Local public administration trade union members will go on a one-day general strike on Tuesday. On July 19, they will start an unlimited strike, as a result of the fact that the National Federation of Administration Trade Unions (FNSA) has started a nationwide labour conflict.
According to a FNSA communique posted on the Federation’s website, any activity within local public administration institutions will be stopped on Tuesday, July 12.
FNSA claims that the Romanian Government has the obligation to urgently solve the major problems that local public administration employees are facing, considering that they continue to be the poorest-paid and discriminated category of public sector employees. At the same time, trade union members state that most city hall and county council employees have gross salaries close or equal to the minimum salary (RON 1,250 on 1 May 2016).
FNSA’s demands are: the hiking by 25 percent of the mainstay salaries of civil servants and local public administration employees; employer-provided employee meals for all local public administration employees, where budgetary resources allow for it; vacation vouchers for local public administration employees.
According to Agerpres, the scheduled forms of protest are: July 12 – daylong strike; July 19 – unlimited strike.
The Labour Ministry announced on Saturday, through a communique, that trade union representatives refused to take part in debates organised on July 11-31 within a working group, debates focusing on employer-provided employee meals and vacation vouchers. In this context, an agreement on suspending FNSA’s protest actions was not forthcoming.
Labour Minister Dragos Pislaru stated last week that since the ministry does not know what the public administration salaries are, hiking them by 25 percent “would pervert things exactly like in the past.”
“RON 10 bln went into public sector salary hikes last year. You have to understand that a salary hike type of reform should not be carried out at any cost,” Dragos Pislaru stated on the second day of the Local Public Administration Forum.
The minister called on elected local officials to collaborate with the Labour Ministry and to report the salaries paid within city halls so that they could be uploaded “in a Revisal-type system for public sector employees.”
Government’s solution: one person employed for every two that leave the public sector
The Government is analysing the implementation of the principle according to which there should be one person employed within the public sector for every two that leave it, Deputy PM Costin Borc stated on Sunday.
Asked on Digi24 whether the public sector has too many employees at this moment, Borc answered: “A personal opinion: yes. I’m not a public administration specialist, however the people we meet in debates, administration experts, say that from the standpoint of the administration we are not faring very well compared to other countries.”
According to Borc, during the debates on the public sector salary law he also proposed the implementation of the “2:1” principle based on the French model.
“I proposed it [the 2:1 principle – editor’s note] within the Government during the talks on the salary law. It’s a principle accepted by [my] colleagues. I don’t want to take credit for this idea, because it’s an idea I saw in France, the idea of lowering the size of the administration in a simple and fair way and by not resorting to waves of layoffs. Every two civil servants that retire or leave the system should be replaced by a single one,” the Deputy Premier explained.
Asked whether Premier Dacian Ciolos supports this idea, Borc answered: “I believe so, however it has to be done slowly.”