Hungary, the country of crazy wages
The government chose not to raise wages
The average salary of the public service employees is 314,800 HUF (EUR 1000). However, only government officials can get this salary, since their payment is calculated according to their life career model. Those employees who are paid according to the public service pay scale
can never reach this income.
Thus, it can be an option for a young university-graduate to accept Aldi’s 300 thousand HUF as a starting gross salary. According to the official PS pay scale, researchers having an academic degree can only reach this income around their sixties.
This is because the government has not changed the sums of the pay scale since 2008. The scale contains 10 pay classes. Career advancement depends on the number of the years spent working in the PS sector. Despite the government raising the minimum wage and guaranteeing minimum income several times,
the sums of the PS pay scale remained the same.
Thus, these employees were unable to get the guaranteed minimum wage. In order to avoid shame, the government prescribed that nobody can get lower salaries than the minimum wage. Therefore, those who would get lower salaries than the minimum receive payment completion.
Crazy wages: a senior lecturer receives less than a shopkeeper
As a result, those who have only basic education and those who already have an academic degree receive the same sum. The latter’s salary did not change while the completion increases the former’s. Moreover, in half of the pay scales
novices receive the same salary as those who are around the retirement age.
Therefore, though law prescribes differentiation, employers cannot fulfil it.
In fact, the whole situation emerged because the government did not raise wages. They chose some sectors and established life career models for the employees. Thus, teachers, healthcare employees receive higher wages than PS pay scale prescribes. Furthermore, universities could escape from the PS framework, too. However, wages are still ridiculous: an assistant lecturer receives 221 thousand HUF as gross salary (EUR 705) while
a senior lecturer gets 277 thousand (EUR 884) gross salary/month.
According to hvg.hu, this is because middle school teachers and healthcare employees fight for their interests more effectively. Furthermore, every government is afraid of protesting teachers or doctors. However, the protest of public museums and public cultural employees would not reach people’s stimulus-threshold. Therefore, their union started to collect signatures for better wages.
In fact, the government introduced a cultural bonus for the employees this year, which everybody is going to receive. However,
nobody knows whether it remains after the elections or not.