By Ana Horvat (Nova24tv.si)
At today’s press conference, the negotiating group of representative unions of the public sector announced that they will take it to the streets on February 24th if the government does not meet their demands and offer a solution to eliminate wage disparities. By raising wages only for certain groups, the government has triggered a snowball effect that will have terrible public financial and political consequences.
Part of the public sector trade unions demands from the government the preparation of solutions to regulate the salary issue and eliminate salary disparities. If the government does not meet their demands, they will organise a protest rally on February 24th for decent pay. They are convinced that the government can avoid trade union activities only by immediately presenting a substantive and time-specific method of eliminating disparities and wage adjustment.
Jakob Počivavšek, the head of the negotiating group of representative unions of the public sector, explained at today’s press conference that they do not dispute the salary increase for certain groups in the public sector, but that there are more workers in the public sector who also deserve a salary increase. The negotiating team claims that the government has been violating the deadline set for the start of negotiations on the renewal of the salary system and the elimination of the adjustment in the lower third of the salary scale for two months. They warn that the government is establishing solutions through partial agreements that fundamentally change the salary system and bring about unequal treatment and unsustainable salary relationships.
What are they asking for?
On the part of the public sector unions, they agree that it is not appropriate for some wages to be lower than the minimum regardless of whether it is in the public or private sector, but they must be comparable to the wage increases that the government has already agreed with individual groups in public sector. Among other things, they also demand the raising of the minimum wages to the level of the minimum wage and the preservation of a uniform system of wages in the public sector, which will be based on the principle of “equal pay for comparable work”.
Also, in their opinion, it is not inappropriate for the Minister of Public Administration, Sanja Ajanović Hovnik, to present certain solutions in public without first consulting the trade unions. They demand that the government obtain the consensus of the public sector unions on the solutions that represent the fundamental issues of the wage system.