The negotiations with Government representatives were not fruitful. The Federation of Trade Unions (SSM) will begin a strike on Wednesday to express its displeasure regarding the fact that an agreement for a linear pay increase for everyone amounting to MKD 2,806 (EUR 45.5) and determining a public sector holiday allowance between 30-100 percent of the average wage was not reached today, said SSM president Darko Dimovski on Tuesday, transmits MIA.
He added that he’s disappointed with the last-minute negotiations before the strike announced for Wednesday, judging them as a last-ditch effort to buy time.
“They offered us nothing else apart from setting up certain commissions for harmonizing the methodology, convincing us that an administrative clerk and public service providers are non-productive workers, which is untrue. They are in service to the citizens and we use their services.They do their jobs with dignity, and we believe it’s our time to express our displeasure on the streets,” Dimovski said.
He added that SSM would go out into the streets, put 120 chairs in front of Parliament, where they will demand that the MPs accept their budget amendment for a linear pay increase amounting to MKD 2,806 in both the public and private sectors. Dimovski says that the strike means ending the working process in the workspace during work hours. “SSM can’t strike in separate institutions.
As leaders of the strike, we will express our displeasure in front of Parliament on Wednesday, then the Government on Thursday, and if we don’t solve this problem, then we will go to the Ministry of Finance and demand from Minister Besimi once again to recalculate the budget revision. If it doesn’t happen, you know the consequences of a strike, we will ask some ministers to resign, which is a legitimate right of ours,” Dimovski said. Fatmir Bytyqi, Deputy PM for Economic Affairs, said after his meeting with SSM that there should be a linear wage increase in the public sector, but they insist this should be done through a specific methodology, as opposed to a one-sided act.
“We want to find a systemic solution that’s sustainable for everyone, not an ad hoc solution which can only seemingly solve the problem, but it will probably repeat itself next year,” Bytyqi said, adding that the pay harmonization should be tracked with a wage growth methodology, so that we don’t have to discuss every change in the minimum wage.
He said that, according to the law, conciliation is a legal move due to which they asked for a time frame to continue the negotiations.
“While the conciliation phase lasts, the strike should not be held, but either side has the right to decide whether or not to accept the conciliation and to hold the strike. We will respect SSM’s democratic right and decision to continue their intent to organize a general strike,” Bytyqi said.
The Federation of Trade Unions decided to stage a general strike on June 22 if their demands were not met by then.
After they saw that funds aren’t planned to fulfill their request for a linear wage increase in the public sector, as was promised to them during the negotiations, SSM demanded to meet with the PM, the Deputy PM for Economic Affairs, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy and the Minister of Finance, but an agreement was not reached during those meetings, either.