Trade unions of medical workers, welfare workers and teachers on Wednesday turned down the government's proposals for the postponement of a planned base pay rise and for the non-payment of the Christmas bonus, labelling them as inappropriate in the current circumstances.
"In the circumstances marked by the worst ever epidemiological situation, I believe that one should be thinking about how to reward people for what they do," the leader of the Croatian Doctors' Union (HLS), Renata Culinovic-Caic, said after after the unionists' meeting with government officials.
She underscored that the HLS found the non-payment of the Christmas bonus absolutely unacceptable.
Anica Prasnjak of the Nurses' Union, too, dismissed the proposed non-payment of the Christmas bonus as unacceptable.
"On behalf of nurses we have requested incentives and additional rewards, and this offer is unacceptable... It is being discussed too late," she said.
Prasnjak notes that all employees in the healthcare system should be paid holiday and Christmas bonuses.
Jadranka Ivezic of the trade union of employees in the welfare system said that this trade union had also turned down the offer.
She explained that they were aware that "the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse, but we forecast the same scenario for the welfare services sector."
"We have proposed to the government to take a selective approach in raising the base pay, we believe that in that way it will demonstrate its respect to all the employees who are currently doing their utmost in their workplace," Ivezic said.
Branimir Mihalinec of the secondary school teachers' union said that currently there were no economic reasons to justify the delay in the base pay rise, which was initially envisaged for 1 January 2021.
We believe that a HRK 1,500 Christmas bonus is a justified amount that can help the economy, Mihalinec said, suggesting that the money would be spent in the country, thus boosting consumption.