Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Polish Wages Rise

According to this Bloomberg article:

Average gross wages grew an annual 8.9 percent in May, after rising 8.4 percent in April, and exceeded the 8.2 percent forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Expectations central bank policy makers may lift rates as soon as July to curb inflation last week pushed Polish five-year bond yields to levels not seen since September.

Poland's main interest rate is currently 4.25 percent after a quarter-point increase in April, the first in almost three years. Forward-rate agreements show investors expect the central bank to boost borrowing costs by around 50 basis points this year.

And according to this Bloomberg article:

Polish nurses and midwives demonstrated in Warsaw today for higher wages along with striking doctors, who walked off their jobs almost four weeks ago for similar reasons.

According to police figures, about 4,500 protesters took part in the demonstration. Organizers said some 20,000 participated, private broadcaster TVN24 reported.

The starting gross monthly salary for Polish nurses can be as low as 1,100 zloty ($388), said Dorota Gardias, the head of the Polish Nurses and Midwives' Union, in a telephone interview, compared with an average monthly wage of $981 in May. In addition, wages are not regulated nationwide and vary from hospital to hospital, a situation that must also change, Gardias said.

More than 5 percent of Poland's 120,000 doctors and dentists have left to work elsewhere in the European Union since the country became a member in 2004, according to the Supreme Chamber of Medical Doctors in Warsaw.

Finance Minister Zyta Gilowska said this month that raising doctors' wages is out of the question because it will increase public debt too much. Kaczynski said today he would ``not allow'' a situation that will endanger plans to develop Poland and spur faster economic growth.

Kaczynski has said the state budget can't afford the wage increases sought by various groups, including teachers and railway workers. Poland is struggling to reduce its budget deficit to within EU limits in order to qualify for euro- adoption, a requirement of its accession to the bloc.

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