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Brussels officials protest low wages for public servants

The joint trade union front protested on Thursday in Place Charles Rogier for a revaluation of the pay scales of local civil servants in Brussels.

At the end of 2020, the joint trade union front of the Brussels region’s local authorities reached an agreement with the Brussels government on the reinvestment of €150 million, Bruzz reports.

According to the trade unions, this amount (which was initially said to be €170 million over four years) was supposed to flow entirely into an increase of the salary scale.

That would have resulted in a one-off €500 payment paid at the end of December 2020 or the beginning of January 2021.

“From December 2020, the Joint Trade Union Front will negotiate to allocate the budget provided for the following years to a genuine revaluation of the scales rather than to the granting of a one-off bonus,” the union said back in October of last year.

But after further negotiations, that seems to no longer be the case.

In mid-May, the government proposed that the funds also be used for meal vouchers and the second pension pillar of contractual civil servants.

The trade unions are upset about this.

As part of their protest, they performed a play using photos of Brussels’ Minister President Rudi Vervoort (PS) and ministers Bernard Clerfayt (DéFI) and Alain Maron (Ecolo), having the likenesses recite ‘empty promises’ while union members denounced their situation.

The common trade union front stated that they are currently very far from a proposal that would ensure the funding goes only towards increasing the salary scale.

It’s possible that there will be more protest actions in June and September if the Brussels government leaders stick to their proposal.

The Brussels Times