Turkey agrees pay rise for public sector workers

Turkey’s government and the main public sector union reached an agreement on pay increases, staving off possible industrial action.

Public sector workers will get an increase of 8 percent for the first half of the year and 4 percent for the second six months, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday. In addition, employees earning less than 3,500 liras per month will receive an additional 150 liras, it said.

The main labour union Turk-Is has been demanding recompense for workers hit by surging inflation. Consumer price increases in Turkey stand at an annual 16.7 percent. But the government says its hands are tied by a requirement to cut expenditure and raise revenues to help slow inflation and stimulate the economy, which is still suffering from the fallout of a currency crisis last August.

The workers will also receive pay increases of 3 percent in the first half of 2020 and 3 percent for the second half, Anadolu said. The government will make up any shortfall in earnings should inflation be higher than the total increase, it said.