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The new Civil Servants Law jeopordises workers' rights: 21 unions, syndicates

Ahram Online , Saturday 30 May 2015
Mona Mina
Head of Doctors' Syndicate Mona Mina

Twenty-one professional syndicates, labor and independent unions announced on Saturday that they completely reject the new law regulating pay scales, promotions and disciplinary procedures for civil servants in the government.

In a statement released at a press coference they held in Cairo, the unions charged that the law, which is set to take effect starting July, would seriously endanger existing workers' rights, calling on President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to shelve it.

The signatories included the Doctors, Pharmascists, Engineers Syndicates, as well as Railway, Real Estate Tax, and various local chapters of the Teachers union.

The unions said that the law would increase levels of managerial authoritarianism over labor by giving bosses the right to transfer workers, determine bonuses and promotions, and sack individuals without granting workers the right to appeal managerial decisions.

The signatories said that the law would lower workers' incomes since it would replace a long-established practice of a gurranteed basic salary by a new "professional wage" which cannot keep up with current inflation rates.

The law would also deprive the workers of their right to cashing in unused vacation time, would lift all existing limits on working hours, and endanger the very right to overtime compensation.

The legislation, which was signed into law by El-Sisi in March 2015 would deprive all temporary workers hired on temporary basis after 1 May 2015 of the right to achieve permanent status, and also would jeopardize the rights of people with disabilities.

Mona Mina, the head of the Doctors' Syndicate ripped into the legislation, saying the government "falsely marketed the new legislation as a tool to combat "delinquent employees"."

"It was passed in a hush hush manner; it was not discussed with unions or political parties; it contains many shortcomings and few positives."

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