The Trade Union of Healthcare Workers of Russia, together with regional organizations, began preparations for the introduction of a unified sectoral wage system. It is planned to work in regions with a very low share of the guaranteed salary part in the salary structure, the secretary of the Central Committee of the Trade Union of Healthcare Workers of the Russian Federation, head of the Department of Economic Development and Regulatory Regulation in Healthcare, said in an interview with MV Tamara Goncharova.
Union monitoring has identified approximately 20 such regions. “It is with them that we will work—to study the regulatory framework in a “desk format” and propose to change it. In total, in five regions the guaranteed share of the salary portion exceeds 55%, in 11 the value is 50% or higher (data for all categories of employees – doctors, paramedics and junior staff). We are talking about the fact that the guaranteed portion throughout the industry should be no lower than 55-60%,” the expert explained.
In the current situation, the trade union does not yet see any improvement: “problems with calculating wages remain, differentiation in the income levels of health workers in different regions is growing, and the share of the guaranteed part in the salary structure is falling.” Subjects have different capabilities and incomes. As a result, there is sometimes a fourfold difference in the salaries of specialists with the same education.
With the introduction of a unified wage system, the trade union organization believes, the noticeable difference in salaries should be leveled, since the amount of the base salary will be tied to the minimum wage, and the size of the main incentive and compensation payments will be determined by the Government of the Russian Federation.
“Yes, we expect that salaries will increase, especially for junior and mid-level personnel. Of course, subject to significant financial investments. For example, compensation payments for hazardous working conditions may vary; now each region and each institution sets them independently. This is impossible under the sectoral wage system. The independence of the subjects will remain to a very small extent: these are separate, additional incentive payments. And of course, as the minimum wage increases, wages will also increase,” Goncharova explained.
Head of the Ministry of Health Mikhail Murashko in August confirmed plans to introduce a unified industry wage system from 2025. Now the approaches are being tested in pilot modes, the experience of the subjects is being studied, he said.
A pilot project to introduce a new system of remuneration for health workers in seven regions was planned to begin in November 2021. The main goal of the reform was to reduce the significant gap in wages between subjects and introduce a unified sectoral wage system so that the salaries of doctors in different regions would not differ greatly. It is expected that then doctors will migrate less from subsidized regions and the problem of personnel shortages in them will become less acute. However, the departments that prepared the methodological justification for the project – the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor – postponed it twice, and then completely postponed it until 2025.
Deputies and trade unions warned about the consequences of abandoning the new wage system in medicine, MV wrote. According to trade union organizations, after two years of the pandemic, health workers are accustomed to receiving decent remuneration for their work. Against the backdrop of the abolition of these additional payments, their dissatisfaction with wages will intensify. Real wages in the industry have fallen due to rising prices.
As “compensation,” special social payments were introduced for just over 1.1 million primary care workers from January 2023. Depending on the level of education, qualifications and position, the additional salary increase ranges from 4.5 thousand to 18.5 thousand rubles. MV discussed here how a health worker can defend his right to payments if the administration did not include him in the lists.