The government services of ACOD and the liberal VSOA are dissatisfied with the Flemish government’s decision to hire employees only with contractual employment from 1 January 2023 within the government. “What Minister Bart Sommers and the Flemish government mean is the repeal of the Civil Servants Act”
Earlier, ACOD and VSOA had already filed a strike notice against the government’s plans. The two unions will now inform all employees and then take “drastic action”. “We’re going to open up the entire registry,” ACOD’s Chris Mortgat said.
Sommers announced the new step in “the updating and updating of the Flemish Personnel Act” on Friday, after negotiations with trade union representatives. In addition to the decision to appoint only employees who have a contractual employment contract, it was also agreed to strengthen the contractual position in terms of occupational policy, wages, sickness, reintegration, pension and protection.
For example, the contribution to the second pension pillar will increase to 5% by 2024. In addition, more than 20 million euros have been committed to strengthening working conditions.
Significant additional costs to taxpayers
According to the ACOD and VSOA, the disappearance of permanent designations will result in significant additional costs that must be borne by the taxpayer. “The minister forgot to mention it.” The unions also denounce that “they want to undermine the working conditions of the existing Flemish civil servants” and that “new contract employees will never have the same conditions as existing statutory civil servants”.
They demand a clear promotion and modernization of wages and working conditions for all Flemish government employees. The Flemish government was already rigorously planning in advance to repeal the law. Driven only by ideological motives, people have been deaf to ACOD and VSOA positions.
“Only through consultation can we reach reform.”
In response to the unions’ announcement, Summers said he was “reaching out for them to engage in consultations”. “Thanks to constructive consultation, we have already made sure that there are additional resources to strengthen the contractual situation in the future, and that these employees will also be better protected against unfair dismissal. Only through consultation can we come up with a reform that all parties can support, for the benefit of all Flemish government employees,” Sommers stresses. Flanders wants to remain an attractive employer for new and existing employees.
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