(November 2016) EPSU has written a letter to the prime minister of Armenia to protest at plans to cut up to 30% of jobs in the public services. The letter also criticises the government for failing to carry out any consultation with trade unions on the planned restructuring. EPSU argues that the planned cuts will not resolve the economic problems facing the country and calls on the government to consult with all stakeholders.
Government threat to 30% of public sector jobs
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Trade unions are highly critical of the government for planned measures that could see a 50% cut in district state administrations which could mean the dismissal of 27000 workers by January 2020. The unions say that there has been absolutely no consultation over the proposals, no review of local government services and no information provided on any possible social plan, (re)training initiatives or early retirement arrangements. The unions point out that there are few appropriate private sector job opportunities for many of the skilled workers who could be made redundant.
The coalition government has confirmed that it will implement a 10% pay rise for public sector workers (15% for teachers) in November. Public sector trade unions had expected the increases to be applied in September and issued a threat of strike action if the government failed to ensure that the increases would take effect in November.
Following the successfuly negotiations covering over a million regional government workers earlier this year, the ver.di public service union has negotiated a similar deal for the 45000 employees of the Hessen region in central west Germany which is not part of the national negotiations. The 30-month agreement runs until 30 September 2021 with pay rises for all workers worth 3.2% (minimum EUR 100) in both March 2019 and February 2020 and a third stage increase of 1.4% in January 2021. Workers on entry grades will see higher increases amounting to 11% over the course of the agreement.