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On 10 July 2013, the Parliament of Georgia held an ad hoc session which discussed the amendments to the Draft Law of Georgia on Higher Education. Particular debate arose around Paragraph 2 of Article 15

of the Draft Law which regulates the salaries of the rector, dean, head of administration and head of the quality assurance service.

Chiora Taktakishvili, representative of the Parliamentary Minority, does not support the amendments to the Draft Law. She claimed during the debate that “according to Article 12 of the Law on the Legal Entities of Public Law, the Government approves the list of employees and the salary fund of universities” and inquired why this was not sufficient discretion at the hand of the Government and why universities were being forced to further reduce salaries.

FactCheck

decided to check this statement and inquire to what extent State universities are free to establish their own personnel structure and salary fund.

According to Article 12, Paragraph 1, Sub-paragraph “d” of the Law of Georgia on the Legal Entities of Public Law, legal entity is obliged to seek consent from the State authority exercising control when adopting the personnel structure and the salary fund. It needs to be mentioned that the amendment to this Article was introduced

on 20 December 2012 which only changed the terminology and leaves the substance intact.

According to the amendments introduced to Article 38 of the Civil Code of Georgia, non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities cannot change their legal status except for the cases when they transform into legal entities of public law. Public universities have no right to choose their own legal status which is defined by the Ministry of Education.

If public universities become legal entities of public law, their activities will be regulated by Article 12 of the Law of Georgia on Legal Entities of Public Law. This in turn means that the universities will not be able to regulate the personnel list and salary fund autonomously.

Conclusion

According to the amendments to the Law of Georgia on Higher Education, coefficients are being established for the minimum and maximum wages in public universities. This change is deemed unnecessary by Parliamentary Minority member, Chiora Taktakishvili, who brings the argument that the state can still regulate the salaries without new amendments.

According to Article 12 of the Law of Georgia on Legal Entities of Public Law, state universities are obliged to seek consent from the State authority exercising control when adopting the personnel structure and the salary fund. This Law will also encompass public universities once the status of the legal entity of public law is granted to state universities.

Chiora Taktakishvili’s statement: “According to Article 12 of the Law on the Legal Entities of Public Law, the Government approves the list of employees and the salary fund of universities” is TRUE.