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Rulers have been promising decade-long raises, and scientists are earning less and less. Real wages decreased by 16.1%. since 2018

Copyright: Image. Bartosz Banka / Agencja Wyborcza.plPhoto. Bartosz Banka / …

January 11, 2023

The Ministry of Education and Science raised the salaries of scholars, but without inflation. Since 2018, the real value of their salaries has fallen by 16.1%. Sociologist Dr. Stanislaw Krawczyk counted. For more than a decade, successive science ministers have promised big increases and kept their promises. Gwen was the last

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Jan 5th 2023 The Ministry of Education and Science announced increases for teachers and academic teachers.

The minimum salary of a professor increased from a total of 6,410 PLN to a total of 7,210 PLN, that is, by 800 PLN (and as a percentage – by 12.5 percent)

The salaries of lower-ranking academics are a certain percentage of the professor’s salary. The assistant professor’s salary has been increased by PLN 400 – from a total of PLN 3,205 to a total of PLN 3,605. From July 1, 2023, the minimum gross salary will be 3600 PLN, so the assistant at the university will receive an additional 5 PLN (this is not a mistake – 5 PLN).

But in fact, female faculty and faculty are paid less than in 2018, when their salaries were last raised.

Sociologist, Dr. Stanisław Krawczyk, assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Wroclaw and editor of Contact Magazine on your blog They calculate how much their wages will drop. Officially, the ministry talks about increasing wages, but let’s be serious. The officially presented data, calculated only between 2022 and 2023 and without taking into account inflation, creates a distorted picture of earnings in Polish science ”- wrote Dr. Krawczyk.

According to his calculations, over four years, real base salaries for academic teachers fell by 16.1 percent.

“Polish science is underfunded and wage increases are urgently needed. This applies to both administrative and technical staff, as well as scientific staff. Researchers must earn more at various professional levels, especially in the early stages of them. Otherwise, young people will continue Leave education to corporations, and the state will lose the money it invested in their education.

Unfortunately, the increases announced by the ministry don’t even make up for inflation – neither last year nor since 2018, when the base salary was last raised. This is disgusting: real salaries are falling, and they are being announced to be increased,” Dr. Krawczyk wrote in response to a request from OKO.press for comment. (Dr. Krawczyk himself Maintains a profile on the Patronite websitethanks to which you can support his writing work.)

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Scholars can also receive benefits – say 1 percent. Annual training allowance (maximum 20%). Some also get thirteen. The rates specified in the Minister’s Regulation are the minimum rates – universities can pay more. However, they usually don’t. In 2018, according to information from the then Ministry of Science, 70%. Associate professors at Polish universities received minimum wages (or less, which should not be possible in theory).

In Poland, the rulers repeatedly promised a radical increase in the salaries of scientists, but at best they compensated for inflation. Polish scientists have always earned very little, not only compared to their colleagues from the West, but also compared to the salaries of specialists working in Polish companies.

Twice in the past 15 years, politicians have told scientists, “Do more and better, and we’ll give you a raise” — expecting the scientific community to agree to reforms.

And after that they did not keep their word.

The first such course was passed by Polish science under the PO-PSL, when the Minister of Science was prof. Barbara Codrica (today’s MEP). Min. Kudrycka expanded its award system and introduced points for scholarly publications – then known affectionately as “kudryki”.

“These changes are an opportunity, above all, to improve the quality of teaching and research” – I wrote in 2012 min. codrica.

30% increase Promised in 2011. Then this promise was systematically changed in time (the global financial crisis was already going on at that time, so it cannot be said that this promise was made before the crisis).

In 2012, when scientists from “S” protested the decline in spending on science and spoke of its “collapse,” said prof. Kudrica protested and said there would be raises.

However, this promise could not be fulfilled. On October 3, 2012, she admitted on Radio “Troika” that “over the past three years, university salaries have been frozen.” In her opinion, this was caused by the fiscal crisis.

