Slovakia: The result of collective bargaining: No agreement reached on the increase of state employees’ wages

During the second round of collective bargaining of higher-level collective agreements for the public and civil service for 2022, KOZ SR organized a protest rally on Námestie slobody square in Bratislava in front of the Office of the Government of the Slovak Republic, to express support for the collective bargaining leaders of both collective agreements and as a public declaration of our disagreement with the dramatic reduction in the standard of living of working citizens and other groups of the population, including Slovak pensioners, with rising inflation, the consequent increase in the prices of food, electricity, housing and basic services, all this in the context of several changes in labour legislation to the detriment of employees and their representatives.

Given that the first round of collective bargaining ended with the government’s offer of zero salary indexation, KOZ SR again submitted a demand for a 13% increase in the salary scales of civil servants and employees working in the public interest, which would take into account not only inflation, but also the fall in salary scales compared to the increase in the minimum wage over the last two years. We have also called for the maintenance of the so-called social benefits at the same level as in 2021, plus an increase in the supplementary pension insurance in the amount of the employer’s contribution to at least 3% of the volume of the salaries of employees participating in the supplementary pension insurance scheme.

Even today, however, our collective bargaining leaders did not succeed in their demands for an in-crease in the salaries of employees working for the state or for the maintenance of current benefits.

However, the government’s budget opens up the possibility of using nearly €500 million in unfixed funds. These could be used in whole or in part for salary indexation, but the release of these funds is conditional on the adoption of three constitutional laws relating to the debt brake, the tax ceiling and the pension reform. "These conditions were defined by the Minister of Finance at the beginning of today’s meeting. In the second phase of the negotiations, the government confirmed these conditions. I believe it is not okay to make the remuneration of employees in the state and public administration subject to such conditions. We cannot be presented with such conditions. These are issues that must be discussed between the coalition partners in the government and not involve the employees and their representatives," said Monika Uhlerová, vice-president of the KOZ SR, after the meeting at the Government office.

The agreement on so-called benefits has also remained open, as collective agreements are negotiated as a comprehensive package. "Given that we have not concluded any of the negotiation points, at the meeting itself I raised the possibility of continuing the negotiations through an intermediary, as the Collective Bargaining Act permits," said M. Uhlerová.

KOZ SR will inform the social partners how the collective bargaining will continue, whether through the Collective Bargaining Act or through a third round of collective bargaining, which could take place within two to three weeks.

KOZ SR information