The SES health union organised protests and work stoppages on 7-8 July in response to the murder of Cardiology Specialist Doctor Ekrem Karakaya at the city hospital in Konya in south central Turkey. The union is calling for action to ensure safe working environments, to enact effective legislation to combat violence and to abandon the kinds of health policies that it argues give rise to violence in the sector. It wants to see a health system that prioritizes prevention and the right to health and life rather than the provision of health services as a commodity. SES is also extremely concerned
On 27 August the KESK public services confederation organised a national strike in protest at the collective agreement signed by the government and the Memur Sen trade union. KESK has a range of key demands which the agreement fails to address and is angry that it was shut out of the negotiations. The confederation argues that the pay rises foreseen in the agreement are inadequate to ensure protection against inflation and it doesn’t include any measures to deal with employment security, workplace democracy or the right to proper collective bargaining. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Solidarity with Turkish Public service workers on strike for higher pay, better conditions and more workplace democracy
The Turkish Public Services Confederation KESK and its affiliates are on strike 27 August. EPSU supports the strike and the demands of the unions for decent wages and fair working conditions.
The KESK public sector confederation has rejected the offer made by the government for public sector wide pay increases in 2022 and 2023. The Ministry of Labour offered increases of 5% and 6% in 2022 and two increases of 6% in 2023 with further adjustments for inflation. However, KESK has already highlighted the extent to which public sector pay has fallen behind inflation (currently over 17%) and it also questions whether the official inflation figure really reflects living costs for most workers. However, the confederation is also disappointed that the public sector pay talks fail to address
The KESK public sector confederation has set out its main demands for the public sector negotiations that started at the beginning of August. The priority will be restoring the 8.5% loss in purchasing power for public sector workers over the last two years and along with a further increase to cover inflation that the confederation estimates to be higher than 50% in contrast to the official figure of just over 30%. The other key demands include ending privatisation, increasing public investment and public employment, reducing working time and strengthening job security. KESK also wants action
Turkish and Dutch unions discuss resistance to privatisation and commercialisation of public services
The Turkish unions in DISK (like Genel-Is and Devrim Saglik-Is) and KESK (SES, Tum-bel-Sen) and the Dutch FNV met to discuss the impact of outsourcing, privatisation and commercialisation of public services.