30,000 goverment employees to benefit from €190 million in salary raises
An annual raise of 2.5% on the salaries of Government employees amounting to €190 million over six years will start off today following the signing of a new collective agreement for civil service employees.
Minister of Finance Tonio Fenech held that this was no easy passage but that he is pleased to have reached this agreement concerning all employees, an agreement spanning six years, restoring stability to the civil sector, while EU neighbors are facing a reality that necessitates cost-cutting, austerity measures and salary reductions. The Government has to be transparent and accountable to the European Commission (EC) with regard to financial sustainability, he added, saying that he is satisfied that all raises are within the framework that the government discussed with the EC.
30,000 government employees will be affected by this agreement, which enhances other sectoral agreements reached with unions in particular sectors. A number of family-friendly measures have been included, particularly to women in the civil service. One of these is extending the availability of reduced hours to mothers of children up to the age of 15.
The Minister thanked the unions and all other entities for the patience they showed during the discussions.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi thanked those who responsibly sat around a table and, over a period of time, reached an agreement "through reasonable discussion".
"Our country needed stability in the civil service. It was the wise decisions of the unions which had secured the previous agreement that helped the country face the challenges Malta went through," the Prime Minister said.
He added that the coming years will be "challenging, yet they will also provide a number of opportunities. While strengthening the private sector brings with it enlargement in the economy, the collective agreement for the civil service highlights the fact that our greatest treasure is human resources, which will result in the public receiving a better service".
Through family-friendly measures, the government has managed to secure the services of a large number of employees, who the civil service had invested in though training and experience. 3,700 individuals benefit from family-friendly measures, amounting to 13% of the civil workforce, Dr Gonzi explained while appealing to private companies to continue investing in such measures.
30,000 government employees have been given the tools and he opportunities to grow and advance in their careers, however they should remember that their salaries come from taxpayers' pockets and that they have a duty and obligation to provide the best professional services possible in return for the investment the country makes in the civil service, the Prime Minister concluded.