[Georgia] Social service workers reject salary proposal and strike

[Georgia] Social service workers reject salary proposal and strike
20 Jan 2022

On January 17 around 400 employees of Georgia’s Social Service Agency went on strike across the country, rejecting a decision by their employer - announced late the previous day - to increase salaries from February, Civil.ge reports.

The agency said social agents would receive 60 per cent raises, while another 1,000 entry- to mid-level employees would get pay increases of 40-60 per cent. The agency explained that the pay hike would affect both components making up a social agent’s salary; base pay and commissions per examined case. 

According to the agency, after the increase base pay for social agents would amount to GEL 400 (USD 130), instead of GEL 250 (USD 81), while senior social agents would receive GEL 700 (USD 227) instead of GEL 550 (USD 178). Per examined case, the social agents would receive GEL 10 (USD 3.2) instead of GEL 6 (USD 1.9). 

The numbers reportedly fell short of those demanded by the employees, who called for 100 per cent rises in the monthly salaries of social agents and senior social agents as well as specialists and senior and chief specialists.

The agency did not publicly address other demands, including inflation indexing of salaries and signing a collective bargaining agreement with the participation of a labour union. 

It claimed the decision was made within the scope of its “structural and organisational development plan” and as a result of active internal consultations in recent months.

The workers, who had filed official notice about the strike on January 14, rejected the proposal within hours and vowed to “continue to fight for decent wages and [working] conditions.”

The Solidarity Network - an independent labour union of healthcare and service sector workers -  argued that the proposal was worse than an offer they received in November 2021, during mediation between the employees and the Social Service Agency.

Sopo Japaridze - one of the union leaders - said today that the pay rises were initially made as an offer to the workers but the agency then unilaterally decided to announce the increases as decided. Ms Japaridze said that the workers were still deliberating the offer when the agency issued its statement on raises.

The strike began at 09:00 on January 17. Later in the day, Social Service Agency employees gathered outside the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs for a protest rally.

The agency operates under the Health Ministry and administers state social and health protection programmes. Among other things, it provides social assistance payments, state pensions and assistance to people with disabilities.


Source: Civil.ge

(Links via original reporting)

On January 17 around 400 employees of Georgia’s Social Service Agency went on strike across the country, rejecting a decision by their employer - announced late the previous day - to increase salaries from February, Civil.ge reports.

The agency said social agents would receive 60 per cent raises, while another 1,000 entry- to mid-level employees would get pay increases of 40-60 per cent. The agency explained that the pay hike would affect both components making up a social agent’s salary; base pay and commissions per examined case. 

According to the agency, after the increase base pay for social agents would amount to GEL 400 (USD 130), instead of GEL 250 (USD 81), while senior social agents would receive GEL 700 (USD 227) instead of GEL 550 (USD 178). Per examined case, the social agents would receive GEL 10 (USD 3.2) instead of GEL 6 (USD 1.9). 

The numbers reportedly fell short of those demanded by the employees, who called for 100 per cent rises in the monthly salaries of social agents and senior social agents as well as specialists and senior and chief specialists.

The agency did not publicly address other demands, including inflation indexing of salaries and signing a collective bargaining agreement with the participation of a labour union. 

It claimed the decision was made within the scope of its “structural and organisational development plan” and as a result of active internal consultations in recent months.

The workers, who had filed official notice about the strike on January 14, rejected the proposal within hours and vowed to “continue to fight for decent wages and [working] conditions.”

The Solidarity Network - an independent labour union of healthcare and service sector workers -  argued that the proposal was worse than an offer they received in November 2021, during mediation between the employees and the Social Service Agency.

Sopo Japaridze - one of the union leaders - said today that the pay rises were initially made as an offer to the workers but the agency then unilaterally decided to announce the increases as decided. Ms Japaridze said that the workers were still deliberating the offer when the agency issued its statement on raises.

The strike began at 09:00 on January 17. Later in the day, Social Service Agency employees gathered outside the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs for a protest rally.

The agency operates under the Health Ministry and administers state social and health protection programmes. Among other things, it provides social assistance payments, state pensions and assistance to people with disabilities.


Source: Civil.ge

(Links via original reporting)

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