(7 May 2020) Public service unions in Croatia have rejected a proposal by the government not to honour two pay increases of 2% that are due to be implemented in June and October this year.
EPSU supports the unions who represent health and care workers, childcare workers and police, prison service staff, civil servants, teachers and other education staff. EPSU’s General Secretary, Jan Willem Goudriaan said: “Across Europe people are clapping to show support for frontline staff, rightfully calling them heroes as they keep society going during this pandemic, often with no or little protection for their health and safety. In stark contrast, the Croatian government want to show its “gratitude” by proposing to freeze wages and attacking those workers’ rights. We stand with the Croatian public service workers in their rejection of this.”
Public service workers have been working overtime to provide essential services in a situation where many public services are still suffering from the austerity measures imposed after the financial crisis. Staff shortages and lack of personal protective equipment are leaving workers exposed leading to many infections and even deaths.
It is not acceptable that a government should seek to deny pay rises to those very workers. Money is available and can be found in the fortunes of the oligarchs, private equity funds and the wealthy. The priority for governments across Europe, including Croatia, should be to focus on the redistribution of wealth, on strengthening public services and on measures for a just transition to a green and circular economy, leaving no one behind.