World Bank Proposes Romanian Public Wage System Which Could Freeze Certain Salaries

Publish date: 04-02-2010
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The World Bank proposed to the Romanian Government a simplified public wage system, under which jobs would be classified into around 10 occupational groups and 1,000 positions, but warned that these changes could indefinitely freeze salary increases for jobs which are downgraded in value.

The recommendations were sent to the interministerial committee working on improving the public sector unitary wage law.

The World Bank showed that, under the new system, jobs would be classified exclusively on the basis of "the content of the work actually put in," with the likely result of a completely new rank structure, which would use classifications not currently in effect in Romania.

"Assigning value to certain jobs will normally lead to a higher salary. However, in the case of jobs with upgraded value, it is likely that resources to financially compensate the higher level are unavailable at present. The compensation will be provided gradually, as resources allow. In the case of downgraded jobs, employees will be protected from any salary cuts, but it is possible they will not receive wage increases until their salary reaches the new level (while some salary increases will be provided to lower job ranks)," the document says.

According to the cited source, an initial evaluation suggests that the new job classification might include up to 10 occupational groups, each group with up to 10 levels - the new rank structure would thus have up to 100 ranks.

"Therefore, in order to obtain an illustrative sample, around 1000 jobs can be evaluated, so that all the likely ranks can be included in the sample. The new classification system will encompass the entire public sector, which at present involves around 1.3 million jobs. This figure includes military personnel, but the committee will have to decide if a separate analysis should be made for this category, due to the nature of positions in this field and the different career structure," the document points out.

The committee set up to re-analyze and simplify the public sector unitary wage law met Tuesday with two World Bank experts, with which they must develop a detailed evaluation of jobs in the sector.

Labor Ministry state secretary Valentin Mocanu said discussions were very technical and concerned "a deeper evaluation of jobs in the system." Asked whether discussions touched on cutting jobs in the public sector, Mocanu said experts would analyze current positions and decide on cuts "only if necessary."

"Cartel Alfa" union president Bogdan Hossu said the experts want the system's restructuring to allow career growth according to the model "equal pay for equal labor." He added that sub-committees would make an individual assessment of the 830 positions suggested for the sample package.

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