Angry Geneva officials take to the streets

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Angry Geneva officials take to the streets







© KEYSTONE/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT


In Geneva, nearly 3,500 people, according to a Keystone-ATS count, demonstrated Thursday at the call of the inter-union Cartel of State personnel and the subsidized sector. Civil servants are protesting against measures taken by the Council of State which lower their salaries.

At the head of the procession that left Place Neuve, the health sector particularly rose up against “the lack of recognition of the State and elected politicians” after its involvement in the health crisis. “The coup de grace was the pay cut wanted by the Council of State,” said Sonia, who works in care.

In connection with the 2021 state budget project, the executive presented measures that include a linear decrease of 1% in the salaries of all state employees. By planing salaries, the executive intends to save 30.3 million in 2021. This decrease would be deployed over four years.

The Council of State justifies this measure as an effort of solidarity of the public service with the private sector hit hard by the crisis. “We have been making efforts for years, it is time for this to change,” said this employee. According to the Cartel, the “tax gifts” granted to companies and to the richest are at the origin of these savings measures.

The demonstration, which brought together representatives from all sectors, also aimed to counter the planned suspension of the annuity of civil servants in 2021 and 2023 as well as the non-indexation of salaries for four years. The Council of State also wants to touch the distribution between the employer and the employees in the pension fund which would go from two thirds to one third to 58% -42%.

The inter-union cartel asks the Council of State to withdraw its bills for lowering salaries which are under discussion at the Grand Council. This first mobilization which punctuated a walkout could be followed by a day of strike on October 29. A resolution in this direction should be voted at the end of the day by the general assembly of the Cartel.

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