TODAY’S – Civil servant wages too low to offset inflation

Civil servant wages too low to offset inflationSince the inflation rate was well above the rate of the increase in the wages of Turkish civil servants in 2014, their purchasing power has weakened, with a least-paid-public worker experiencing an annual loss of TL 732, a union has said.A report which examines the effects of high inflation on civil servants was released by the Turkish Health Care Workersand#39 Union (Turk SaIlIk-Sen) on Friday.

The government upped the wages of civil servants by 3 percent year-on-year in January of this year, and it is expected to increase them by an additional 3 percent in July. The inflation rate in 2014, meanwhile, grew to 817 percent.

During a press conference on Friday, union head Adnan Bayraktar said: andldquoThe wages of 3 million civil servants were increased by TL 123 in 2014 in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement that was signed between the responsible union and the government last year The increase equals a hike of between 2 percent and 64 percent. andhellip Since the inflation rate exceeded the expected level, a high school graduate civil servant, who is not paid [extra] for the difference between inflation and the increase, lost TL 61 per month, and a nurse lost TL 76andhellip The yearly loss of a least-paid-civil servant amounted to TL 732.

andrdquoHighlighting that many civil servants cannot afford even basic consumption goods, Bayraktar added: andldquoA study carried out by our RD department revealed the [current] condition of civil servants.andrdquoThe price of 26 food products, including red lentils, flour, potatoes, tea, onions, olives, pasta and dairy products, showed a year-on-year increase of between 10 and 15 percent, Bayraktar noted.

Even the price of electricity rose by 10 percent over the course of 2014, he stated.andldquoThe price of bread, which is a must for our homes, grew by 11.

6 percent. A kilogram of minced beef has risen to TL 36 from between TL 24 and TL 30 in December We also see a surge of between 40 and 50 percent in the price of vegetables and fruits compared to last year,andrdquo he said.

Bayraktar also shared the results of a satisfaction survey that the union had conducted with civil servants.According to the survey, 97 percent of the participants replied andldquonoandrdquo to a question of whether they find two hikes of 3 percent enough or not.

In addition, 97 percent of interviewees said that the hike was not proportional to food inflation, and 91 percent expressed discontent about the pay increases.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman