Between the farmers' strike and the taxi strike, it is a more confidential and subdued rumble that is trying to be heard. While the President of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet must present this Monday afternoon, her wishes to the little hands of the lower house, a protest movement is taking shape. To protest against the increase of 300 euros in the advance of the mandate fees of deputies (AFM), a certain number of collaborators wish to go without a jacket - although compulsory within Bourbon since November 2022 - to the ceremony.
What’s special about this slingshot? It is the initiative, not of a union of collaborators, but of the humorous channel “Memes for idle parliamentary cab boss”. In this discussion thread on the Telegram application, anonymous collaborators publish short humorous videos around political and parliamentary news. Since the announcement this Wednesday, January 24 of the AFM increase of 5.4%, the jokers have been having a field day.
Contacted by Le Figaro, one of the anonymous authors explains: “While many French people are bearing the brunt of inflation, and farmers are mobilizing to survive, this increase in MPs' expenses seems incomprehensible to us. We also denounce the hypocrisy of the AN Office which has refused to increase the collaborator credit for several years on the grounds that it would cost the National Assembly too much. Even though we have employees paid barely more than the minimum wage and who, like everyone else, will suffer from inflation on a daily basis. We regret this taking into account variable geometry inflation.”
Created in 1975 in France, the status of parliamentary collaborator allows deputies to have support staff. The elected official has a “collaborator credit” in the amount of 11,118 euros per month allowing him to recruit up to five employees. As of January 1, 2022, the Assembly had 2,023 employees, receiving an average gross remuneration of 21.45 euros per hour according to the Assembly's internal financial management services.
Although this revolt touches on a recurring demand, the unions representing employees are keeping their distance from the initiative. Maxime Torrente, Horizons employee and CFE-CGC manager, explains: “We consulted with the other unions, we said to ourselves that it was not our role to participate. This is a fairly sensitive subject and we are taking part in the negotiations. On the other hand, we will use it as an argument during the next negotiations. For this holder of a master's degree in public law: “The correlation between the movement and the 300 euro increase in the AFM, we don't think that is a subject. We do not oppose the resources allocated to deputies and those allocated to collaborators.”