Turkey: One-day strike to demand decent pay and working conditions for public employees


This Friday 27 August 2021, affiliates of Egitim-Sen with its confederation – KESK (Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions), stop working in response to the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between the Minister of Labour and Social Security of Turkey and Memur-Sen (Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions).

The collective agreement, that is negotiated every two years, sets up objectives such as 5% increase in salaries for the first six months of 2022 and 7% increase for the second half of 2022. Seeing that the agreed provisions stipulated in the signed collective agreement does not meet KESK’s demands and are unacceptable according to the Confederation and its affiliates, a series of actions are organised this Friday to reinforce public awareness on the demands. These requests involve professional, financial and democratic aspects to protect and promote labour rights and quality public services.

With this action, public services employees, including teachers and other education personnel affiliated to KESK will demand:

  • Decent salaries for all public employees,
  • Quality public services for all,
  • Secured universal basic income,
  • Job security
  • Democratic and fair working conditions,
  • Meaningful negotiation mechanisms around the collective agreement

Egitim-Sen President, Nejla Kurul, states: “The signed Collective Bargaining Agreement does not meet the needs of millions of public employees, in particular in the education sector. There are five major issues that are represented in the document: the increase in salaries is not enough to have a decent life; it does not cover any social nor professional rights of public employees; further to this it has no provisions that would speak for women public employees which is a vital element, especially after the Turkish government’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention”.

Egitim-Sen, together with its Confederation, refuses to accept the signed Collective Agreement as it does not guarantee any effective mechanisms for potential appeal before the competent authorities, nor does it provide an inclusive and transparent structure. This Friday Egitim-Sen, and KESK will make the voice of teachers and other education personnel heard! ETUCE stands in solidarity with Egitim-Sen, KESK, and their affiliates and resolutely supports the critical demands of public employees in Turkey.