Looking at the budget, Riga City Council Finance and Administrative Affairs Committee supported increasing wages for the city council chairman, vice-chairmen, heads of committees and deputies instead of freezing the wage increase process similarly to other municipalities and state institutions.
The proposal to freeze the increase of wages was suggested by members of Harmony political party.
The legislative draft also provides for setting wages for heads of city council committees that have not been previously hired in their posts.
According to information from LETA, the proposed changes would increase the wage of the city council chairman by EUR 178 (EUR 3,281 a month).
The increase for vice-mayors is intended to be EUR 156 (EUR 2,614 a month) and EUR 58 for deputies (EUR 1,230).
The wage of deputy heads of committees is planned at EUR 1,230 a month.
Wage increase is organized following the increase of the base average wage in the country.
The base amount of wages, according to the Law on Remuneration of Officials and Employees of State and Local Government Authorities, is composed using information from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia on the country’s average wage increase in percentage with respect of annual inflation. The amount is then divided by two. Then the result is used to index the annual base monthly wage in the country.
Harmony’s members suggested freezing the increase of wages because of the Covid-19 crisis and the need for additional funding to cover the costs of additional assistance for Riga’s residents.
Riga City Council member Juris Radzevics (Honour to Serve Riga) proposed making it so that new wages came into force once the decision had been made, not as of January 1m 2021, as stated in the legislative draft.
Radzevics proposed excluding from the legislative draft the point that covered additional pay for deputy heads of city council committees.
As stressed by opposition member Miroslavs Mitrofanovs (Latvian Russians Union), this is not a financial, rather a moral affair, because it is not a good idea to increase wages during a crisis. Other opposition members voiced similar opinions.
Members of the ruling coalition said they had earned this law’s proposed wage increase.
Riga vice-mayor Vilnis Kirsis invited Harmony’s members to first admit that members of their party were appointed to councils of companies, worked as fictive consultants and only then start moralizing about fair increase of wages.
The final decision regarding wage increase will be made by Riga City Council. (BNN/Business World Magazine)