The "Decree on the Amendment of the Law on Civil Servants" brought good news to contracted workers just a few days prior to the parliamentary elections. Civil servants working under the 4B regulation are now entitled to apply for a transfer to the permanent staff. The decree was enforced on 4 June when it was published in the Official Gazette.
Between 190,000 and 200,000 contracted civil servants will be able to benefit from this right. Education and Science Workers' Union (Eğitim-Sen) reminded the 30-day deadline to apply for a transfer to the permanent staff. Eğitim-Sen prepared an example petition for the transfer on their website. About 70,000 teachers currently employed as contracted civil servants will be transferred to the permanent staff according to the new 4B decree.
After a ten-year struggle to lift the 4/B and 4/C regulations, the unions deem this regulation insufficient.
Besides, the decree excludes certain workers who are employed under the 4/B regulation.
4/A, 4/B, 4/C, 4/D
The abbreviations 4A, 4B, 4C and 4D define the status of the contract and the staff. They are part of Law No. 657 on "Public Servants".
4A refers to the 'classic' civil servants whose job is guaranteed. They hold the right to collective bargaining but not the right to strike.
4B includes the employees with a 12-month contract. A renewal of the contract is required each year according to the needs of the state. Working conditions correspond to those under the 4A regulation but personal rights are defined by Law No.5510 on Social Security. 4B is mainly valid for teachers, doctors, nurses, laboratory assistants and employees connected to religious affairs like preachers, Koran teachers and imams.
4C involves seasonal workers. After the massive resistance of Tekel workers in 2010, the conditions of this group of staff that includes employees made redundant due to privatization were improved. About 100,000 workers fall under the 4C regulation.
4D embraces the permanent state workers. They are entitled to benefit from the full range of trade union rights.
"Investment for parliamentary elections"
The Confederation of Trade Unions of Public Employees (KESK) took the new 4B workers' right to be transferred to the permanent staff with a pinch of salt and called the amendment an "investment of the government" in perspective to the parliamentary elections on 12 June.
KESK reiterated data compiled by the State Planning Department (DPB).
* According to DPB, under the government of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) the number or contracted civil servants increased from 195,000 in 2002 to 309,000 in 2010.
* Whereas contracted employment or payment by the hour was not an issue in the educational sector in 2002, as of 2011 there are 82,000 contracted teachers and almost 100,000 wageworkers, substitutes etc who are covering additional lessons and courses.
* 60 percent of all work sectors have been sub-contracted between 2002 and 2011. As a result, almost 6 million labourers are working without job guarantee.
* Considering only the health sector, 11,000 workers were employed on a sub-contracted base in 2002. In 2011, the number of sub-contracted workers in this sector has increased to 118,000.
In the context of this data, KESK emphasized that the 4B regulation was not enough and that the AKP government should lift the 4C regulation.
Nurses and midwives excluded
The union of health workers, Türk Sağlık-Sen, has been struggling for the transfer of contracted workers to permanent staff since 2008.
Türk Sağlık-Sen announced, "Leaving 4C workers and substitute midwives out of this regulation is the only drawback. We as Türk Sağlık-Sen will continue our intense struggle in this aspect".
"4/C should be lifted"
The President of the Office Civil Servants Union (Büro Memur-Sen), Yusuf Yazgan, pointed out that the employment models defined by 4A, 4B and 4C were wrong from the very beginning. He said that 4C workers should be given the same rights as the 4B employees.
"More than 45,000 workers are working as 4C personnel in many institutions, i.e. first and foremost at the Turkish Statistical Institute and the Ministry of Justice. 4C personnel is deprived of the rights to job security, resuming work after military service, unpaid leave and rights related to spouses, sickness or education" Yazgan argued and demanded the lifting of the 4C regulation. (HK/VK)
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