The Tunisian executive and the Tunisian General Union of Labour (UGTT), signed this Thursday, September 15 an agreement on increasing wages in the public sector.
5% gross on the salaries of public sector employees from next October until 2025. This is the percentage on which the two parties agreed on Thursday, after the first negotiations failed and gave way to a strike that paralyzed the country last June.
“Despite the delicate economic and financial situation, the government was keen to open negotiations on wage increases and to consolidate trust with the social partner in order to achieve the common goal of establishing social peace and support civil servants,” said Najla Bouden, head of the Tunisian government.
This measure affects more than 680,000 Tunisians working in the civil service and will help restore purchasing power in a context where the inflation rate exceeded 8% in late August. “Our goal through this agreement is to establish social peace and ease tensions, given the very difficult social situation and the deterioration of purchasing power, “said for his part Noureddine Taboubi, Secretary General of the UGTT. The agreement also provides for an increase in the Smig, according to the same source, although the latter percentage is not yet specified.
Tunisia is in the grip of a serious financial crisis. The covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have accelerated the rate of increase in food prices. To get his country out of this crisis, the contested Tunisian president, Kaïs Saïed, is trying to negotiate a loan of about two billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Before granting this new loan to the country, the IMF requires structural reforms that are opposed by the UGTT. Among the measures demanded, the lifting of state compensation on commodities including hydrocarbons, the freezing of civil service salaries and the sale of public enterprises.