Pay increase for Belgian civil servants on the table after agreement with trade unions

Pay increase for Belgian civil servants on the table after agreement with trade unions
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Civil Services and State-owned companies, Petra De Sutter. Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

Minister of the Civil Service Petra De Sutter of the Greens has reached a new sectoral preliminary agreement with the trade unions over increasing civil servants' wages, Belga News Agency reports.

The deal provides for a wage increase of 3 to 7% that the Greens Deputy Prime Minister will put on the government table next autumn. It has been twelve years since the trade unions and the Minister of the Civil Service were able to conclude a sectoral agreement.

In addition, the approximately 65,000 Federal Government employees have not received a single pay increase on top of the index in the past 20 years, stated De Sutter. "So it's only natural for their wages to increase."

In concrete terms, this would involve at least €200 euros gross extra per month in the form of a higher end-of-year bonus, the introduction of meal vouchers and a wage surcharge. That equates to an increase in purchasing power of 3 to 7%. The officials at levels C and D such as guards, reception staff or logistics staff will especially feel the increase, says De Sutter.

The preliminary agreement also includes efforts to accelerate recruitment, actions on well-being, sustainability and a better 'feedback culture'. Bottleneck professions such as IT specialists and analysts are being made more attractive with, among other things, training programs and competitive wages, says De Sutter.

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"In that sense, this agreement responds to the war for talent that all employers are confronted with today." The preliminary agreement will be on the government's agenda next autumn, together with the agreement that Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) negotiated with the police unions earlier this year.

The government has yet to give the green light. If all goes well, the agreement for civil servants will come into effect on January 1, 2023.

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