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35 000 civil servants out of work the next year

04 October 2010 / 17:10:00  GRReporter
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35 000 civil servants will be laid off, retired or dismissed in 2011. Thus the state will save about € 400 million. These are the expectations of the Union of Civil Servants that announced a general national 24-hour strike against the measures in the 2011 budget for restoring the economic stability. Trade unions insist on repealing the Memorandum of financial support. They also express their indignation at the direct and indirect taxes increase, the reduction of the funds for public investment programs and, of course, at the civil servants number and salaries cuts.

The president of the union of civil servants Spyros Papaspyros stressed that the organization he represents will not enter into dialogue with the government on the issues of introducing a uniform system of wages in the public sector until the 13th and 14th salaries of the employees are not restored. This is not the will of the government, of course, because its main objective at the moment is to reduce the budget deficit. The government deliberately announces data of single cases of disproportionate salaries in the public administration so as to form the public opinion in favour of the antisocial measures, Papaspyros stated. He stressed that the actual reduction in the income of the civil servants is 25% rather than the official 12%.

Trade unions have expressed the opinion that cancellation of public contracts and demonization of government employees will not help the government of George Papandreou to overcome the social discontent. He said the union would not limit its fight to protect only the civil servants but also all victims of the policy imposed by the Memorandum of financial support and PASOK. The plan of the government is to align horizontally the monthly payments within the government so that employees at the same level to receive the same salary. The alignment will be primarily implemented through cutting the allowances, which in many of the cases form two-thirds of the salary value. The unions argue at the same time that this is merely a pretext of the government for a new general reduction of salaries irregardless of the difficult economic situation. Their proposal is the government to reconsider the formation of public sector wages by increasing the value of the basic salary and significantly reducing the value of the allowances.

And while the Union of civil servants is preparing for its general strike the next Thursday, the employees of the National Television ERT stopped working for 24 hours on Monday. The reason for the protest of the television employees is the government refusal to sign the national collective agreement, which sets the minimum levels of salaries in the private and public sectors. 

Tags: EconomyMarketsCrisisStrikesPublic sectorGreece
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