State and municipal negotiations in mediation


Tough bargaining in both the state and municipal sectors have ended up in mediation as employers fail to get close to the unions’ key demands. In the state sector unions were already concerned about the increasing gap between the low and high paid and the prospect of pay increases negotiated mainly at local level were seen as increasing the likelihood that the lower paid would again lose out. Public sector unions support the system where industry settlements set a benchmark and note that last year state workers got 0.5% less than the private sector. However, they also argue that the public sector needs to adjust its pay increases to ensure that certain groups don’t lose out. In the municipal sector too, unions are focusing on the 0.5% gap with the private sector but also argue that the employers have so far not delivered on key demands in relation to equal pay and low pay.

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