• France's news in English

France's civil servants stage mass walk-out

Ben McPartland · 31 Jan 2013, 11:04

Published: 31 Jan 2013 09:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 31 Jan 2013 11:04 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Up to 5.2 million civil servants, from the CGT, FSU and Solidaires unions staged a walk-out in protest over working conditions, stagnant salaries and loss of spending power.

As many as 120 demonstrations are to be held nationwide including one in Paris, which will start at Port Royal on the Left Bank at 2pm.

Many civil servants are disappointed the government has not done more for them since it was elected last year.

“We have not seen any concrete sign that makes us think things are going to change,” Denis Turbet-Delof from Solidaires said in Le Figaro. “everyone wants change. We have waited a long time.”

Teaching union SNUipp-FSU has said almost one in three teachers will not be turning up in school today to join the protest. Thursday’s strike comes just a week after schools across Paris were closed as teachers protested over the proposed extension to the school week.

The walk-out, which will affect hospitals as well as state institutions is a concern for President François Hollande and his Socialist government, for whom public servants represent the backbone of their electorate.

According to French daily Le Figaro two out of three civil servants, known as fonctionnaires in France, voted for Hollande in the second round of last year’s presidential election.

Protestors are calling for the salary index, which is used as the basis to calculate their salaries, to be re-evaluated. The index has been frozen since 2010.

Story continues below…

Unions want to send a message to the minister of Public Service Marylise Lebranchu before she holds a key meeting on February 7th to discuss the matter of civil servants salaries.

The minister recognised this week “the difficult situation facing civil servants” but also spoke of “budgetary constraints” on the government.

She has tried to appease the unions by suggesting a “new system of bonuses” will be introduced.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available