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Tallinn spends at least €900,000 on city officials' bonuses

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Stacks of euro bills.
Stacks of euro bills. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Tallinn city government is paying close to a million euros in bonuses for municipal officials. Not all performance pay is a matter of public record as some relevant documents have been classified as for internal use only.

Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said in November, when presenting the capital's 2024 budget, that it is necessary to support people and invest in the economy during a crisis. Looking at the city government's recent actions, it seems relevant efforts are beginning with Tallinn's officials.

Bonuses for 2023 range from a few hundred euros to €6,000.

Of City Chancellery employees, 82 received bonuses. The largest of these went to the city's internal affairs controller – €4,850. Tallinn's nightlife adviser Natalie Mets (SDE) will get €2,750 in performance pay, while €4,200 will be going to the city's legal service's claims department head and €4,400 to the legislative drafting department head.

Many lawyers in the city's employ will receive €2,000-3,000 in performance pay.

Kõlvart's advisers stand to receive around €10,000 in performance pay between them. The head of the mayor's bureau will receive €3,530. The performance pay of deputy mayors' advisers will fall between €2,000-3,000.

Tallinn's Municipal Police (MUPO) employees will receive a total of €238,500 in bonus pay, with one of its department heads receiving €3,350 and lawyers landing €2,600.

Bonuses will also reach council members belonging to the ruling Center Party, with head of the Russian Cultural Center Eduard Toman receiving €2,950 for 2023 results and manager of the Tondiraba Ice Rink Elena Glebova €2,740. The head of the City Archives Küllo Arjakas will be paid €4,180, while the head of planning at the planning and construction arm of the Urban Environment and Public Works Department will receive €6,000.

The Urban Environment and Public Works Department will spend over €276,000 on performance pay. Sums distributed by city district governments range between €2,200 for the City Center district to over €60,000 in Nõmme.

Tallinn's HR Director Virve Raik told ERR that while city departments do not usually pay bonuses, performance pay can be made available for performance of professional goals within the scope of budget resources.

Last year, Tallinn made performance pay available to 53 percent of people working in the municipal system. No aggregate data is available for this year.

Tallinn City Council opposition member Karl Sander Kase (Isamaa) said that bonuses of this magnitude paint performance pay rather as a 13th salary in the capital. He added that the law does not really allow the classifying of salaries and other sums paid to contractual workers from budgetary means.

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Editor: Karin Koppel, Marcus Turovski

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