Dubravka Jurlina Alibegović.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ /dc

Representatives of only two out of eight public sector trade unions arrived at the government headquarters on Tuesday morning for talks with government officials on an increase in the basic wage.

When asked by reporters if negotiations would be held, Public Administration Minister Dubravka Jurlina-Alibegovic said, "We'll see."

The head of the Croatian Doctors' Union, Ivica Babic, said that "social dialogue should be promoted if we want to have it" and that he wanted to hear what the government had to offer.

He said that the existing collective agreement for public sector employees could not be changed without the consent of all and that a consensus was therefore necessary.

The head of the Independent Union of Health and Social Welfare Workers, Stjepan Topolnjak, said that he did not expect anything of the talks with government officials.

"The government and the Deputy Prime Minister (Bozo Petrov) are acting irresponsibly, as if they were not up to the job. Calling a meeting one day before or cancelling it three minutes before the end of office hours is flippant. We have not been sent a negotiating protocol or the agenda or minutes of the last meeting and we consider such behaviour on the part of the government as irresponsible. We will obviously not be able to negotiate today because not all unions are present, so we'll see what happens," said Topolnjak.

The talks between public sector unions and the government concern a six-percent increase in the basic wage following a two-percent increase in GDP in the last two quarters.

Six public sector unions - bringing together nurses, social workers, employees in secondary schools, employees in the science and higher education sectors and cultural workers - did not arrive for the talks because they believe that conditions for continuing the negotiations had not been met.

Related stories

Employers say minimum wage raise threatens export sector

Unions won't back down from 6% pay rise claim

Gov't reps fail to show up for talks with unions

Latest news

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

South Africa to raise taxes for the wealthiest

South Africa will raise the income tax rate for the country's wealthiest to 45 per cent from 41 per cent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Wednesday.

Reformist Macron wins support of key centrist leader for French vote

France's reformist presidential hopeful, Emmanuel Macron, got a boost on Wednesday when he picked up the support of a party leader whose centrist constituency played a pivotal role in the last two presidential elections.

Amnesty International warns of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech in Croatia

Croatia continues to have problems with discrimination against ethnic minorities and with freedom of the media, while heightened nationalist rhetoric and hate speech during election time contributed to growing ethnic intolerance and insecurity in the country, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report on the state of human rights in the world in 2016/2017.

Official assigned to Wilders' security team held by Dutch police

A security official assigned to protect Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is being held by police on suspicion of passing along classified information about the lawmaker to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.

100th anniversary of rescuing starving children marked

A special ceremony was held in Zagreb's Croatian National Theatre on Wednesday to mark the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest humanitarian undertakings in the history of the Croatian people which saved children in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from famine in the last two years of World War I.

Italy's 'Red Thing' could make impact in election debut, polls show

Two polls conducted for RAI public broadcaster released Wednesday showed a new entity that split from Italy's ruling Democratic Party

Council: Nixing grants to "Novosti" would cause far-reaching implications

The Council for National Minorities, a state-level autonomous umbrella organisation for all ethnic minorities in Croatia, has stated that the cancellation of financial grants to the "Novosti", a newspaper of the ethnic Serb minority, would produce far-reaching implications and stir criticism for reduction of free speech and of freedom of expression of the most numerous ethnic minority.