EPSU protests unilateral changes to social security system at expense of workers in Romania

Romania social securityprotest September 2017

(3 October 2017) The Romanian government needs money to fund its elections promises and including wage growth. It could find no better as to shift the whole burden of social security contributions onto workers. The Roumanian confederations and EPSU affiliates as well as ETUC and others have intervened at various levels to make clear that such an approach at the expense of workers will not be accepted. The unions are calling for dialogue.

Trade union leaders were informed that the burden of social contributions would fall exclusively on employees as from 1 January 2018.  That meeting took place on 21 September 2017. The Roumanian unions, we and ETUC have reacted with shock. We believe that the Roumanian government violates European and international standards to which the country is a party. These instruments are the European Code of Social Security and the Revised European Social Charter.

Romania ratified the European Code of Social Security on 9/10/2009 (in force since 10/10/2010). It must comply with its provisions. These included that the cost of social protection should be borne collectively. Romania also ratified the Revised European Social Charter on 07/05/1999. Case law of the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) is clear on issues related to the funding of social security systems/benefits. It establishes that social security must be collectively financed. This means from contributions of employers and employees and/or by the State budget.

We and many others have written to the government to abandon the idea of forcing responsibility for social security contributions unilaterally onto workers. We asked the government to enter into maeaningful social dialogue with social partners to explore alternatives.

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