Tunisia: Govt, Labour Agree On Wage Hike

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Tunisia’s government and Labour Union have resolved on a wage hike for public sector workers that could help ease resistance as the North African nation seeks International Monetary Fund aid.

The Head of Government, Najla Bouden, disclosed this in an interview with the state-run TAP news agency.

He said, “Government and Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT) union have agreed to a 3.5% increase in wages for roughly 680,000 public sector and civil service employees.

“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 objective of establishing social peace and supporting civil servants.”

The agreement involves a five per cent annual hike to public sector wages every year until 2025. The breakthrough came after arduous negotiations and a general strike observed in June. The purchasing power of Tunisians had eroded since the beginning of the year amid rising prices, high unemployment, and widespread poverty.

The Head of the UGTT, Noureddine Taboubi, added, “Our objective through this agreement is to establish social peace and to ease the tense social climate, in view of the very difficult social situation and the deterioration of purchasing power.”

But the Tunisian General Labour Union leader confirmed the first hike would take effect next month as the deal included a rise in the minimum wage.

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