20 Nov 14
Montenegro Unions Call Protest Against Pay Cuts
Montenegrin trade unions plan to stage a protest on December 6 in the capital, Podgorica, against announced pay cuts in the public sector.
Montenegrin trade unions representing the health, education, defence and army sectors agreed on Wednesday to hold a street protest on December 6 after the government announced cuts to the public sector wage bill in the 2015 budget.
Montenegro published its draft budget bill for 2015 last week. It includes cutting 7.3 million euro off the public-sector wage bill compared to 2014, reducing the figure to 380 million.
The bill has angered trade unions, which have reiterated their demand for an increase in salaries in 2015 – not cuts.
The head of the education union, Zvonko Pavicevic, said the planned protest in front of the government’s headquarters will send a mesagge that unions do not accept that the state has no money for salary increases.
Unions have demanded wage increases of 30 per cent, saying the government has the money to cover the rises as many state institutions “use more resources than they should”.
Unions have based their demand for salary raises on a previous agreement with the government, which promised negotiations on wage rises if GDP recorded growth of over 3.5 per cent, which the Montenegrin Statistical Office has confirmed.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)