“But in times of crisis, when 2013 remains difficult, we have included in the budget an increase in financing for education, including the start of the cycle of increases in universities” – I promised Also codrica.

This time, by 2015, salaries would have risen “by at least 30 percent.” (Inflation at the time was close to zero, so nominal increases were essentially equal to real increases.)

Over the six years of the Civic Tribune’s rule, spending on science increased by just 0.2 percent. Gross domestic product,” wrote Prof. Blaznik. At that time, PLN 53,000 was spent on one male and female scientist. PLN a year, which meant that she was left with wages well below the national average.

In response to a letter from Professor Dr. Kudrycka again I promisedthat the universities would receive “within three years” large sums of increments. I did it overdone, because PO lost potency after 2 years.

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Money has been injected, but these extra sums, if ever materialized, will only close the gap between rising wages in the economy and inflation and the salaries of scientists.

Law and Justice began a new round of promises shortly after coming to power. The then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science, Jaroslav Gowin, offered his vision of “reforms” in Polish science. They assumed, among other things, a more rigorous calculation of scientists’ achievements in points according to the new rules (the new points were quickly called “gowins”).

In October 2018, Gwen Make a public promise – By 2021, the salaries of university employees would have risen “by about 30 percent.” He then added that 70% of associate professors receive the minimum salary provided by the ministry (or even less). “The reform will fail, and Polish universities will not be modern if university staff are paid at such a low level” – He spoke Go win.

When it comes to spending on science and higher education, we’re only half average. In short, Polish universities and institutes are still severely underfunded and underinvested. Gwen also spoke in August 2019. at Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz.

The government did not immediately fulfill its promise. The raises were to come into effect in three tranches—the first part was carried out only in the amount promised, the second in part, and the third not at all.

In March 2020 Gwen He announced that the increase would be only 6 percent. – still slightly above inflation – explaining this with the coronavirus pandemic. “It won’t be as big a slice as I’d hoped, but it will be” – He spokeTactfully he did not mention his previous promises. These are very far-sighted decisions of the government of Prime Minister Moraviki. In times of economic crisis, we will have to save on many things, but certainly not on science and higher education. Countries that treat science as a necessary investment will recover faster from the economic crisis and the pandemic.” Speaking in August 2020 at the University of BialystokExplaining, by the way, that the increase is delayed, but it will be.

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These words never age well.

Gwen is fired from the government in August 2021.

The science budget in 2023 is the same as in 2022 – which means a real drop, from an already low level.

Already in March 2018 we wrote In OKO.press that Gowen’s promises are written with a finger in the water – the Ministry of Finance rejected the basic mechanism for the wage increase proposed by Gowen.

It was to be linked to the average wage in the economy. Instead, faculty salaries linked The minimum salary for a professor determined by the minister’s regulations.

As experience quickly proves, rates in the regulation cannot be changed for a long time – they were only made once again by Minister Przemyslaw Czarnik in December 2022.

RW of the Parliamentary Committee On March 22, 2018, then-Deputy Science Minister Piotr Müller (later government press spokesman) argued that increases would in practice be by the previously announced amount.

As it turns out, he was telling the truth.

On March 19, 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Gwen spoke about the increases in the “money” internet program. She calculates ”, published by the economic portal Money.pl (here).

“We’ve talked about this increase in spending on science and higher education,” Gowen said at the time. “We’ve put off increases for the time being.”

It was one of the first elements of the Reformation that he abandoned.

After Gwen left the government, one of the scientists did not return anything.

In September 2022, when inflation was 17.2 percent, Minister Czarnik Delivered universities by just 4.4 percent, well below inflation.

Even today, the professor earns – after the raise – around the national average (which will amount to about 6,900 PLN total in 2023). Recently, the Law and Justice Party government promised it would gain 150 per cent. Average,” we said.

“Mockery,” OKO.press scientists commented at the time, and the experience spoke through them.

Adam Lesczynski

OKO.press is a journalist, historian, sociologist and professor at SWPS University in Warsaw.

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