After the meeting, the head of the Judicial Union of the Czech Republic, Libor Vávra, told Prav, and the vice president of the Supreme Court, Petr Šuk, confirmed it. Blažek did not comment on the plan, which is part of the government’s consolidation package, and did not answer the phone on Tuesday.
He only said on Twitter that he and the top representatives of the judiciary and the public prosecutor’s office discussed the progress of the coalition negotiations on the so-called state consolidation package and its impact on the salaries of constitutional officials and prosecutors.
Today, we discussed the progress of the coalition negotiations on the so-called consolidation package and its impact on the salaries of constitutional officials and prosecutors with top representatives of the judiciary and the public prosecutor’s office. The debate was also about the coalition’s plans in the legislative area and the salaries of the administration. pic.twitter.com/X7bWKl6hSX
— Pavel Blažek (@blazek_p) May 9, 2023
“Basically, they warned us that something might come up that would affect our salaries. And it shouldn’t be any worse than something like freezing. He does not yet know what and possibly whether the measure will be adopted or not. That’s the summary of our meeting, so they didn’t communicate anything clear. If it looked like nothing would happen, they probably wouldn’t have invited us,” said Právu Vávra.
Untouchable justice will be strangled by politicians’ salaries
Vice President of the Supreme Court Šuk also spoke in a similar vein. “We were introduced to the considerations of the political representation on how, among other things, the salaries of judges and prosecutors will be handled next year,” said Šuk after the meeting.
Among others, the coalition negotiator for the ODS and the deputy chairman of the constitutional and legal committee of the House of Representatives Marek Benda, the chairman of the Supreme Administrative Court Karel Šimka and the Prague chief prosecutor Lenka Bradáčová took part.
According to Vávra, by discussing the possible freezing of salaries with representatives of the Czech judiciary on Tuesday, Blažek wanted to fulfill the request of the Constitutional Court that a similar intervention should first be debated with judicial leaders.
They don’t have more options
“The truth is that at the moment they have not agreed on a political solution and they have not presented us with two or three options, which makes me quite sad. They talked about the fact that the debate (on the salary freeze) is part of a package that will cover a wider range of government measures in order to bring the budget within reasonable limits,” Vávra told Právu.
Next year, the government wants to reduce the state budget deficit by at least 70 billion crowns with measures of which there should be approximately 60.
According to Vávra, there is no definitive proposal yet, but the government’s idea is that the salaries of constitutional officials – that is, not even judges – will not increase next year. Tuesday’s meeting was said to be purely informative.
“The key will be whether it complies with the limits set by the Constitutional Court or not,” says Šuk. “We repeated these barriers again, as the Constitutional Court said, that judicial power must not be divided from other state employees, which in practice means that if salaries are to be frozen, then to all state employees,” explained Vávra.
Blažek had previously announced that the government would include a reduction in the salaries of constitutional officials – and thus also judges and prosecutors – in the consolidation package. He talked about the fact that there are 3,000 judges, 1,300 prosecutors and they have higher salaries than politicians.
Unie SZ against attacks on the payment machine
“It is redundant and annoying that the payment machine is constantly tampered with. I am against further interventions,” Tomáš Foldyna, president of the Union of State Attorneys, told Czech Television.
According to him, repeated hits make it impossible for the automaton to show its viability. But it is only natural if the salaries of constitutional officials stagnate with the decline in economic performance and the stagnation of salaries in the national economy, he pointed out. “State representatives have shown solidarity with the Czech Republic countless times in the past,” added Foldyna.
The salary of judges is derived from the salary base, which is based on the previous year’s average salary. The amount is multiplied by a coefficient according to the responsibility and difficulty of the function. Prosecutors receive salaries ten percent lower than judges.
The state froze the salaries of judges, prosecutors and other constitutional officials in 2021 and 2022. The base for judges then dropped from 106,986 to 100,872 crowns. This year, salaries are higher again, they are calculated according to the normal mechanism, and as of January 1 they increased by about 12.7 percent, while the sharp increase was precisely related to the long-term freeze.
The lowest monthly gross salary of a judge exceeded 100,000 crowns and the lowest salary of a prosecutor exceeded 90,000 crowns.
|How much do judges charge|
|Gross monthly salary||Flat compensation|
|judge*||100,100 to 209,300||6300|
|public prosecutor*||90,100 to 188,400||0|
|chairman of NS and NSS||284 300||58 000|
|chairman of the ÚS||329 800||42 100|
|deputy, senator||102 400||53,200 to 72,100|
|president of the chamber||274 800||55 000|
|Prime Minister||274 800||35 100|
|minister||195 300||28 500|
|the president of the republic||341 200||317 500|
|president of the SAO||236 900||35 100|
|chairman of the NSA*||195 300||28 500|
* according to experience and degree, a novice judge receives 100 thousand crowns ** National Sports Agency
Freezing salaries will not save the budget, but it is an important gesture, says Pavel
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