Public sector unions remain angry that the government has not only failed to implement a pay rise that was set in legislation last year but also refused to engage in social dialogue. This anger has been further fed by anti-union comments from the prime minister who has challenged the independence of public sector unions, their right to collect dues by check-off and their right to protest. Unions are considering further protests. EPSU has sent letters of protest to the prime minister and raised the issue with the European Commission as the behaviour of the Romanian government clearly flies in the face of the Commission’s aim to promote the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Public sector union protests set to continue
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Public sector unions have been active in protests against the government’s refusal to abide by legislation and implement a pay increase for public sector workers. They are also challenging the government for its failure to agree to any social dialogue with the unions and are concerned about possible cuts to bonuses and holiday allowances. Health workers took action in January and other public service workers continued the protests through February and are now considering what further action to take. The Publisind federation that includes the SNPP police and prison officers’ union have also
(July 2017) Several public sector unions in the ZSSS confederation, including those representing workers in state authorities, customs, prisons and veterinary services, have set up a strike committee to organise action to put pressure on the government. The unions want to negotiate pay increases for their members as well as end irregularities in pay across the public sector. The government has already negotiated pay deals with unions representing doctors and the police and the ZSSS unions now want to see proper negotiations over the pay increases that they say their members also deserve.
The Frente Comum group of public service unions has set out its key demands for negotiations next year, many of which focus on restoring pay and benefits cut as a result of austerity. The unions want a minimum wage of EUR 850 a month. They also want to see an unfreezing of career progression, reinstatement of cuts to overtime and other measures relating to annual leave, pensions, compensation for occupational accidents and diseases and action on precarious employment. A complete return to the 35-hour week for all public service workers also remains a central demand.