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HEALTH

Health care reform: Austria to give €2,000 bonus to nursing staff

As part of a reform of the Austrian health sector, around 150,000 workers will benefit from a care bonus.

Health care reform: Austria to give €2,000 bonus to nursing staff
A nurse is pictured at a Covid-19 vaccination hub. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

When the Austrian government announced a broad health sector reform, with measures to make the nursing profession more attractive, one of the points was a one-off bonus payment, as The Local reported. 

The Ministry of Social Affairs has released more detailed information, Austrian media reported. Some 150,000 employees in the care sector will receive a bonus of €2,000 gross (for those working full-time).

In addition, Austrian provinces are free to add cash to that amount, and Lower Austria will pay an additional tax-free bonus of €500 to more than 23,000 nursing and care workers, broadcaster ORF reported.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

“We want to say thank you to the employees for all they have done,” said governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) in a press conference on Monday.

The payment should come as a salary in December, according to Wiener Zeitung. The federal budget has earmarked €570 million for the bonus, a large part of the €1 billion reform package announced in May.

Other measures for the health sector

For the next two years, there are several measures planned by the Health Ministry to make the profession more attractive. Austria suffers from a skilled staff shortage in many sectors, including health and care.

“We have been calling for better conditions and better pay for years. Thousands of beds are now empty because we don’t have enough staff.” Beatrix Eiletz, head of the works council of Styrian Volkshilfe, told the daily Der Standard before the government relief announcement.

READ ALSO: More pay and longer holidays: How Austria hopes to attract 75,000 new nurses

It is not uncommon that nurses will quit their jobs and move to entirely different professions, thereby increasing the gap, the report added.

When the government announced its 2023 budget, the Social Affairs and Health Ministry was set to receive an extra €1 billion.

Minister Johannes Rauch defined three priorities for the coming year: the fight against poverty, care and health promotion.

Rauch also specified that the money would be used “where it is currently most urgent”. He mentioned the combat of poverty, cushioning the consequences of the pandemic and counteracting the shortage of nursing staff.

The problem is not new in Austria – but the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated it.

Bonus payment and cost of living measures

The care professionals are not the only ones getting bonus payments in Austria this year. 

In June, a €6 billion package to fight the rising cost of living impact on residents was announced.

READ ALSO: What is the new cost of living ‘credit’ for self-employed people in Austria?

As The Local has reported, it involved increasing family allowances, cutting taxes and one-off welfare payouts, including the €500 Klimabonus that (almost) every single person living in the Alpine country was entitled to.

The government has also sent out energy vouchers and imposed a price cap on electricity.

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POLITICS

How much do Austrian politicians earn as a monthly salary?

Politicians in Austria are getting a 5.3 percent salary increase in 2023 as inflation rises in the country. So how much will they earn?

How much do Austrian politicians earn as a monthly salary?

The rising inflation rate, which is expected to be at 10.6 percent in November, is reflected in the salaries of politicians in Austria, according to the official gazette of the Wiener Zeitung.

According to Austrian law, all salaries are calculated based on the income of the members of the National Council, the Austrian Parliament. Next year, they will receive €9,873 gross per month – €497 more than their salaries in 2022. The values were rounded to the whole euro amount. 

READ ALSO: How much do you need to earn for a good life in Austria?

So, how much are the leading politicians going to earn as a monthly gross salary in 2023?

  • Bundespräsident: the head of the Austrian State (Federal President) will earn €26,701 per month. Alexander Van der Bellen was reelected to the position and should stay in the job for six more years
  • Bundeskanzler: the head of the Austrian government (Chancellor) will earn €23,840 per month. That’s the salary of Karl Nehammer (ÖVP), who is expected to run for reelection in the next national elections set for 2024
  • Vizekanzler: the current vice-chancellor is Werner Kögler (Greens), and he is set to earn €20,979 from 2023
  • NR-Präsident: this refers to the leader of the National Council (Nationalrat, in German), who earns €20,026. Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP) holds the position
  • Landeshauptleute: this German word literally means “main persons of the province”. (Land means country, but it actually refers to the bundesländer, the country’s states or provinces). These are the current governors of the Austrian provinces, such as Michael Ludwig (SPÖ), mayor of the city-state of Vienna. They’ll earn €19,072 per month
  • Ministerin/Minister: Ministers of the federal government, including Health and Social Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens), will earn €19,072 every month
  • Landesrätin/-rat: the provincial councillors should earn €17,771 every month from 2023
  • Staatssekretärin/-sekretär: State secretaries, who play the part of Ministers in the provincial level, will earn €17,165
  • Bundesratsmitglieder: a “member of the Bundesrat”, which is the upper house in the Austrian parliament, will earn €4,936 per month

READ ALSO: Explained: How to understand your payslip in Austria

In Austria, hired employees are paid 14 times per year, with extra salaries ahead of summer holidays and Christmas.

Unless the National Council decides against the pay rise, the increase will come into effect on January 1st 2023.

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