Public service unions mobilise to defend jobs, pay and services

(8 May 2019) Nine trade union organisations are coming together in a national public sector strike tomorrow (9 May) in protest at the French government's plans to "transform" public services.

The CFDT, CFTC, CFE-CGC, CGT, FAFP, FO, FSU, Solidaires, and UNSA are all joining the strikes and demonstrations that are part of their campaign to defend jobs, pay and services across the public sector. The unions' key demands are for the government to stop its plan for a transformation of the public service that involves around 120000 job cuts.

The unions are calling for an end to the pay freeze imposed on public sector workers and for a pay increase that delivers an increase in purchasing power. They are also concerned about further erosion of civil servants' statutory rights and the greater use of contractual workers with more precarious employment conditions. Other changes being put forward by the government threaten to undermine the trade unions' role in health and safety and would weaken transparency and accountability around promotion and mobility.

The unions claim that the government talks about the importance of the work of civil servants while at the same time undermining their rights, benefits and working conditions. They also say that there has been a failure to negotiate properly with the unions and to take account of the alternative proposals they have for the public sector.

EPSU sent a message of solidarity.