Croatia: Consensus has been reached between Croatian Government and trade union representatives


After reaching a compromise for education trade unions in negotiations with the Government, on Friday, 29 May 2020, a majority of public service trade unions, including ETUCE member organisations, the Croatian Teachers' Union, the Independent Trade Union of Workers in Secondary Education of Croatia and the Independent Union of Research and Higher Education Employees of Croatia, signed the Annex II to the Basic Collective Agreement for Civil Servants and State Employees.

Initially, the Croatian Government in its aim to reduce public debt and deficit spending in response to the harsh economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the country and to finance the national economic recovery programme, had intended to abolish jubilee awards, holiday and Christmas bonuses for 2020 as well as cancel the previously agreed 2 % increase in salary to be implemented as of 1 June 2020 and the additional 2 % starting from 1 October 2020 for all public service workers.

Giving way to the pressure from the trade unions, last Friday’s negotiations concluded with the signing of the Annex II to the Basic Collective Agreement for Civil Servants and State Employees with only one concession. The Croatian trade unions agreed with a single increase of 4 % as of 1 January 2021 instead of the previously agreed two increases of 2 % in the base for calculating salaries of public service workers. “We are satisfied with the agreement reached, given that we have not lost any rights permanently. Moreover, we have managed to protect the results of the longest strike ever carried out in the education and science system. By agreeing to this compromise solution in the midst of crisis, when the economic conditions have already significantly worsened, our bargaining positions with the new Government which is expected to be formed after the July parliamentary elections will be much stronger”, stated the unions.

Congratulating the Croatian member organisations and their affiliates on this success, Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director expressed her happiness that ETUCE was able to support the Croatian education trade unions in reaching this good outcome and said “This is an important result for the Croatian trade unions, for the teachers and other education personnel . It is also an important signal to other countries, governments and social partners in Europe that might be flirting with budget cuts in education in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and that can now see how well the social partners in Croatia have solved the issue by negotiating.”.