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Civil service reform: how is the remuneration of civil servants calculated?

A kick in the anthill.

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Civil service reform: how is the remuneration of civil servants calculated?

A kick in the anthill. While some voices are being raised, such as that of Medef President Patrick Martin, to denounce the “blatant overstaffing” of the French civil service (5.7 million agents in total), the government responds that reform is necessary. The civil service reform project, the consultation of which was launched this Tuesday, aims in particular to increase merit-based remuneration for civil servants and to facilitate transfers from one branch to another of the civil service.

Today, the public service covers a range of more than 1000 professions, distributed in 29 professional sectors... That is to say as many different remunerations which depend both on the profession carried out and the level of qualification, as recalled by the Ministry of Public function. And if the components of remuneration are common to everyone (index treatment, ancillary elements of remuneration, bonuses, etc.), the structuring of this is specific to each body or job framework to take into account the specificities of the professions. Just like bonuses, the nature of which varies depending on the body or job framework. Likewise, the remuneration of contract workers is set by the administrative authority, taking into account the functions held, the qualification required for their exercise, the qualification held by the agent as well as his experience. Result, difficult to see clearly, unless you are a specialist.

It is therefore appropriate, first of all, to recall that the public service is “composed of three sides (State, territorial and hospital), which together employ 5.7 million agents”. Or one in five employees, according to the ministry. These agents are employed, under various statuses, by the civil and military services of the State, regional and departmental councils, municipalities, national and local public establishments of an administrative nature, public hospitals, accommodation establishments for elderly people and other medical-social establishments.

These jobs are divided into three hierarchical categories - A, B and C -, "each category being itself made up of numerous bodies generally corresponding to the various sectors of the professions". A hierarchical category determined according to their level of recruitment.

Each body brings together civil servants subject to the same set of rules - called special status - "applicable in matters of recruitment, advancement, promotion and remuneration to all civil servants who are members of the same body or employment framework, fixed by decree". Thus, category A corresponds to a minimum Bac 2, B to a minimum Bac and C to a CAP, BEP or college certificate or in certain cases, to no diploma. Note that moving from one category to another is possible, throughout the civil servant's career, “by internal promotion or competition”.

In terms of salary, a state civil service employee (FPE) receives on average 2,639 euros net per month in full-time equivalent, according to the latest figures from INSEE. This average takes into account all civil agents of ministries and public establishments, civil servants or not. While an employee of the territorial civil service (FPT) receives on average 2,019 euros net per month in full-time equivalent. Knowing that this average takes into account all local authority agents, all statuses and categories combined, whether they are civil servants or not.

There is nevertheless a dose of variable in the remuneration of civil servants, bonuses and allowances having represented almost a quarter (23.6%) of the remuneration of public agents in 2021, according to administration figures. Merit-based pay as desired by Civil Service Minister Stanislas Guerini? If part of these bonuses is linked to certain functions held, constraints or expertise, another part refers to merit.

In the State civil service, this “annual compensation supplement” is also defined as “an optional bonus which takes into account the professional commitment and the way of serving of the agents, while maintaining a flexible nature in view of the results obtained”, according to the conclusions of a report on the salary prospects of the public service. But if this remuneration for merit exists, it is nevertheless “destined to remain largely in the minority”. The report underlines that it cannot go beyond 15% for category A civil servants, 12% for category B and 10% for category C.

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