STA, 19 March 2020 - Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik announced on Thursday what amounts to a raise of the pay for the ministers and state secretaries of the new government to the highest possible allowed for these posts in the public sector pay system.
Koritnik, who argued this was not a pay increase but the determining of wage brackets, said the 61st wage bracket will be used for all state secretaries at ministries and the 64th for all ministers.
Prime Minister Janez Janša defended the decision on Twitter: "Nobody raised wages. For the duration of the crisis I placed the ministers, state secretaries and their closest teams into the highest possible wage brackets, and I recommend leaderships do the same everywhere where people are overburdened due to #COVID19. Those carrying a double burden will be additionally paid for this time. Everywhere."
In the previous government, led by Marjan Šarec, all ministers bar the finance minister were ranked in the lowest possible bracket for the post, meaning the 62nd bracket. The same applied for all state secretaries, which meant the 59th bracket.
The law stipulates that the wage bracket for ministers is determined - within a predefined scope - by the prime minister and for the state secretaries by the government upon the proposal of the public administration minister.
The highest, meaning the 65th wage bracket in the public sector, is reserved for posts that include that of the prime minister, the country's president and the speaker of parliament.
Meanwhile, the government agreed on a special wage provision for public servants working closely with officials in the office of the prime minister, of the government's secretary general, of ministers and heads of government services. The wage bracket determined for them can be five brackets above that reserved for their post.