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“I want us to lift the taboo of dismissal in the public service,” says Stanislas Guerini

Civil Service Minister Stanislas Guerini launched consultations on his civil service reform project in Paris on Tuesday, immediately encountering the anger of the unions.

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“I want us to lift the taboo of dismissal in the public service,” says Stanislas Guerini

Civil Service Minister Stanislas Guerini launched consultations on his civil service reform project in Paris on Tuesday, immediately encountering the anger of the unions. Announced in September 2023, the reform was initially to be presented to the Council of Ministers in February, but is now announced for the fall.

The bill aims in particular to increase merit-based remuneration for civil servants and facilitate transfers from one branch to another of the civil service (which has three: State, communities, hospitals). “An unjust project which will increase the division between public officials,” worried Solidaires public service (6th union) in a press release. For the CFDT-FP (3rd), “the priority of our colleagues is to maintain their ability to make a living from their work, for themselves and their families (...). The bill will only be socially acceptable on condition that it responds to priority issues for agents, for users and the general interest of the country while leaving the widest possible room for collective negotiation,” she continues in a communicated.

The Ministry of Civil Service is trying to calm things down by recalling that the aim of Tuesday's meeting, which brought together unions, hospital employers and communities, “is to put on the table all the objects (of consultation, Editor's note), without taboo, without dissimulation. “We anticipate differences of views, approach, lexicon, but it is wrong when the unions say that this reform does not address any problem” raised by civil servants, adds the government. In a document presented on Tuesday to unions and employers, the government details a series of measures that it plans to include in its reform: systematic maintenance of remuneration in the event of transfer, easier granting of “permanent employment” to apprentices, broadening the range of sanctions in the face of “professional inadequacy”...

If the civil servant is “holder of his rank”, he is not necessarily “owner of his job”, insists the executive. “I want us to lift the taboo of dismissal in the public service,” trumpeted Stanislas Guerini in Le Parisien, pointing to a “culture of avoidance on these subjects.” The historical categories of the civil service (A, B and C, depending on the level of qualification) are also in the hot seat, because they are judged by the government to be “increasingly out of step” with the reality of public sector jobs.

Not requesting this bill, the eight representative unions denounced on Monday in a joint press release a reform in their eyes “dogmatic” and which would not respond “to any of the concerns expressed by public agents”. Five years after a civil service “transformation” law that they continue to denounce, the unions regret that the preparation of the next reform is taking place in the form of a simple consultation, rather than a negotiation which would have given more voice to the chapter.

The second union of civil servants, the FGF-FO, refused to participate in Tuesday's meeting, its general secretary Christian Grolier denouncing “a ministry which does not want to negotiate but to impose its project”. Unsa-FP for its part judges that “for public officials, the priorities are those of their purchasing power and their working conditions. Rather than a bill, a budgetary commitment would be necessary.” The consultation must continue until the summer, before presenting the bill at the start of the school year. According to a provisional schedule communicated to the unions, two other plenary meetings - which bring together employers and representatives of agents - are planned for the spring, the first on May 14 and the second on June 20.

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