Labour.Switzerland paints a mixed picture of pay negotiations for 2023. Employees certainly got the biggest pay increases in 20 years. But generally they will not be able to offset the “record” rise in the cost of living.
“Despite the persistence of the good economic situation, too many employers were narrow-minded and were not willing to compensate for all the increase in prices”, lamented Monday at the time of the balance sheet Thomas Bauer, head of policy. economy at Travail.Suisse, the second largest trade union organization in Switzerland after the USS.
In all, Travail.Suisse announces a salary increase of 2.5%, a result last achieved in 2001. However, this increase will be offset by inflation, estimated at 3% this year.
Low salaries are the most affected
The situation is especially uncomfortable for low-income employees, points out Thomas Bauer. For this category of workers, who spend between 70 and 100% of their income on goods and services particularly affected by inflation, the cost of living increased by 4% in 2022. For very high incomes, the bill would not only increase by 1 to 2%, according to Mr. Bauer.
However, Travail.Suisse is satisfied with the fact that 97% of negotiations resulted in overall salary increases. In 56% of cases, only general increases could be obtained. But for 41% of sector negotiations, individual raises were granted in addition to raises for all employees.
“Negotiations were sometimes very difficult. But acceptable solutions could be found everywhere,” commented Greta Gysin, president of the transfair professional federation.
The “Good Students”
Positive results were achieved in particular in watchmaking, cleaning in German-speaking Switzerland, railway construction and carpentry.
Travail.Suisse also highlights the “small success” obtained in hotels and restaurants. Minimum wages will be readjusted proportionally to inflation. Real increases of 10 to 40 francs per month will also be allocated according to salary categories.
For the union, these increases are “a step in the right direction” but do not solve the problem of “severe shortage of personnel” in the sector. He asks the employers’ organization of Gastrosuisse to “finally assume its responsibilities towards the branch” and return to the negotiating table for a new collective bargaining agreement (CCT).
Staff representatives call for improvement of framework conditions. Last November, they released a collection of signatures that will be submitted to the Gastrosuisse at the end of 2023, in order to support their demands: higher wages, but also better training and work organization, allowing for a better balance with private life.
To work. Switzerland also describes negotiations in the construction industry as “satisfactory”, where a fixed increase of 150 francs was obtained after “difficult” discussions, punctuated by several street demonstrations this autumn.
On the other hand, the results are unsatisfactory in retail trade. The giant Coop thus granted only a 2% increase, while Syna’s demands were between 3 and 5%.
The union’s disappointment is all the stronger as supermarket workers have had to work in difficult conditions during the pandemic and the retailer is making record profits. Employee gift cards don’t change that, Syna points out, because they don’t represent a lasting improvement. Syna hopes that the Lidl group, with whom negotiations will take place next January, will be more generous.
Health workers, another sector hit hard by the pandemic and also experiencing a labor exodus, are also disappointed. The mix of public and private institutions and a poorly developed social partnership make it difficult for the whole branch to improve, observes the union. The results are also much lower than the requested 5% and Syna does not hesitate to speak of an “affront” made to the staff.
This article was automatically published. Source: ats