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February 25, 2021

Local public administration strike sparks controversies between trade unions

In large part, civil servants stopped working on Tuesday, taking part in a one-day strike started by the National Federation of Administration Trade Unions (FNSA). However, many city hall civil servants did not join the protest action, stating either that they were not officially notified or that that they cannot afford to lose money, Medifax informs.

In Cluj-Napoca, some of the civil servants, those working with citizens, carried out their normal duties, according to FNSA President Valer Suciu, leader of the “Civitas” Trade Union from the Cluj-Napoca City Hall. According to him, the Cluj-Napoca City Hall has civil servants who are not trade union members and who have not joined FNSA’s strike.

Arad City Hall civil servants did not take part in Tuesday’s strike either, the leader of the local trade union stating that Arad civil servants were not notified about the strike, the aforementioned source points out.

Likewise, according to Laura Stanciu, leader of the Ploiesti Municipality’s Free and Independent Trade Union, no Ploiesti City Hall employee went on strike on Tuesday.

In city halls in Dolj County, it was up to each employee whether to go on strike or not.

The ‘Pro Administration’ Federation of Trade Unions reacted on Tuesday, pointing out in a communique signed by Federation President Silvia Moldovan that the FNSA started the strike “without consulting the other six public administration trade union federations, despite the fact that four of these federations had signed a protocol for joint action for the enforcement of the public sector salary law and the handing out of meal vouchers to all public sector employees in a non-discriminatory manner.”

“We regretfully note that the unitary payroll system is unwanted by some trade union leaders either, not being included among their demands. They prefer to ask for salary hikes that are to the advantage of those who earn high salaries and that deepen salary discrepancies and extend the period needed for the law to be enforced, bearing in mind the resources required. In our opinion, only a decent payroll system based on work done and responsibilities taken can lead to an efficient public administration,” the communique shows.

Tuesday’s strike came after negotiations with the Labour Ministry failed. Trade union members complain that the agreement they were about to sign with Minister Dragos Pislaru on Friday, July 8, was different than the one reached in order to suspend protests, not containing any of the demands made by public administration employees. The latter had demanded salary hikes of at least 25 percent and vacation vouchers.

A street protest was organised outside the Bucharest City Hall.

According to FNSA, Tuesday’s labour protest actions will be followed by the start of an unlimited general strike on July 19.

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