July 11 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) yesterday called on individual regional authorities to distribute 1.16 billion crowns among social services providers as the government set them aside for an increase in the salaries of their staff.

The people looking after the elderly and the disabled are to receive 23 percent more as of July and the rest 9.4 percent more.

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (CSSD) said some regions were only about to discuss the affair in September or October.

The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry sent the money so that the regionsreceive them by the end of June.

“The money is already available in the regions. The regions can distribute it. I would like to call on them to make the decision as soon as possible so that the providers are not uncertain whether they will receive it,” Sobotka told journalists.

“No one but regional assemblies can deal with the money,” Sobotka said.

The pay rise is to appear in the payrolls in August. The government decree, approved in May, has been valid since July 1.

“I know about two regions where the assemblies will be called in July. This means that the people will really receive it in August in the payrolls for July as it should be,” Marksova said, citing the Liberec and South Moravia regions.

However, in some regions, it may happen that the assemblies will only meet in September or October, Marksova said.

“I am very upset because we sent the money so that the people receive it as soon as possible,” she added.

The money is to be spent on a pay rise for the employees in regional and state establishments, but also on the salaries of the staff in non-profit and church organisations.

The providers, trade unions and regions have complained about low earnings in social services. Due to the poor salaries, thousands of carers are lacked in the Czech Republic.

Last year, the gross salary of carers in social services and elderlies’ households was 19,058 crowns a months. The sum included all bonuses. However, one half of them earned fewer than 18,821 crowns.

The average salary is about 29,000 crowns.

($1=22.852 crowns)

pv/dr/hol

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