Public sector unions on Friday turned down the government's offer of a 4 percent salary raise as of 1 October 2022 with an additional 2 percent as of 1 April 2023, while unions of government employees were still waiting for a response to their proposal presented to the government at the previous meeting.
The secretary-general of the Independent Union of Research and Higher Education Employees of Croatia, Vilim Ribic, told state agency Hina that “union bodies had flatly refused the government’s offer.”
A news conference will be held on Monday morning, a round of negotiations on Tuesday, and after that conciliation or a protest, or both, will be held, Ribić said.
The bodies of the Independent Union of Health and Social Workers, too, refused the government’s offer.
“People say that the offer is pitiful in relation to the huge increase in food and energy prices, and those with the lowest wages will not feel the rise because they will only get a small difference to the minimum wage,” said the union’s leader Stjepan Topolnjak.
The government’s offer was also rejected by the Croatian Nurses’ Union, the Croatian Doctors’ Union and the Croatian Teachers’ Union, as well as the Independent Union of High School Employees.
The latter union said that depending on decisions to be made by other public sector employees’ unions, it would start organising union activities to put additional pressure on the government.
The government offer was also rejected by the Preporod union of education workers.
Zdravko Loncar of the Independent Union of Ministry of the Interior Employees said the union had made a counterproposal to the government at the last negotiating meeting and was waiting for a response.
Together with the Croatian Police Union, Loncar’s union represents all government employees.
Finance Minister Marko Primorac said earlier that the government would not further increase its offer of a base pay rise in public and government services, adding that the offer was fair and that he did not expect a strike, which is what happened in the autumn of 2019.
Hina did not explain what kind of offer would satisfy the unions’ demands.
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