The wages in Hungary are constantly growing with the exception of two sectors: healthcare and education. In healthcare, salaries only increased by 2.2 pc which does not reach the annual inflation in Hungary, and the situation is even worse in education.
At least there are plans
According to the data of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, salaries were on average 12.1 pc higher than in the previous year – portfolio.hu reported -, though they are still very low. Since both the minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage grew, no employers could escape the need for salary increase. Therefore, the average gross income in Hungary rose to 345,900 HUF (EUR 1,071) in February which is 356,900 HUF (EUR 1,100) if we take out public workers. In the public service sector, this average sum was 324,600 HUF (EUR 1,000).
However, if we analyse the details, it immediately appears that
in the healthcare and education sectors, salaries rose by almost nothing.
In healthcare, salaries increased only by 2.2 pc compared to the previous year. If we take out public workers, the situation becomes worse since this rate decreases to only 2.1 pc.
If we add the inflation data of February which was 3.1 pc, it becomes clear why there are not enough doctors or nurses in the Hungarian healthcare system, and why those who work in the sector would like to go to foreign countries to receive more money for the responsibilities they take. This 3.1 pc means that the real income of the employees working in the sector decreased by 1 pc while, for example, even public workers received more for their work in Hungary.
1000 EUR/month for healthcare workers on average
Portfolio.hu added that it is also true that health care employees received a 20.1 pc pay raise in January 2018. Therefore, they got a thicker paycheck by February. Furthermore, it is also true that from July 2019,
a wage rise program is going to start,
and, according to the plans, healthcare wages will grow this year by 8, in 2020 by 20, and in 2022 by 30 pc.
However, portfolio.hu says that it is worrying that wage increases stopped only in the healthcare system for this year, considering the ever-worsening labour shortage in the sector.
Representatives of healthcare trade unions submitted three proposals about creating new pay scales, but the government did not discuss them at all. They say that if any of the three pay scales had been accepted,
there would have been a 25 pc salary increase from July
instead of the 8 pc which the government announced again.
The average salary of the employees of the healthcare sector in Hungary is 335 thousand HUF (EUR 1,037) which is 30 EUR lower than the national average, though it is higher than the wage of those working in the public sector.
The situation is even worse in education
In February, the wages of the sector increased by 4.2 pc following a 2.8 pc rise in January. This is the second lowest increase after health care, and it is much lower than the 12 pc national average. This is because
the government have not increased the salaries of teachers for years,
so, previous years’ wage boom had no impact on them.
In fact, the salaries of the teachers are tied to the minimum wage of 2014. Even though minimum wage has increased by almost 50 pc since then, this had no impact on their income.
Strange as it may sound, but from this year, the guaranteed minimum wage (or more colloquially, the minimum wage of the skilled labourers) is higher than the starting salary of a teacher in Hungary. Therefore, the government had to modify the pay scale of teachers and raise their wage to the level of the guaranteed minimum wage.
In even worse news, teachers can expect a pay rise only in 2020.