Union of public servants threatens series of strikes ahead of 2018 election

November 29, 2017

Union of public servants threatens series of strikes ahead of 2018 elections
Protest for higher wages in the social sector on May 29, 2015 | Photo: mkksz.org.hu

The Union for Hungarian Civil Servants, Public Servants, and Public Servant Providers (MKKSZ), which represents municipal employees around Hungary, has threatened a series of strikes leading up to the national election in spring 2018 if its demands for pay raises are not met, nepszava.hu reports.

The union’s president, Mrs Péter Boros, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warning that if the government continues to stall on increasing the wages of public servants then the union would organize a two-day strike in January, a three-day strike in February and a four-day strike in March among employees of Hungary’s municipal governments. Boros told nepszava.hu that such employees had not received meaningful pay raises in ten years, and dissatisfaction is on the rise.

The MKKSZ organized a 5,000-strong two-hour strike in summer of 2016 and another two-hour strike in summer of this year.

In her letter to Orbán, Boros wrote that “If the elections would be held this Sunday, it could be that it wouldn’t be able to be held in many places because the basic institution of democracy is endangered by a shortage of professional workforce.” She warned that if public servants leaving their professions due to low pay continues, municipalities might not be able to effectively oversee an election process.