Social Democrat (SDP) member of Parliament and former Labour and Pension System Minister Mirando Mrsic said on Thursday that the proposed plan for the regulation of the wage policy in government and public sector services constitutes a "dangerous, hasty and unprofessional" attempt by the government to regulate wage policies in those services.
Mrsic said he feared that there was a plan by the government "to entirely destroy the system of collective bargaining in the public sector, to destroy its wage policy and politicise it, as well as to cut public sector salaries."
Speaking at a news conference in the SDP offices, Mrsic said that he only agreed with the government on the need to make the state administration system efficient and to come up with a transparent and integral wage policy for the public sector, while ensuring respect for collective agreements.
He warned that the government was announcing plans to bring the Act on Government Employees closer to the Labour Act without taking into account the fact that that would imply some legal consequences for government employees and costs for the state budget.
He wondered what would happen with those workers who do not accept the new conditions offered and who in that case would be entitled to severance pay. "Who will finance that and does the government know how much that will cost the state budget?" said Mrsic, who also believes that the government's plan could provide a basis for purges in the state administration and its further politicisation.
Mrsic also wondered if the government's plan to equate salaries in government and public sector services meant that they would possibly be reduced rather than only adjusted or equated.
He said that the issue of salaries in government and public services should be dealt with as part of a national wage policy.
"Equating salaries according to the principle 'the same pay for the same work' must be based on solid and clear criteria on specific jobs. To achieve that, a detailed description of duties must be made and they must be analysed, which cannot be done without preparation and hastily," he said.
He also called for defining a clear system of collective bargaining at both the sector and national levels so as to avoid the overlapping of rights from collective agreements and to harmonise rights and bonuses in government and public sector services.