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Russia's 'FBI' slated for big pay raise

Dec. 15, 2012 at 4:17 PM

MOSCOW, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The staff of Russia's Investigative Committee, the equivalent of the United States' FBI, should get a 175 percent raise, political leaders said Saturday.

Members of the United Russia party filed the pay-raise bill in the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament. It wasn't known when the measure, which would boost wages in three steps between January and October, would come up for debate, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The State Statistics Service said Investigative Committee's approximately 78,000 employees, who RIA Novosti noted have been involved in a recent crackdown on opposition activists, averaged about 80,000 rubles ($2,600) a month in 2011. If they get their raise, their salary would jump to 140,000 rubles ($4,560).

The average Russian made about 26,400 rubles ($840) in September.

The bill, which also would provide bonuses to senior staff, is aimed at stopping the exodus of staff to other agencies that pay better, a Duma representative said.

Police and armed forces personnel have already received wage increases.

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