4.2.9 Employment policies for the cultural sector
In 2013, there were 2 387 employees (2 189 in 2008) who were actively employed in cultural institutions financed by the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture itself has 190 employees (98 in 2008).
Due to the long period (since 1993 Government's Decision) of employment restrictions in the public sector (including the cultural sector), most of the cultural institutions were left without new, younger educated experts. Some examples show that for nearly twenty years there has been no new employment in some institutions (institutes for protection of cultural heritage, conservation centres, theatres etc.). In the past two years, this policy of employment restrictions has changed and the Ministry of Culture has allowed the employment of a lot of younger people (especially actors).
There are no (exact or approximate) figures about the number of employees in the private sector.
In June 2010, the average net salary per employee (per month) was 20 240 MKD, which equals 326 EUR. The average salary for those working in public cultural institutions is around 17 911 MKD (288 EUR). For highly educated staff, salaries are approximately 50% higher and are more or less comparable with professionals in other institutions financed by the state.
Following certain internal financial analysis, but without any real explanation, at the end of 2008 the Ministry of Culture raised the salaries of the actors and directors in Macedonian professional theatres by 60%. At the same time, the administrative personal in the theatres, as well as all other cultural workers in FYR of Macedonia had a raise of only 20%. Of course this measure was followed by public protests, syndicate support and finally a strike by the majority of cultural workers (museums, libraries, conservation institutes etc.). Still, the answer from the Ministry of Culture was that this time the raise was only for the "bearers of cultural activities" (which again caused public protests), and that the Ministry will work on a new Collective Agreement and more balanced salary approach in the future.