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Memur-Sen's call for collective protest action brought together tens of thousands of public employees
The call for collective protest action launched by the Memur-Sen confederation, following the government's counter-offer, which was deemed to be much too weak, brought together at least 15,000 public employees in Ankara.
The collective protest action launched by the Memur-Sen confederation was aimed at denouncing the austerity measures imposed on the backs of public employees under the guise of a "crisis" in public finances, following the government's unacceptable counter-offer at the collective bargaining table.
Addressing the tens of thousands of public employees gathered at Anatolia Square in Ankara, Memur-Sen President Ali Yalçın said, "We are here today to demand our right to social welfare," he said.
Stressing that collective bargaining remains a critically important mechanism for improving employment conditions and protecting workers, Ali Yalçın said, "Policymakers should focus on how to improve the scope and effectiveness of collective bargaining, not the other way around. The purpose of collective bargaining is to foster equitable and inclusive growth," he said.
Yalçın, whose speech was often interrupted by slogans, said, "In 19 months, meat increased by 92%, rice increased by 50%, fuel increased by 94%, milk increased by 60%, pasta increased by 37%, the consumer price index increased by 26%, the dollar increased by 46% and the euro increased by 56%. ", adding that the purchasing power of public officials has been undermined for 19 months: "We expect a viable consensual offer neither more nor less," he said.
As a reminder, the Memur-Sen confederation had demanded: 21% + 3% welfare share + 600 Turkish Liras for the losses incurred over the period of previous collective agreements for the year 2022 and 17% + 3% welfare share + 600 Turkish Liras for the losses incurred over the period of previous collective agreements for the year 2023.
Recalling that the collective negotiations will enter in its final phase on August 22, Yalçın continued, "Pending a better proposal that is overdue, the government must review its copy as soon as possible if it wants to reach an agreement with the social partners," he concluded.