The Slovenia Times

Unions Oppose Pay Freeze Extension


While the association led by Dusan Miscevic had immediately turned down last week's proposal, the KSJS confederation of trade unions led by Branimir Strukelj said last week it would back it if the government pledged not to unilaterally cut public sector pay in 2012.

Today, however, Strukelj expressed objections to the motion as well. The union is bothered by provisions concerning salaries of judges, under which the judges' pay will go down by one wage bracket or 4% only after it is put on par with those of ministers and MPs, as was decided by the Constitutional Court in 2010.

The Government Secretary General Helena Kamnar said after the meeting today that the government would examine the trade unions' demands and incorporate them as it sees fit. Another meeting is scheduled for tomorrow.

If the changes are passed in parliament without the trade unions' approval, the two associations said they would demand a referendum.

The government said last week that it wanted to get the support of social partners before sending the changes to the act to the National Assembly on Friday.

Support for the changes has already been voiced by the coalition Social Democrats (SD), while strong objection came from the opposition National Party (SNS) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS). Other deputy groups would not reveal their position today, according to a report by public broadcaster TV Slovenija.

The austerity act, passed in November 2010, reduced indexation of pensions, social transfers and salaries from 50% to 25%. Although referring also to 2012, the act mainly restricts budget expenditure for this year.

The proposed tweaking of the austerity act would save EUR 300m in 2012, additional to the EUR 300m already saved by the existing measures, Finance Ministry State Secretary Mateja Vranicar said last Thursday.


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