While public employees in France have for more than a year shown their essential role in ensuring the continuity of public services on a daily basis and in being on the front line in terms of health and social services, the government has not stopped pursuing its policy of austerity and applying its counter-reforms.
While public employees in France have for more than a year shown their essential role in ensuring the continuity of public services on a daily basis and in being on the front line in terms of health and social services, the government has not stopped pursuing its policy of austerity and applying its counter-reforms:
The freezing of public sector salaries, which has continued almost uninterrupted for more than 10 years, has led to significant loss in purchasing power, without any willingness on the part of the French government to address the issue of a general increase. Today, almost a quarter of public sector employees are paid between the minimum wage and the minimum wage +10%. This is twice as many as twenty years ago. This lack of recognition of civil servants, of their qualifications and of their commitment, affects the professions and sectors in which women work even more strongly and thus makes any prospect of equality between men and women more distant.
Today, nearly a quarter of all public employees are in a precarious situation, and 70% of these are women. The implementation of the latest law on the “transformation of the public service”, voted at the end of 2019 and condemned by all French trade unions, further accentuates the use of precarious contracts. While the number of unemployed people in the country continues to rise, this
law cancels the negotiated local agreements on the reduction of working hours, cutting the equivalent of 57,000 jobs in local authorities. Despite the health crisis highlighting their importance for the health and protection of agents, Health and Safety Committees are being abolished, as are consultations with union representatives on the career development of agents. Respect for the constitutional right of every public employee to strike is now also threatened, with the possibility of limiting this right for a large number of employees.
Faced with this situation, many staff members are mobilising locally through strikes, often in interunion groups, against the increase in working hours, the abolition of days of leave, for the permanent appointment of precarious staff, etc.
On these subjects and the question of salaries, four public service trade unions are calling for mobilisation on 15 June. Our CGT organisation is now demanding for the civil service:
10% more permanent staff
10% salary increase
10% reduction in working time
10% training time.