The exchange was brief. This Thursday afternoon, seven of the eight public service union organizations were expected at the Ministry of Transformation and the Civil Service, for a meeting with the minister’s teams responsible for presenting a “diagnosis of the evolution of remuneration”. A meeting which ended short, the union representatives having left the premises before the discussions even began, a sign of the strong discontent which is agitating the public service.

In particular, a document sent at the beginning of the week to the unions which assesses the evolution of civil servants’ remuneration over the last ten years is at issue. The figures put forward by the ministry tend to show an increase in the purchasing power of public agents “from 20.8 to 34.2% depending on the slope with the sole effect of salary measures”, in comparison with inflation around 20 %. Statistical data which did not convince the union representatives. “The document chooses a criterion which is based on the increase in the payroll more than remuneration and would therefore like to make us believe that remuneration has increased”, annoys Mylène Jacquot, general secretary of the CFDT Civil Service.

“It’s not necessarily a desire to provoke us,” she admits. But it’s received just like.” “We are not very far from the declaration of war,” adds Stanislas Gaudon, president of the public services federation of the CCFE-CGC, who believes that “it was not appropriate to send us this document in such a context “. It must be said that social discontent is growing in the civil service – a day of general mobilization, the first in five years, having been decreed for Tuesday March 19. Because if civil servants obtained two successive increases in the index point in 2022 and 2023, the year 2024 will be “a blank year” in terms of salary increases. An unacceptable situation in their eyes, given the still high level of inflation.

On the ministry side, we regret that the unions refused the discussion. “We discussed throughout the fall to establish a method of annual negotiations, based on the NAO model in the private sector. This must be done in three stages, starting with a shared diagnosis, which requires that we be able to negotiate, even on the components themselves of the diagnosis,” says the Ministry of the Civil Service. Rue de Grenelle, we therefore find it “regrettable that we were not able to discuss it” this Thursday.

For the unions, if the principle of establishing annual and multi-annual negotiations on salaries pleases, it is difficult to accept the absence of salary increases for 2024. Because even if negotiations take place this year, they would only concern increases for 2025. “There is a lot of dissatisfaction and anger among civil servants,” warns Stanislas Gaudon of the CFE-CGC.

A rather electric atmosphere which augurs complicated negotiations for the Ministry of Transformation and Public Service in full preparation of a reform bill planned for after the summer. And that the absence of Stanislas Guerini this Thursday at the meeting did not really appease. “He was not there today, nor during the meeting on the Olympic Games,” regrets Mylène Jacquot who sees “a lack of consideration for the representatives of public officials which is only the reflection of a lack consideration for public officials themselves.