On the insistence of Rospotrebnadzor, since March 27, 2006, restrictions were introduced on imports of Georgian and Moldavian wine and the wine material, as they do not meet the standard sanitary norms. Moldavia stated in an answer that it will categorically object against Russia’s WTO accession until all the restrictions concerning the supplies of Moldavian production to the Russian market have been annulled. The Moldavian party required from Russia to lift all restrictions on imports of the plant-growing and stock-raising products, as well as to collect VAT for Russia’s on-the-spot supplies of gas, that is directly in Moldavia and not in Russia, as it takes place currently.
According to the rules of WTO, decision on adoption of a new member country is taken unanimously. Thus, formally, Moldavia that is a WTO member since 2001, has the right of veto.
A little earlier it was Georgia (with which disagreements carry a wider character) that raised likewise claims. Even in 2004 Georgia signed a protocol on completion of the negotiations. The same document was also agreed and signed on the part of Moldavia. However, now these countries are going to recall their agreements.
The EU countries also promised to suspend Russia’s WTO accession, if the Russian party would not annul payments for trans-Siberian flights. On March 28, 2006, the European Commission required that the Russian party submit the detailed scheme for reduction of trans-Siberian payments till the end of the year. Only in 2004, the collections for flights over Siberia worth European carriers as much as EUR 330 million.
Payments for trans-Siberian flights were introduced in the 1970s. The European airlines were permitted then to carry out flights to Asia via the territory of the USSR with refueling in Moscow. After the foreign carriers became using more modern aircrafts that enabled to fly to Asia without refueling, that collection was introduced as a compensation for the missed benefit of the national “Aeroflot” carrier.
From the perspective of joining WTO, the problem is in that the Ministry of Transport – the specific industry ministry – in principle do not want to fulfill the EU claim and believes that Russia must not make concessions without receiving something in return. In the case trans-Siberian payments for flights have been cancelled, Russia’s losses will make roughly US $ 400 million a year, which are used for renovation of the air fleet of airlines and modernization of the Russian aircraft navigation system However, the European Commission considers that such charges are in conflict with the international legislation. In 2003, while signing the protocol of Russia’s WTO accession, Russia pledged to abolish payments for trans-Siberian flights. However, the detailed schedule had not yet been submitted to the European Council.
Thus, the process of Russia’s WTO accession may be delayed for an indefinite period.
N.Volovik Formation of New Approaches to The System of Labor Compensations in Educational Sphere The review deals with main challenges of and approaches to design of systems of labor compensations in the educational sphere and provides assessments of the suggested for introduction concepts of reforming labor compensations in institutions of general education. As well, the review presents regional models and record of individual Subjects of RF on transition to new principles of labor compensations for teachers.
The problem of an insufficient level of labor compensations of educational staff has been recently raised on the highest echelons of government. While addressing the Cabinet members, heads of the Federal Assembly and members of the Presidium of the State Council on 5 September 2005, President Putin noted that a low level of teachers’ salaries constituted one of the critical problems of Russian schools15.
The level of labor compensations of educational staff is steadily lower than both the average salaries and wages in the industrial sector and those nationwide. During the period of market transformations salaries and wages in the educational sector have never risen over 70% of the average labor compensations nationwide and 2/3 of the average salaries and wages in the industrial sector.
Recent years have seen the rise of a broader understanding that the current system of labor compensations (SLC) in schools and primarily the system of computation of teachers’ salaries needs radical changes.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 7 September 2005.
The problem of improvement of SLC in the educational sphere has become particularly pressing due to the enactment of Federal Stature ¹ 122-FZ16 effective as of January 1, 2005 and amendments to the Labor Code of RF. They attributed to powers exercised of bodies of state power of Subjects of RF and local self-governance bodies matters on setting amounts and conditions of labor compensations of employees of public institutions of the Subject of RF and municipal institutions that should develop and introduce their systems of labor compensations of the employees.
The debates have long been underway as to which SLC for educational staff would allow a greater prestige of the profession and the social status of the pedagogue and ensure the educational staff’s merited material state. The debated prospects of development of SLC are related to two rather different approaches. The first approach rests on the recognition of the necessity to retain, with minor modifications and adjustments (particularly, to introduction pf profile education) the current, “tariff-based” system of labor compensations the basis of which is formed by the Universal Tariff Grid. The other, more radical, approach suggests that the tariff-based system of labor compensations forms an obstacle to introduction of new educational programs and technologies (profile education for senior students, distant learning, etc.) and it should be replaced by a “wage-rated” system of labor compensations.
The Universal Tariff Grid (UTG), which forms the basis of the tariff-based SLC, with its tariff coefficients rates adjudicated by the RF Government Resolution of November 6, 2005, ¹ 775, encourages the “hunt for hours of tuition “ and generates overburdening of students. According to the Resolution, the ratio of tariff coefficients of the 1st grade to those of the 18th one is 1 to 1.45. Thus, the maximum rate of SLC of the 18th grade is just Rb. 3, 600, while labor of highly qualified scientific-pedagogical staff is valued at not more than 4.5-fold greater than that of low-qualified and maintenance staff. The grades of teachers at public institutions of general education vary from 8 to 15. The rates of tariff SLC coefficients set by the Resolution and the level of labor compensation due to the rate of the 1st grade of SLC preserve a low basic level of labor compensation and entail an insufficient size of material stimulation for most employees in the educational sphere.
