Public sector unions react against pay rise offer

Public sector unions react against pay rise offer

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
In collective bargaining, the government has offered a 3 percent raise in the salaries of public workers every six months, which has triggered a negative reaction from unions.

The government’s offer is a 3 percent raise for each half of 2012, to be followed with a 2 percent raise in the first half of 2013 and a 3 percent raise in the second half.

“This offer is null and void. I expect [the government] to come up with a new offer that reflects Turkey’s greatness,” Ahmet Gündoğdu, the president of the Confederation of Public Servants’ Trade Unions (Memur-Sen), said yesterday. Turkey’s annual inflation rate is at about 11 percent and the gross domestic product expanded by 8.5 percent in 2011, he said. “We want our share of Turkey’s growth.”
The members of the confederation will protest the government’s offer today, he said.

The head of the Turkish Public Workers’ Union (Türkiye Kamu-Sen), İsmail Koncuk, said the Central Bank has announced the target inflation rate as between 6.5 and 7.3 percent, and the inflation rate for the first three months of 2012 as 39 percent. “And they offer us a 3 percent [raise] for the first six months. There is no logical explanation for this,” he said. “This offer disregards 2.6 million public workers and 1.8 million retired workers.” Koncuk invited all the confederations to participate in a work stoppage after May 21.

The offer was no surprise, as it reflected the figure in the government budget for 2012, said Lami Özgen, the head of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK). “This is a miserable wage,” he said.