Government’s wage increase offer unacceptable to public service unions

NEWS 17.10.202214:29 0 komentara
Marin Tironi/PIXSELL

The government's offer for an increase of the base wage is not acceptable to unions representing employees in public services, they expect it to be amended and will say so at the continuation of the negotiations tomorrow, unionist Nada Lovric said on Monday. Pročitaj više

“We want to reduce the real drop in wages in light of inflation,” Lovric told a press conference on behalf of the education unions, stressing that they have the support of 80% of their membership expressed in a referendum. She recalled the government has offered a 4% increase in the base wage from 1 October and 2% from April next year, to be paid in May, and that is unacceptable for the unions.

If the government does not amend that, all options are open and industrial actions will begin to be finalised, said Lovric, noting that they have already started preparations for 180,000 employees in public services.

She wondered whether there is anyone in the government’s negotiating team ready to think outside the box and not negotiate with the argument that an increase in wages would generate increased inflation. When asked if Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic should be involved in the negotiations, she said that “whether he will make the final decision depends on him alone” and that he is the most responsible because he heads the government.

‘We expect the government to come up with a better offer’

She asserted that it is not possible to maintain the decline in unionists’ purchasing power because that would require a 35% wage increase, which the government would certainly not accept, so the unions asked for a 10% increase this year and 5% next year. We consider this to be the lowest we can go, said Lovric, adding that the unions subsequently corrected their demands and asked for an 8% increase this year and 5% next year.

That is our final demand, she said, adding that she expects the government to treat its employees fairly.

Speaking on behalf of health, social and pension unions, Ankica Prasnjak underscored that the state cannot function without these services. We expect the government to come up with a better offer so that we do not have to take industrial action and for employees to be valued as they deserve and for their purchasing power to be saved as much as possible in light of inflation, she said.

Economist Matija Kroflin, an advisor to the public sector unions, underscored that the union demands are completely justified and realistic. By the end of the year, we want wages to reach the level of price increases and to prevent their real fall next year, that is the minimum and we cannot go below that at the moment, he said.

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