The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), a civil society organization, published a study that stated that the Georgian government’s plan to raise public sector salaries by 10% per year until 2026 “raises doubts about an attempt to gain the loyalty of the public sector.”
The study, published on August 2, emphasized that the planned wage increase will raise the total budget for salaries in the public sector to GEL 2.55 billion (USD 935.7 million) by 2026, which is GEL 900 million (330.2 million) or 55% higher than in 2021. It further noted that today there are 301,500 public sector employees which is the highest figure in the last ten years.
IDFI highlighted that overall, “it remains a significant problem to ensure a fair and competitive compensation system for civil servants.” They linked the problem with a non-optimal bureaucratic apparatus and accentuated the system must be reformed in order to align bureaucratic costs with the economic challenges in the country and to maintain a competitive public service.
IDFI denoted that in order to avoid the budgetary burden expected by the increases and to ensure a fair process raises should be carried out to the degree that it will not increase the burden of labor costs in the state budget.
Along this line, the CSO underscored that any salary increase must be based on “the needs identified by a detailed study of the labor market and not in equal proportion to all employees.”
They called on both the central and local governments to ensure the optimization of the bureaucratic system with special attention paid to the “unreasonably high rates of employees of state and municipal public enterprises, [and] the existing practice of contract employment.”
IDFI urged the State Audit Office to begin actively monitoring the effectiveness of Georgia’s bureaucratic apparatus and the costs of its maintenance until it reaches a proper level of optimization.
Read the full study here.