Public Employees in Parliament, Government Reject Proposed Wage Raises

Police Demand Higher Salaries, Threaten to Boycott Elections.

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Government and Parliament officials are dissatisfied with the wage increases promised by Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, after the Ministry of Labor put into public debate a draft ordinance that provides for salary increases in two installments: 5% in June and another 5% in September.

Their representatives claim that the increase promised by the Government is, in fact, only 5%, because it refers to the salary from December 2023, which was later increased at the beginning of the year by 5%.

In the case of city hall officials in localities with less than 20,000 inhabitants, they announced that they will give up their protest actions if the government adopts the ordinance that increases their income by 10% from June.

According to the project, employees from cultural institutions, the National Office of the Trade Register, diplomacy, defense, as well as from institutions financed from the Government’s and Parliament’s own revenues will receive two salary increases of 5% each – one in June and another in September. Town hall officials in towns with less than 20,000 inhabitants will receive a 10% salary increase, in a single installment, from June 2024, before the local and European parliamentary elections.

The budgetary impact of these increases is over 1 billion lei.

The unions representing the parliamentary officials said on Wednesday that they do not agree with the Government’s proposal to raise salaries in two installments.

“Public opinion and, unfortunately, the political factor have inoculated the false idea that our role in the functioning of the Romanian state is minor, which has consequences, especially at the salary level. Now we declare clearly and bluntly: We are the state officials who ensure the operation of the Romanian Legislature! A minor mistake on our part can have repercussions on everyone. If we were to fulfill our obligations in installments and at a minimum level as these salary increase proposals are, it means that we should calibrate our activity according to the same patterns”, a press release states.

They request the Government of Romania to “reevaluate its proposal to increase the salaries of the employees of the Romanian Parliament, by a percentage of 20%, in two installments, respectively 15% starting in June 2024 and 5% in September 2024, compared to the level granted for the month January 2024″.

The Government employees also say that this increase given by the GEO is not 10%, but in reality only 5% because their salary increased by 5% in January this year, when the salaries of all institutions increased, but the GEO now put in transparency says that they will increase by 10% compared to the salary in December 2023, i.e. the one that was already 5% lower than at present. Thus, now the increase would be only 5 percent.

Policemen also want raises, threaten to boycott polling stations during the elections

The National Union of Policemen said on Wednesday that if the Government does not increase the salaries of the policemen by 10%, they will boycott “the upcoming election”.

“We appreciate that it is necessary to remedy the situation in question, which is why, at the level of the Government you lead and the governing coalition, all the necessary steps are required to include us among the occupational families that will benefit from the proposed 10% salary increase. In this way, we bring to your attention the fact that, depending on the position of the Government towards our demands, we will decide whether it is necessary to trigger a new labor conflict, which may even lead to the boycott of the upcoming election, given the fact that we will request that the policemen should not ensure the security of the electoral divisions”, says a press release of the police trade union.

The increases proposed by the Government come in the context where the executive has already postponed a restructuring of budget expenditures and austerity measures for the public sector. At the same time, the Government and the World Bank are currently working on a new wage law that must restore all public sector wages.

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