As reported in December we reported, the decision passed by the National Assembly, according to which the salaries of mayors have increased significantly, will take effect from 1 January. However, it did not allocate a central source to cover the wage increase, so the municipalities are forced to manage it from their own budgets. We asked the leaders of the cities with county status and the districts of Budapest about the undoubtedly divisive parliamentary law amendment.
The president of the Association of Hungarian Local Governments (MÖSZ), György Gémesi, the mayor of Gödöllő, noted in connection with the increase in the mayor’s salary that there had been no salary increase for seven years.
It would be worthwhile to calculate how much of their purchasing power lost their wages during this time. I think with this raise, we’ll be pretty much there now, like we did five years ago. If I protested against the wage increase, I would devalue my own work with it. Have the prestige of this profession!
The city politician remarked.
For years, MÖSZ has been emphasizing that the wages of those working in the public sector, including teachers, those working in the social and health sectors, should be inflation-tracking.
Everywhere in the world, the central budget finances the salaries of eligible mayors. Legislation raises their pay, so they can’t even give it up, as it will automatically be more, no board decision is required. I can offer a portion of my salary to a foundation
György Gémesi added.
“The situation will be really unfavorable due to the fact that the now amended law does not allow local governments to deviate from it,” the mayor of Pécs confirmed at our request. Attila Péterffy does not consider it a straightforward step for the government to once again have the property and resources of local governments.
I will look for the opportunity not to have to take advantage of the increased mayor’s salary
Peterffy added. He believes that if the government really wanted to increase the mayors ’salaries, it would also have provided resources for it and not imposed it on the account of the cities as an obligation.
Budapest XI. In recent years, the mayor of the district, Imre László, has transferred his reimbursement and reward for charitable purposes, supporting the Vicus Public Foundation helping the needy of the district with several million forints. The mayor confirmed that the mayor’s remuneration had not changed for seven years and that the government had decided to increase their salaries without any consultation with those concerned.
As usual, the government did not allocate resources to the measure. However, Újbuda has been operating responsibly in recent years, despite government withdrawals and additional expenditures necessitated by the epidemic. This provides coverage for the lift
– added the XI. mayor of the district.
Although Tamás Soproni, the mayor of Terézváros, considers it a private matter who spends his increased salary on what, he told our newspaper that he supports those in need and independent media from his salary. He also added that it is the responsibility of the legislature to raise wages for the mayor, just as it is up to the legislature to explain why no wage increase has taken place in the social or education sector now. In this connection, he indicated
This year, we will launch a wage increase program in the social and municipal education sector to prevent our excellent professionals from leaving and emigrating. In addition to health care, we also help the same sector with service housing. We also provide financial support for the work of the police and disaster relief, although this is also a central task.
The mayor of Székesfehérvár, András Cser-Palkovics, emphasized that the wages of the mayor will increase in a year when there are serious wage developments or increases in fringe benefits in many sectors belonging to the public sector.
A cardinal question is how we can keep talented, skilled people in the public sector who are being severely sucked out by the private sector, we need to compete with them for the best professionals. It is essential that the right professionals work in statuses related to public resources.
The last good year and a half has proved that local governments can be expected even in particularly difficult situations.
At the time of the epidemic, the municipal world was right, in my view, regardless of party affiliation. Mayors, on the other hand, can only function effectively as a team captain, as this is not an individual genre. With this wage increase, the entire municipal sector received a positive feedback. It is gratifying that this has not yet led to a meaningful conflict.
The Hódmezővásárhely Mayor’s Office sent the following answers to the Index questions:
“As before, both our local government and the mayor will continue to comply with the law and comply with the laws of Hungary, regardless of whether they agree with it or not. The “management” of the wage increase will only be relevant when planning and voting on the budget, ie in February. As a reminder, last year alone dr. It was Péter Márki-Zay who paid out of his own pocket the benefit of about HUF 300,000 resulting from the complete abolition of the real estate tax in Hódmezővásárhely, and despite his example, the representatives of the local Fidesz have not had a follower since. ”
(Cover image: András Cser-Palkovics. Photo: Patrícia Bodnár / Index)