The three largest trade unions have presented their proposition woth regards to the increase in minimum wage and wages in the public sector, as well as the valorization of pensions. – The unions' postulates are not entirely clear to us. Why would wages in the public sector increase twice as quickly as wages in Polish economy as a whole, particularly as they are already higher in the public sector than in private companies as it is? – asks Łukasz Kozłowski, expert of Employers of Poland.
Surprisingly, in their position, the unions have stated „that the increase in wages in national economy should not be lower than 5.7 percent”. It is not clearly whether this is a prognosis or a demand. However, it is hard to imagine that the government would find it possible to meet such demands. In a free market economy, public authorities can only influence wages indirectly, using the instruments of economicv policy. One should aso keep in mind thatan urtificial increase in wages with no link to actual economic processes does not increase the purchasing power of the wwages in question – on the cntrary: it causes an increase in prices.
The proposed changes in public sector wages have to be considered unrealistic for reasons outlined above. Wages should surely be higher in some public positions and institutions ishould surely be higher, but this does not apply to the sector as a whole: insufficiently effective and characterized by excessive emplyment.
The proposition of valorizing pensions by as much as 50 percent of the real increase in average wages is also far removed from reality. The state's Long-Term Financial Plan includes yet another payment of one-time pension bonuses next year. Suc a significant valorization would further deepen the imbalannce in public finances and the social insurance system. It would also be unjust for future pensioners who will have to bear heavier fiscal burdens while at the same time being even less likely to receive a satisfactory benefit in the future.
Furthrmore, the 6.5 percent increase in minimum wages should also be assessed as excessively hasty. According to changes to be introduced in the near future, it would also apply to self-employment and contracts of order. As a consequence, the minimum per hour wage of 12 PLN would be effectively increased to 12.78 PLN only a few months after its introduction.
Łukasz Kozłowski, economic expert of Employers of Poland