Real Wages On The Rise In Several Sectors In Switzerland In 2024

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Português (pt) Salários aumentarão em vários setores na Suíça em 2024

In a press release, Unia outlines the improvements for next year and notes with satisfaction that“wages are once again keeping pace with inflation”.

Unia points out that this applies in particular to the arts and crafts and to the major collective labour agreements (CLAs) in the tertiary sector. The union added that this had provided“vital support for the purchasing power of 700,000 employees”, but warned that“even stronger action will be needed next year”.

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In detail, for example, Unia has obtained general increases of CHF120 ($135) per month for 2024 in the building trades, which corresponds to 2.5%, or more for low wages. For electricians, the increase is 2.2%.

From body repairers to hairdressers

Similar increases have been achieved in the vehicle bodywork sector (up CHF125 across the board), in the building envelope trades (up CHF100), in the insulation sector and in various cantonal agreements.

Virtually all the wage agreements reached in the arts and crafts also provide for corresponding increases in minimum wages, or even much higher ones, adds Unia. Other improvements have been made on a case-by-case basis, particularly in terms of compensation for expenses and holiday entitlements.

In the service sector, increases are sometimes higher than inflation. At Coop, for example, salaries up to CHF4,800 are being increased by CHF140 (or 2.9% to 3.3%, depending on the case). In the service leasing CLA, 3.2% was granted for all categories. The hotel and catering sector has received full compensation for inflation, plus CHF5. Hairdressing and cleaning and maintenance services also benefited from substantial improvements.

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In industry, the bulk of the wage negotiations are still to come, says the union.“Expectations are high following last year's real wage losses,” it warns. The wage agreement reached with the Nottaris foundry, for example, where the entire workforce received a 4% increase, shows that it is possible to meet these expectations, he adds. At Wander, minimum wages have been increased by CHF200 and actual wages by 2.3%.

“But there is still a long way to go,” adds Unia. Real wage losses of 2.7% on average have been accumulated for the years 2021 and 2022. There are also downward trends, such as the wage freeze in the main construction sector.

1% for federal employees

For their part, federal government staff will probably have to“make do"” with a 1% rise next year. Negotiations to obtain full compensation for inflation have failed, announced the five unions concerned, who say they are“deeply disappointed”.

The staff organisations were calling for an increase of 2.2% for 2024, as well as a catch-up of 0.4% for 2022 and 2023, giving a total of 2.6%, Jérôme Hayoz, General Secretary of the Association du personnel de la Confédération (APC), told the Swiss News Agency Keystone-ATS.

The government is due to announce its final decision“in the next few weeks”. The unions expect the increase to be 1%, in line with the budget, plus a boost for low salaries. As a reminder, for the current year, it has been granted an increase of 2.5%. In 2022, it received 0.5%.

Federal employees usually receive full compensation, Matthias Humbel, head of transfair's public administration branch, explains. But the climate is not very favourable at the moment, especially as inflation is higher.

For the federal public administration and its 40,000 or so civil servants, salaries are not the subject of real negotiations as they may be in other sectors. It is more a question of dialogue. The unions have no right of appeal.

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