Aladrovic: Gov't can't accept demand for 3+3+3 percent base wage increase

NEWS 11.11.201912:31

Minister of Labour and Pension System Josip Aladrovic on Monday said that the government is close to an agreement with state administration unions regarding supplements to the basic collective agreement, but at the moment it cannot accept the public sector unions' demand for a 3+3+3 percent base wage increase.

State administration unions are satisfied with a wage base increase of 6.12% (2+2+2), but they still want to discuss the pace of that increase.

“We are at an advanced stage of finalising an agreement with state administration unions and I expect that at the next meeting we will define the entire agreement on the base wage and material rights for next year. We have found a certain compromise and I think that both sides should be satisfied,” Aladrovic told reporters.

At the moment we cannot accept the public sector unions’ demand for a 3+3+3 percent increase of the base wage, Aladrovic said. We are offering what we offered at the start, with some possible concessions regarding material rights, he added.

As far as an agreement with unions over a mini analysis of salaries in the public sector and other segments of society are concerned, a meeting has been scheduled for November 21.

The unions claim that salaries in the public sector are falling 18.3% behind the real sector. Aladrovic does not believe this to be so.

“The gap certainly cannot be 18%, those are unrealistic demands. I think that by refraining from that at today’s meeting, the public sector unions realised that the those demands were unrealistic,” he said.

For now the negotiation positions held by public sector unions and the government are quite apart, but negotiations will continue until an agreement is reached.

Meeting with school unions on Tuesday, govt offer the same

“We will meet as much as it takes until we come to a compromise solution,” Aladrovic said.

There won’t be any meeting today with striking school unions due to the minister’s other commitments, but a meeting will be held on Tuesday.

“We will talk tomorrow. Our stances continue to be the same. We expect that we will resolve the issue of wages in the education sector too with the basic collective agreement ,” Aladrovic said.

As far as possibly banning the strike is concerned, he said that it is necessary to see how tomorrow’s meeting will end but for now he denied speculation that repressive action will be taken against the unions.

“We still appeal for the strike to end. We consider that a 6.12% increase of the base wage with the possibility of increasing the job complexity by 2% after 30 June is a reasonable offer,” he said.

He confirmed that striking teachers would be paid their October wage but in future that will depend on the continuation of negotiations.

Asked whether that meant that striking teachers would not be paid their November wage, Aladrovic said, “We can look at it that way but we will see after the negotiations.”