Protocol on Salaries in Education Sector in 2008 Signed

Minister of Finance Mirko Cvetkovic and Minister of Education Zoran Loncar signed tonight with representatives of Serbian Education Union and Teachers Trade Union Independence a Protocol on Salaries in Education Sector in 2008. The Protocol was signed by president of Serbian Independent Education Union Branislav Pavlovic and representative of Independence Trade Union Tomislav Zivkovic, while president of the Association of Teachers Unions Leonardo Erdelji did not ratify the document.

Minister of Finance
Mirko Cvetkovic and Minister of Education Zoran Loncar signed tonight with
representatives of Serbian Education Union and Teachers Trade Union
Independence a Protocol on Salaries in Education Sector in 2008. The Protocol
was signed by president of Serbian Independent Education Union Branislav
Pavlovic and representative of Independence Trade Union Tomislav Zivkovic,
while president of the Association of Teachers Unions Leonardo Erdelji did not ratify
the document.

Minister Cvetkovic said on the occasion that the year ahead will be a year of
serious reforms in the education sector, which will be managed by the Ministry
of Education in conjunction with the unions, and added he expected that room will
be created for further pay rise and improvement of general conditions in
schools. After signing the Protocol in the Ministry of Finance building, Mr.
Loncar said that the document has taken into account Serbia’s budget possibilities
and that the Government representatives did not depart from preserving the
overall budget framework, on which they insisted from the start of negotiations
with the unions. He expressed hope that the Association of Teachers Unions will
sign the Protocol after further consultations and meeting of the Association’s
Main Committee.

The Minister underscored there will be no illegal repercussions for education
sector employees who went on strike, in line with the current Strike Law.
According to the Protocol, the basic amount for computation of salaries to
persons employed in primary and secondary education will increase by ten
percent in 2008, in two steps.

The first five-percent increase will start with the April pay, while the next
five-percent raise will be allocated from September. There is a possibility for
additional five-percent increase, dependent on savings in the budget, which
will be regulated by an annex to the Protocol. By the start of school year2008/2009,
the Government and representative unions will implement a plan to reduce the
number of employees in education across the board, in line with a social
program. They also agreed that quotients for non-teaching staff, who hold a
college degree or less, should be raised by four percent, starting from the
April wage, and that non-teaching staff with up to a high-school degree should
by the end of the year receive one-time assistance in the amount of 8,000
dinars.

The Protocol stipulates that a RSD5,000 Christmas bonus will be paid to all persons
employed in education sector by the end of January 2008.