The Slovenia Times

Govt, three unions initial deal, several unions still pondering strike


The agreement was initialled by the SVIZ union of teachers and two unions representing health care employees. The solutions amount to a total of EUR 306m in 2019 and include pay increases of between one to three brackets and increases of some bonuses.

On the other hand, performance bonuses and promotions are to remain frozen until December 2019 instead of April 2019.

While the health care unions are not completely happy with the agreement, they see it as a first step forward.

Branimir Štrukelj of SVIZ on the other hand was happier with the outcome, saying that the agreement included everything his union had already negotiated with the previous government in the spring.

Nonetheless, SVIZ has not yet officially called off the strike. If its members express agreement with the document, the strike planned for 5 and 6 December will be suspended until the points negotiated are actually included in the collective bargaining agreement.

Because some of the changes need to be incorporated in the public sector collective bargaining agreement, they must be supported by a required number of unions.

A group of 17 unions represented by negotiator Jakob Počivavšek is still in talks and it remains open whether they will also support the agreement. Police unions are also unhappy and still in talks with the government.

Following hours of talks today, chief government negotiator Peter Pogačar announced that a breakthrough was made with Počivavšek's group and that he expected an agreement will be reached to prevent their strike too.

Počivavšek was slightly more reserved, but corroborated that the negotiators "are inches away from harmonising the agreement at the level of negotiating groups", but that some issues remain open.

"We're happy we succeeded with our primary strike demand about raising wages for practically all public sector employees, but we assess nevertheless that some exceptions brought anomalies or destroyed ratios [in the single public sector pay system], which will have to be addressed very soon," Počivavšek said.

The government is to send the proposal to the trade unions tomorrow, with the unions to decide on it on Friday. It is still to be decided if another round of talks will have to be held.

Meanwhile, the government has already hosted a meeting of all 42 representative unions of the public sector to discuss a new pay agreement to substitute the existing one from 2016.

The document would also include the points agreed upon by the unions and the new government over the course of the past weeks.


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