Bulgarian Trade Unions Fume over Wage Increase ControversyFinance | June 21, 2011, Tuesday // 14:35| views
Bulgaria's Social Policy and Labor Minister, Totyu Mladenov (back) and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov (front), have clashed over the increase of pensions and the minimum monthly wage. Photo by BGNES
The minimum monthly wage in Bulgaria is to go up on September 1, according to a proposal of the Finance Ministry, extended to the trade unions.
The proposal was made Tuesday during a meeting of the income subcommittee at the so-called Three-Way Council between the cabinet, the business and the labor unions.
The two main labor unions in Bulgaria – the Confederation of the Independent Syndicates (KNSB) and Podkrepa (Support) firmly reject the proposal, insisting the wage goes up on July 1, as previously announced.
Economic expert at Podkrepa, Mika Zaikova, told the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, is tarnishing the image of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, by forcing the latter to issue contradictory statements on the subject.
Several days ago, Social Policy and Labor Minister, Totyu Mladenov, recalled his earlier announcement the minimum monthly wage is going up on July 1.
The retirement pensions and minimum monthly wage raise has pinned Mladenov and Djankov against each other with Mladenov insisting for months on the July 1 increase and Djankov remaining skeptical over the lack of funds, even telling the Social Minister to find money for the realization of his idea.
Mladenov further wants a differentiated increase of retirement pensions while Djankov is for everyone to receive the same amount.
On Monday, Borisov announced in a TV interview, the increase would not happen before the presidential and local elections in October.
The only clear intention of the cabinet so far is the raise of the so-called widow's and widower's pensions.