Public workers across Hungary to hold one-day strike tomorrow

September 13, 2016

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Complaining that their salaries have not kept up with inflation, public workers across Hungary plan to hold an all-day strike on Wednesday.  Some 168 municipal governments will be affected according to Mrs. Péter Boros, president of the Union of Public Office Holders, Civil Servants and Public Services Workers.

Public workers are demanding a 30 percent pay raise.  The day-long strike follows a two-hour work stoppage in June involving some 4,500 workers at over 100 municipalities.  Wednesday’s action will affect some 168 municipalities, although the exact number of expected participants has yet to be determined.

Public workers complain that of the 36,749 people employed by local municipalities across the country, 24,058 (more than 65 percent) have not had any kind of pay raise in the last eight years.

The two-hour strike in June resulted in the government returning to municipal governments the power to raise base pay rates. However, without adequate funding from the central budget, these powers are moot as Hungarian municipalities cannot afford to increase pay.

Despite Minister Overseeing the Office of the Prime Minister János Lázár promising in June to solve the problem of public sector wage stagnation, nothing has been done.