Civil servants have little hope for raise ahead of wage talks

On the eve of collective bargaining meetings to begin on Monday between the government and authorized unions, public workers are dubious about the prospect of securing an increase in their wages, which would offset any additional inflation experienced in the coming year.
Among the unions attending the meetings are the Turkish Public Workersand’ Labor Union (Tandurkiye Kamu-Sen), the Civil Servantsand’ Trade Union (Memur-Sen) and the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK). However, only Memur-Sen is authorized to sign a deal with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. That agreement determines the arrangements for all public employees.
Memur-Sen recently unveiled a proposal to request an 8 percent wage increase that is to be given in each half of 2016 and a 7 percent raise in each half of 2017. Tandurkiye Kamu-Sen is demanding 22 percent and 20 percent increases, respectively, and KESK has announced that it will demand a delay in the talks.
Speaking to the media on Sunday, Fahrettin Tokui, the general secretary of Tandurkiye Kamu-Sen, expressed his concern about the anticipated result of the talks and said that public employees are treated unfairly, as only Memur-Sen has the authority to strike an agreement, and added, and”We are worried that Memur-Sen will again anger civil employees with its stance.and”
Memur-Sen has been criticized for concessions it made to the government during last yearand’s negotiations and what was seen by many as a pro-government stance. A deal was reached when Memur-Sen agreed to a 3 percent wage increase in each half of 2015. The inflation rate was recorded by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) as 7.2 percent in June.