The Slovenia Times

Soldiers on Missions Abroad Face 8% Pay Cut

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The representatives of the army trade unions were acquainted with the government-sponsored austerity measures at a meeting on Monday.

After the meeting, Soldiers' Trade Union (SVS) boss Gvido Novak told the STA yesterday the government was planning a 20% cut to the salaries of soldiers on international missions, but the ministry denied this today, labelling the statement "untruthful" and "misleading".

Noting that Novak had not even attended the meeting, the ministry said today that neither Defence Minister AleŇ° Hojs nor any other official of the ministry had proposed such a thing at the meeting.

An 8% pay cut is also envisaged for other public sector employees working abroad, the ministry said.

It added though that a proposal for a temporary 20% cut in bonuses for those who sign a new or extended work contract with the Slovenian Armed Forces had been presented to the unions.

The measure would take effect a month after the act on the balancing of public finances enters into force and last until the end of 2013.

The ministry pointed out that the unions present at the meeting had accepted both proposals with understanding.

The SVS is currently suing the ministry over holiday bonuses which were not paid out together with the April salary.

According to Novak, the SVS is also planning to help collect signatures to call a referendum on the austerity measures. The law forbids soldiers to go on strike, which leaves a referendum the only tool at their disposal, Novak said.

Another trade union, the SVOZ union of defence and protection services, is also opposing the cuts in defence. They have blamed the government for taking heed of only certain "privileged" professions which have the right to strike.
 

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