The main public sector unions in the CCOO and UGT confederations are calling on the government to improve its pay offer for the next three years. The current offer provides a guarantee for a 5.34% increase (1.5% in 2018, 1.75% in 2019 and 2.0% in 2020). However, this could reach 8% overall if target growth in economic output (GDP) is reached, along with a further target for deficit reduction. The unions want to see guaranteed increases that would begin to make up for the significant loss of purchasing power of public sector workers. The unions also want to see progress on working hours and an end to the replacement rates that restrict recruitment.
Unions look for better offer on pay and hours
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Reducing working time has emerged as a key issue for public services union Forsa. As part of another element of the austerity package agreed in 2013, lower and middle-earning civil servants saw their working time increase by 2.5 hours a week without any increase in pay. At the same time higher earners (those on over EUR 65000 a year) took a pay cut. However, that pay cut was restored by January 2018 and so Forsa is now arguing that it is only fair that lower and middle-earning civil servants, mostly women, should return to their pre-crisis working hours. Taking account of the hours increase
Following a meeting of the general negotiating group covering public administrations, the FSC-CCOO public services union criticised the government for failing to ensure consultation with the trade unions over the working conditions of three million public sector unions before publishing the budget. The union also called for action on the 35-hour week, an end to replacement rates in staff recruitment, a guarantee on the pay increase linked to economic growth, action on the gender pay gap and an extension of paternity leave across the public administration.
(February 2017) Workers employed by the Karbel municipal company in Karabağlart in the Izmir province in western Turkey took strike action at the end of January and won an improved pay offer from the employer. Wages will rise by 9% this year and there is an inflation-plus formula for the second year of the agreement. Other allowances will also increase. EPSU sent solidarity greetings underlining the workers' determination to assert their right to take action even during a period when the government has threatened to ban strikes.