BNN summary of the week: Wages in state administration. Vaccinated teachers. Police education

This week Latvia announced representatives of certain profession are to undergo compulsory Covid-19 vaccination. Although several months ago Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts promised to keep vaccination voluntary, the influx of Covid-19 patients has forced the government make difficult decisions.
This week Latvia’s government also greenlit wage increase for state administration workers to make the wages more competitive as the ones in the private sector and improve the quality of work performed in this sector.
The Ministry of the Interior has also made certain steps forward this week – a concept was developed for the creation of a new academy for officers of the interior affairs sector.
BNN gives you a summery of the most relevant events of the past week in the following topics: Police Academy; Entry to Jurmala; Wages; Reduced VAT; Covid-19; A New Cartel?
Latvian ministry decides in favour of founding Academy of Internal Security
Photo: Evija Trifanova/LETA
Latvian Ministry of the Interior has decided in favour of creating an Academy of Internal Security under consortium of State Police College, Pauls Stradins University and University of Latvia.
On Thursday, 30 September, the Crime Prevention Council held a meeting. There Minister of the Interior Marija Golubeva presented the new concept for the Academy of Internal Security. Participants of this meeting welcomed the minister’s plans for the creation of a new education programme for the needs of the interior affairs sector, as reported by the ministry.
«The time has come to change education in our interior affairs sector. Only through cooperation with IeM, State Police College, RSU and LU can we implement quality education. The consortium agreement may be signed in spring 2022. The new academy may start admitting the first patients in 2023,» said Golubeva.
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Jurmala to increase entry fee 50% starting next spring; entry fee to remain in force all year round
Photo: Alfredo Gutiérrez González
Starting from 1 April 2022 the entry fee that Jurmala normally imposes for a portion of the year will remain active for the rest of the year. Additionally the fee will be increased to EUR 3, as decided by Jurmala City Council.
The current entry fee to Jurmala is EUR 2. This means the increase will be 50%.
The municipal administration explains that the decision to change the entry rules to reduce the influx of vehicles and promote the use of environmentally friendly forms of transportation.
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Latvian government greenlights remuneration reformation plan in state administration
Photo: Unsplash
To retain workers and improve the general work environment in state administration, Latvia’s government has greenlit the plan to increase wages, BNN was told by the State Chancellery.
On 29 September the Cabinet of Minister passed amendments to the Law on Remuneration of Officials and Employees of State and Local Government Authorities. The aim is improving the efficiency and quality of work done in the state administration through a remuneration system reform.
The work done by executive power, the ability to execute orders from the government and parliament are directly linked to the professionalism and qualifications of people employed in the public sector. The state administration is currently unable to compete with the private sector, industry professionals and high-level managers.
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Latvian government agrees to reduce VAT for books and printed press to 5%
Photo: Unsplash
Books and printed press will be applied with Value Added Tax (VAT) of 5% from now on, as decided by Latvia’s government.
VAT for books published in physical and digital form will reduce from 12% to 5%. This also applies to newspapers and other printed press that are released in physical and digital form.
Reduction of VAT for aforementioned goods was an initiative from the Ministry of Culture to promote better accessibility and variety of of books and printed press and to satisfy society’s needs for culture, education and information.
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Compulsory vaccination for select professions and other changes announced by Latvia’s government
Photo: Lita Krone/LETA
On Tuesday, 28 September, Latvia’s government passed new regulations for Covid-19 containment. These new regulations will replace the existing epidemiological rules and regulations.
The new rules simplify epidemiological regulations to make them more comprehensible while also maintaining the requirement for compulsory vaccination for representatives of select professions. New rules also expand the number of services open only to owners of Covid-19 vaccination certificates or negative tests.
New regulations make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for workers of all levels of education institution, as well as informal education and organizers of professional growth programmes, college and university students, as well as support staff and other staff that frequently interact with students.
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Latvian Competition Council investigates another potential construction cartel
Photo: Ivars Soikāns/LETA
Latvian Competition Council has suspicions of a possible tender coordination among some of the biggest road construction companies in the country. Searches were performed at five companies this summer, as confirmed by TV3 programme Nekā personīga on Sunday, 26 September.
Searches sanctioned by Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court were performed at five companies: A.C.B. Group member AS A.C.B, SIA Binders, AS Ceļu pārvalde, SIA Strabag and SIA Saldus ceļinieks.
The court details in the ruling regarding the searches that the aforementioned road construction companies may have exchanged sensitive commercial information and had coordinated their participation in tenders organized by Latvian State Roads and Riga City Council Transport Department. The exact period of time during which the prohibited agreement may have been taking place is not mentioned. The ruling also mentions two other road construction companies – A.C.B. Group’s 8 CBR and YIT Infra Latvija owned by Finnish entrepreneurs.
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