The three main public service federations took strike action on 30 April in protest at proposals for significant reductions to civil service employment rights and benefits. In a major cost-cutting reform plan the government wants to employ more workers on contracts, including temporary contracts, and reduce the number of civil servants on statutory conditions to a minimum. It is also looking to cut holiday entitlement and reduce certain sickness and pension benefits.
Civil service unions strike over attacks on conditions
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Public service trade unions mobilised on 15 May for a demonstration outside the ministry for public service in protest at the spread of contractual employment and the erosion of civil service status. With over a million contractual workers making up a fifth of total civil service employment, the unions are concerned that the government's current plans, which include the prospect of increased use of contracts for public service workers, will further undermine civil service status. The unions argue that the poorer employment conditions of contractual workers are leading to increased inequality
The public service federations of the CCOO confederation have called on the government to confirm the pay increase for 2020 as agreed and to undertake major negotiations over a range of issues including the re-establishment of rights and benefits frozen or removed as a result of austerity measures. The federations underline the need to stabilise employment and tackle the excessive levels of temporary work. They also say that long-standing issues relating to public employment, job classification, career development and equality need to be addressed.