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Ivorian civil servants strike shows no signs of ending despite new state offer

Ivory Coast

Trade unionists in the Ivorian public service have said they will consult their “base” to determine whether the proposals made by the Prime Minister are sufficient to stop the workers strike which begun on January 9th.

On Friday the union received proposals from the government which in a statement announced an agreement on three of the five workers demands.

“As is the custom for us as a trade unionist, the base mandated us to come and carry out the discussions…. we will go and offer them the government’s answer and it is up to them to tell us what to do next,” the spokesperson of the Inter-Union of Civil Servants of Côte d’Ivoire Abonga Jean Yves said.

Salary increases, the payment of certain arrears of premiums, and opposition to the 2012 pension reform are the root causes of the strike.

The pension reform raises the retirement age from 55 to 60, or even 65 years for the highest grades.

Contributions increase from 6% to 8.33% of the salary, while pensions have been reduced from 30% to 50% depending on the category.

Each year, payment of pensions costs the Ivorian government 244.8 million CFA francs, which is equivalent to about 370 thousand euros.

The strike is taking place at a time when a section of the army has held a mutiny demanding increased wages and allowances.

The situation remains tense with sporadic protests by the mutineers spilling into the streets.

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