“Wage- and Staff-rated” system of labor compensation. In 2003-04, a task force led by Prof. A.A.
Pinsky, Director of the Centre for Scio-Economic Development under the State University- the Higher School of Economics, has been developing a concept of the staff-and wage-rated SLC for teachers. It pursues the ultimate goal of introduction a more efficient and fair system of labor compensations for the sake of boosting the quality of schooling.
The Concept provides for the following measures:
- Introduction of teachers to the schools’ staff lists;
- Lifting a strict correlation between labor compensation and the number of hours of lessons given;
- Introduction of extra-curriculum (pedagogical, methodological, etc.) activities to the volume of the teacher’s paid work and within the limits of the respective wage on the given position;
- Introduction of a new pattern of norm-setting for the teacher, with account of various kinds of his activities;
- Setting an upper margin of the teacher’s workload fixed in Standard Regulations on schools.
In the course of transition to the new SLC the authors suggest to abandon the hour-rated wages in favor of standard wages17. The advantage of the new SLC is that it allows to lower the hourly burden on students without lowering teachers’ wages, as it will be all the working time, rather than hours of lessons, that will be standardized and paid for. In parallel with that, the new system would eliminate the disproportions with regard to labor compensations payable to teachers at primary school, who, given a considerable volume of extra-curriculum pedagogical work, apriori can hope for a salary being at 10% lower than at secondary school.
“On introducing amendments to legal statutes of the Russian Federation and recognition of invalidity of some legal statutes of the Russian Federation, due to enactment of the federal statutes “On introducing amendments to the Federal Statute “On general fundamentals of organization of legislative (representative) and executive bodies of state power of Subjects of the Russian Federation” and the Federal Statute “On general fundamentals of organization of local self-governance in the Russian Federation” There is nothing new for the educational system, as the system of labor compensation to university faculty rests upon this particular arrangement The new system suggests that the principals would be granted with the right to de-facto vary the teacher’s annual workload within the limits of 20%, with account of a particular situation in the school. The hourly (lesson-based) load of a teacher with a standardized wage can vary from 14 to hours – and with no change in his wage, for in any case he is paid on the basis of the standardized wage.
Regional systems of labor compensations St. Petersburg. On October 12, 2005, the local Legislative Assembly passed Stature ¹ 531-74 “On labor compensations of employees of public institutions financed out of the budget of the city of St.
Petersburg” On the top of the list of the sectors whose institutions are funded out of the city’s budget there is the educational sector, with the greatest number of employees there and, accordingly, the greatest number of individuals keen to apprehend main premises of the new system of labor compensations. The suggested system of labor compensations has been successfully implemented in the region, however it does not cover educational staff of institutions that fall under the federal center’s purview. The introduction of the sector-specific SLC in the educational sector pursues the following objectives: increase in the share of the guaranteed part of labor compensations, unification of approaches to formation of wages of all the categories of employees therein, increase of the minimum guaranteed level of labor compensations to the subsistence level, ensuring competitiveness of the sector-specific wages on the labor market, refusal of UTG and the transfer of teachers to the wage-based SLC.
The mechanism of setting wages for categories of employees at public educational institutions was set by the noted city Statute and appears analogous to that of computation of wages presented in a report by the Department of the Economy and Finance of the RF Ministry of Education and Science on fundamentals of building the sector-specific SLC for pedagogical staff of institutions of general education. The Statute sets (Art. 3) sizes of wages of three main categories of employees (management, staff, and specialists) on the basis of a basic wage and six increasing coefficients that take into account the educational level, length of working record, specifics of the job, qualifications, scale and level of management.
Results of an evaluation conducted by experts of the State University-the Higher School of Economics branch in St. Petersburg evidence that the newly introduced local SLC for employees of public educational institutions funded out of the city budget allows increases in labor compensations up to those competitive on the regional labor market, as well as in the material component of the motivation to work, without increasing the teachers’ workload.
Tyumen oblast. The transition to a new system of labor compensation was launched since September 1, 2005. The new system of labor compensations for teachers rests upon the principle of a teacher being paid for every hour of his work with every student, with account of the quality of knowledge the latter ultimately receives. The system provides for bonuses to be awarded by municipalities and an intra-school system of additional bonuses. The financial stimulation under the new system depends on three factors: 1) the quality of knowledge the students have absorbed; 2) level of up-bringing; and 3) the state of students’ health.
With the new system in place, the teacher’s wage at 70% consists of the basic part, while the remaining 30% is formed by the bonus fund. As a result, the average wage of a teacher grew by Rb. 1, 490 and accounts for Rb. 8. 320. The amount of the salary of an administrator/manager of the public institution of general education depends on the average wages of pedagogical staff. The system essentially appears a wages-based system, with all its advantages and drawbacks.
It is premature to evaluate efficiency of introduction by regions of new system, as the term of their application is insufficiently short. However, quite evidently, the focus on quality and final output, rather than solely on the number of hours of tuition, is becoming a main vector of changes in the labor compensations system for employees in the sphere of general education.
I. Rozhdestvenskaya An appraisal of competition in the Russian banking sector In 2005, the Institute for the Economy in Transition carried out a study aimed at the appraisal of the scale and types of competition in different sectors of the RF market of banking services. Below, there are presented the main theses and conclusions of this study.
Since the start of liberalization of the state mono-bank system in 1989, the number of banks in Russia has increased manifold and at present there are about 1300 such organizations in the country.