The Belarusian system of governance faces staff shortage

April 22, 2016 18:04

The number of reports in the Belarusian media about the staffing shortage in the government, associated with low salaries in the public administration, has increased.

 


The devaluation of the national currency in 2011 dropped the wages in the public administration to being among the lowest by the end of 2011 – Br 2.15 million, which is less than in the field of science (Br 2.65 million), education (Br 2.58 million) and healthcare (Br 2.6 million). It had an impact on the prestige of the public services and on the staff outflow. In January - September 2011 more than 12% of employees of the Office of the Council of Ministers have resigned.

The emerging new institutions within the Common Economic Space also affect the outflow of qualified management personnel. For instance, the Eurasian Economic Commission announced a competition for managerial positions (to be filled by July 2012), which is supervised by the Belarusian Government. The creation of the Eurasian Parliament of Russia Belarus and Kazakhstan is being discussed at the level of Russian Presidential Administration. This initiative was well received by the Belarusian House of Representatives, which expressed readiness to expand cooperation between the parliamentary delegations.

All these processes will negatively impact on the loyalty of civil servants to the Belarusian system of governance: similar to the labor migration from Belarus, officials will also “vote with their feet”. So far the government failed to invent a more effective way to counteract such trend, than pay increases. However, a number of commitments undertaken by the authorities on the economic policy, inter alia, cooperation within the Anti-Crisis Fund of the EurAsEC, will make implementation of these measures particularly difficult.

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The country's leadership has instructed the local authorities to raise minimum wages at enterprises by the end of 2019 to BYN 1,000, which would lead to an increase in the average wage in the economy as a whole to BYN 1 500. The pace of wage growth in 2017 is insufficient to ensure payroll at BYN 1000 by late 2017 without manipulating statistical indicators. In order to fulfil the president’s order, the government would have to increase budgetary expenditures on wages in healthcare and education, enterprises – to carry out further layoffs and expand the practice of taking loans to pay wages and restrict investment in modernisation of fixed assets. In 2010, the artificial increase in wages led to a threefold devaluation in 2011, an increase in the average salary to BYN 1500 will not match the capabilities of the economy and would lead to yet another devaluation.