Union rejects government’s ‘final’ offer on salary rise for Turkish civil servants
AA photoThe government has announced its final salary rise offer for millions of civil servants and retired civil servants in Turkey, covering 2018 and 2019.
However, Ali Yalçın, the head of the Civil Servants’ Trade Union (Memur-Sen), said the offer announced by Labor Minister Jülide Sarıeroğlu earlier on Aug. 21 was "negotiable" but the union was "a long way from accepting it."
If the both sides were unable to agree over the offer by the end of Aug. 21, an arbitration board will be scheduled to set the level of the wage rise.
Sarıeroğlu said the government’s offer is a 3.5 percent salary rise for the first six months of 2018 and another 3.5 percent for the remaining six months of the year. She said the government offered a four percent rise for the first six months of 2019 and a five percent rise for the remaining six months.
The minister said the offer was “final and non-negotiable.”
Yalçın said the union does not want the issue to end at the arbitration board, calling on the government to increase its offer.
“We thank [the government] for the steps it has taken but we expect a few more steps,” he added.
The government announced its first salary hike offer for 3.2 million civil servants and 1.9 million retired civil servants in Turkey for 2018 and 2019 as 3 percent for each six-month period.
The offer was immediately rejected by Memur-Sen.
Representatives from the Turkish Public Workers’ Labor Union (Kamu-Sen) and the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) also attended the talks.
Memur-Sen is proposing a 10 percent increase in the first six months of 2018 and 6 percent in the second six months of 2018 while demanding a 10 percent increase in the first six months of 2019 and 8 percent for the other six months of 2019. The union also launched two other alternatives.
KESK, meanwhile, is demanding at least 3,450 Turkish Liras as salary for public workers. Kamu-Sen asked for an additional net 150 lira payment, 10 percent increase for each six month of 2018 and an additional 3 percent “economic growth” payment. For 2019, the union asked for another net 150 lira of additional payment, 8 percent increase for each six months and an additional 3 percent “economic growth” payment.