services, in particular the State Security Committee,” the Belarusian leader said. Aleksandr Lukashenko warned against unbalancing the established system of monetary allowances in uniformed agencies.
The president emphasized that it is necessary to proceed from the possibilities of the economy, and he specifically mentioned pensioners. “We have supported pensioners. We will also support them three times next year. They are not rich,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
ECONOMY ALLOWS. Decisions to support doctors and teachers
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, despite certain problems, the government has found a way to support public sector employees. Yet, the real sector of the economy should be a priority. “Plants, factories, agriculture and so on. They should be a priority,” the president stressed.
Indeed, in line with Belarus' legislation, pay rises of state employees should be commensurate with economic growth.
Speaking about salaries in the healthcare sector, the head of state recalled that pretty big bonuses were paid to frontline medical workers during the pandemic and it was decided to keep these bonuses in place: “So is life. It felt kind of unfair to take them away from doctors after the pandemic, although healthcare is not a branch of economy. More than that, the economy allows us to have some extra money. Therefore, it was decided that COVID bonuses should be retained and be used to increase salaries.”
“Naturally, teachers are also public sector employees. Therefore we had to raise salaries for them in order to maintain a balance,” Aleksandr Lukashenko continued.
KEEPING THE BALANCE. Fair distribution of pay rises
Speaking about salaries of state employees and monetary allowances of the military personnel, the president emphasized the need to maintain the existing system and to keep a balance. “It's imperative, and this is the reason why you are here, to prevent the system from unbalancing. We have achieved a certain balance in uniformed agencies. While raising salaries for one type of employees we should not destroy this balance. This is the main topic of today's discussion,” he said.
The head of state drew attention to the timing of decision-making: “I think that we will arrive at a certain opinion, and in this regard, respective decisions will be made. They should be taken today, so that we can start raising salaries for doctors, other state employees, the military on 1 January.”
At the same time, Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that decisions on pay rises should be based on economic possibilities.
“Therefore, as we have promised, let us support our people. We have supported pensioners. Next year we will support them three times. They are not rich. Now public sector employees are next in line,” the head of state said.
UNFAILING IMPLEMENTATION. Lukashenko's message to the military and uniformed agencies in general
The decisions related to representatives of uniformed agencies, including decisions on housing construction for the military, should be implemented without fail, the president demanded. “This, first of all, pertains to decisions related to housing construction for people in uniform. We will solve this problem. It is bad that we kept our people in such conditions,” the head of state said.
“I keep saying that the military should know that their families will be protected and children will have a roof over their heads if they have to go to war,” the Belarusian leader said.
He emphasized that the calling of the military is to protect their families, spouses, children, daughters, sons and the country as a whole.
FAIR PAY. Decisions made at the meeting
Finance Minister Yuri Seliverstov told reporters after the meeting that salaries for public sector employees, civil servants and military personnel were discussed. A number of decisions in this area have already been made and will be effective from 1 January next year. “Now it is time to make a decision within the framework of the legislation on civil servants and military personnel. Therefore, the president has instructed the government to thoroughly study the remuneration system to make sure that everything is fair and those who do really important work in particularly busy areas are adequately paid,” the minister said. He specified that this instruction also concerns military personnel, representatives of uniformed agencies. “Instructions were given to revise our system once again, to make sure that there is a balance within these agencies and that people's salaries are commensurate with their contribution,” the finance minister said.
Speaking about the deadlines set by the head of state, Yuri Seliverstov explained: “During the first quarter, we need to sort things out and submit appropriate proposals. A working group will be put together, the government will team up with the State Secretariat of the Security Council in order to come to grips with existing problems.”