Croatia: Health employees reject Gov’t’s offer for suspention of pay rise

Croatia: Health employees reject Gov’t’s offer for suspention of pay rise

Health sector unions on Wednesday did not sign an annex to the collective agreement for public sector employees, expressing disappointment with the government’s offer and noting that they had enabled the relaunching of the economy and the reopening of borders and were against the restriction of their rights.

Considering the crisis caused by coronavirus pandemic, the government had proposed that the planned 2% base pay increases in June and October, and the holiday allowance for public and government sector employees be suspended.

“Most public sector and government employees’ unions have said that they will accept the government’s annex. We are against it. The doctors’ union, the nurses’ union, the independent union of healthcare and social workers, the Preporod teachers’ union, and some of the government employees are against signing such an annex”, HLS doctors’ union leader Renata Čulinović Čaić said.

She added that the unions could not agree to any restriction of previously agreed entitlements.

“I particularly want to warn that the government has completely forgotten about medical workers, it has forgotten that we were the ones who created the conditions for the relaunching of the economy, the reopening of the borders and for salvaging tourism”, she stressed.

The leader of the nurses’ union, Anica Prašnjak, said that nurses had asked to be rewarded rather than see their rights restricted.

The leader of the SSZSS independent union of healthcare and social welfare workers, Stjepan Topolnjak, said that the government’s offer was unacceptable, while the leader of the Preporod teachers’ union, Željko Stipić, said that his union was the only teachers’ union to refuse the government’s offer.

“There are 11 representative unions of public sector workers; six did not accept the government’s offer and five did. According to the law on representativeness, this is a borderline result but sufficient to have the offer accepted. One should consider finally amending the law on representativeness”, Stipić said.

He added that the government could at least pay the holiday bonus to all public and government sector employees, as had been the case so far./ibna