ZAGREB, September 17, 2018 – Unionists on Monday walked out of a meeting with Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić on a planned pension reform, saying he did not take their proposals into consideration but presented them with a finished proposal, and announcing that workers would take to the streets.
Unionists walked out of the meeting after Pavić refused to negotiate on increasing the retirement age and the penalisation of early retirement, Mladen Novosel of the SSSH union federation told Hina.
Under the draft pension reform that has been leaked, the retirement age will be 67, early retirement will be penalised more strictly, and a 27% supplement is envisaged only for those who transfer to the first pension pillar.
Novosel said that what Pavić offered them was not social dialogue because he “froze” in advance what he wanted to change in the pension legislation package. “Our key demands were turned down – not touching the retirement age and the additional penalisation of early retirement, and not raising the retirement age in case of 41 years of service and 61 years of life. Pavić and the government are evidently currying favour with the European Commission and the World Bank,” said Novosel.
During the summer we announced protests for the autumn. We will call on our members and on workers to take to the streets and resist the government’s unreasonable proposals, he said, adding that union federations would decide on that soon.
Commenting on the walkout, Pavić said that retiring at 67 was already envisaged under the current law and that this had been part of the government’s national reform plan for several years now.
The minister said he was pleased that employers, unlike the unions, supported the proposal. “Social dialogue has two sides. We are continuing to talk,” he said.