Discussions between labor unions and the government over wage rises for millions of civil servants and retired civil servants in Turkey for 2018 and 2019 began on Aug. 1.
Labor and Social Security Minister Jülide Sarıeroğlu is chairing the meeting where wage rise proposals by public officer confederations will be discussed for around 3.2 million public officers and 1.9 million retired officials in the country.
Representatives from the public employers committee, the Civil Servants’ Trade Union (Memur-Sen), the Turkish Public Workers’ Labor Union (Kamu-Sen) and the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) are attending the talks.
Memur-Sen is proposing a 10 percent increase in the first six months of 2018 and six percent in the second six months of 2018 while demanding 10 percent increase in the first six months of 2019 and eight percent for the other six months of 2019.
KESK, meanwhile, is demanding at least 3,450 Turkish Liras as salary for public workers.
In her opening speech of discussions, Sarıeroğlu said the government and public officers were not “opponents” to each other.
“Even if we are on different sides of the table with the delegations, we are not opponents, but we are on the same ship. Here is also a platform of empathy where public workers better understand each other. In the end, the problems of public workers are being solved one by one,” Sarıeroğlu said.
She also added that the government would not disregard the expectations of over 5 million public workers and retirees.
But Sarıeroğlu said the government had to take into consideration the world economy and the conditions in the country.
She later told reporters that the talks would last 21 days and the government would make its proposal for the increase on Aug. 14.