Miroslav Kalousek has come under fire for not signing off on the salary rise
The Ministry of Finance has approved salary increases of up to Kč 11,000 per month for members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra but has yet to approve a promised pay rise for members of the National Theater.
Last autumn, the Ministry of Culture earmarked Kč 150 million in this year’s budget to pay for salary increases at the prestigious orchestra and theater. However, until this weekend, there was no official signal that the Ministry of Finance would honor its pledge to shift the funds.
“I have agreed to increase salary levels for the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. I am honored to contribute to the development of such institutions,” said Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek in a statement.
As Czech Position reported earlier, the Czech Philharmonic as of this autumn is to be led by the world-class principal conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, who has said he wants to bring it back into the fold of the top ten symphonic orchestras in the world.
One of the maestro’s fundamental conditions for the future cooperation, already agreed with the previous minister of culture Jiří Besser (TOP 09) in December 2010, was a pay rise for the musicians. Bělohlávek, set to swap London and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for Prague, has twice resigned from posts when politicians failed to deliver on their promises.
The musicians are paid on average Kč 29,000 per month, which should rise to Kč 40,000 gross including personal allowances. Members of the National Theater has slightly lower salaries, but no decision has been made are regards their promised salary increases.