Trade Unions Want Minimum Monthly Wage of 450 Euro by End of 2022
114 ECONOMY - TRADE UNIONS - INCOMES - REPORT
Trade Unions Want Minimum
Monthly Wage of 450 Euro
by End of 2022
May 9 (BTA) - The Confederation of Independent Trade
Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) insists that by the end of 2022 the
average monthly wage in Bulgaria should be 1,000 euro and the
minimum wage, 450 euro, CITUB President Plamen Dimitrov said on
Thursday. He was presenting the main conclusions from the
Confederation's 4th Annual Report on the Results of Collective
Bargaining on Wages in 2018.
The report says that the average agreed increase of incomes is
around 10 per cent. The total coverage for those employed
through collective bargaining is around 30 per cent, or 687,000
The highest salaries are in the IT sector, air transport, coke
fuel production, insurance, central offices, metal ores
extraction, advertisement and market research, financial
services, and long-distance communication. The lowest salaries
are in medical and social care, social work without
accommodation, timber production, veterinary activity, clothing
manufacturing, security, restaurant business, and other.
According to preliminary data, in 2018 the average monthly wage
reached 1,135 leva, which is a nominal increase by 9.4 per cent
and a real increase by 6.4 per cent. In industry, 17 out of 29
branches had a level of payment above the average monthly wage
for Bulgaria, and 13 branches registered a nominal increase
above the average for the country.
The share of people working for a minimum wage continues to
increase. At the end of 2018, it reached 19.3 per cent of all
employed, compared to 16.6 per cent in 2017. A drastic increase
of this share was registered in transport, storage and posts by
nearly 2.2-fold, in financial and insurance activities by 72.3
per cent, and in the creation and distribution of information by
62.7 per cent.
The working wage continues to be the main source of income in
households' budget. Last year, a household members' income from
wages reached 3,336 leva, up by 9.8 per cent from 2017. This is
the biggest nominal increase in the last five years. The
relative share of income from wages in households' total income
also grew in 2018, reaching 55.5 per cent, up by 1.1 percentage
points from a year earlier.
The differences in the standard of living by region in Bulgaria
remain insurmountably big. The purchase power of wages increases
gradually, but its level remains too low to reflect some
significant and lasting changes in the population's standard of
living, the report reads.
In nominal terms, the average wage in Bulgaria is between four
and seven times lower than the wage in the old EU Member States
and between 1.6 to 2.5 times than the wage in the newer Member
States. In terms of purchasing power standard, the average net
salary in Bulgaria is 2 to 2.5 times lower than in the old EU
Member States, and 1.2 to 1.7 times lower than in the newer
Member States. According to CITUB, this indicator measures most
accurately the purchasing power of wages as it reflects both the
disposable income, as well as the price differences between the
Bulgaria continues to be the EU Member State with the lowest
minimum wage, but in terms of annual percentage growth, the
dynamics are similar to those in Czechia, Croatia, Estonia,
Romania, Slovakia, and Greece.
Bulgaria is among the eight EU Member States with the highest
tax and social security burden on the annual income from minimum
wage, CITUB said.
Cost of Living
A four-member household needs 2,442 leva per month for a normal
lifestyle. The money is enough to pay the costs for food, home
maintenance, health care, education, transport and holidays for
a family of two adults and two kids. The per capita cost of
living is 610.53 leva. If the working salary is the only source
of income for such a household, each of the two adults in it
needs to draw a net salary of at least 1,221 leva (1,574 leva
gross). CITUB reminded that close to 70 per cent of the working
Bulgarians receive a salary around or under the country average.