Thousands of EU officials say to strike over pay rise

There are more than 40,000 officials eligible for the raise.

Thousands of EU officials say to strike over pay rise

Tens of thousands of European Union officials said that they will strike next week for their right to pocket an inflation-busting 3.7 percent pay rise which member states say shows double standards.

By law, EU staff should receive a 3.7 percent salary increase, but some governments want to block it, saying the EU should show austerity at a time when people across Europe are being laid off and suffer pay cuts in the aftermath of the economic crisis.

Officials at the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, joined those from other EU institutions in calling to stage a warning strike for several hours on Monday.

The warning came as EU leaders were gathering in Brussels, but the pay dispute was not expected to feature at the summit.

The strike could disrupt a Monday meeting of EU agriculture ministers due to discuss fishing quotas.

The Commission defended the pay raise, saying governments could be challenged in an EU court if they block it.

"This is the current model and we should follow it. We can decide to change this model, but we have it here now," EU Administration Commissioner Siim Kallas told reporters.

Under current regulation, pay for EU officials follows changes of wages for public servants in eight selected countries, with costs of living in Brussels taken into account.

In theory, a majority of EU governments could block the increase before the year-end deadline, but the move could be challenged in the European Court of Justice, officials say.

Envoys from the EU's 27 governments were to hold another meeting on the issue on Friday.

There are more than 40,000 officials eligible for the raise.



Agencies

Last Mod: 11 Aralık 2009, 17:33
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