KESK member civil servants protested the cost of living by burning payroll in Malatya. Health Workers Union (SES) Malatya Branch President Sakine Doğan said, “We are going through perhaps the darkest period in the history of the country. “As 84 million, excluding a handful of happy minorities, we continue to pay for the wrong decisions made by the rulers of the country with more unemployment and more poverty,” he said.
Thursday, June 16, 2022, 18:49
KESK member officers gathered in Malatya’s Soykan Square today and burned their payrolls.
In a statement on behalf of the protesting officers, SES Malatya Branch President Sakine Doğan said:
“THE SPEAR NO LONGER FIT IN THE BAG”
- We are going through perhaps the darkest period in the history of the country. As 84 million, excluding a handful of happy minorities, we continue to pay the bill for the wrong decisions taken by the rulers of the country with more unemployment and more poverty. Even the official inflation, which was determined by the instructions of the government and announced through the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), broke the record of the last 24 years with 73.5 percent. Official inflation reached 107.62 percent in transportation and 91 percent in food products. The real inflation we experience in the market, in the market and in the kitchen has already exceeded 150 percent. Food inflation, which is the most important item for us, reached 200 percent. On the other hand, the increase in our salaries as public workers remained at only 44 percent with the increase in collective agreements and inflation differences. Despite this dark picture, the spokespersons of the government hide behind the excuses that ‘Inflation is breaking records all over the world’ at every opportunity. However, the spear no longer fits in the sack. Even according to the official figures, which are shown low by a thousand and one votes, Turkey has risen to the fifth place in the world in the ranking of the countries with the highest inflation. With an average of 10 percent in the European Union countries, inflation is at the level of one-seventh and one-eighth of ours. Even in Ukraine, which has been under Russian occupation for four months, inflation is 17 percent. In Europe, the country with the highest inflation rate after us is Moldova with 27 percent.
“WHERE AND WHERE WE LOOK, WE FACE EXPENSIVE PRICES OF FIRE”
Doğan continued his statement as follows:
- In the downpour of hikes that continued unabated, we were unable to buy what we bought one day for the same price the next day. While the hunger limit for a family of four reached 6 thousand 74 TL and the poverty line reached 19 thousand 785 TL, the average salary of a public worker remained at 6 thousand 750 TL. The liter of gasoline, which was 7 lira 72 cents a year ago, has increased to 28 liras and 42 cents today. 268 percent increase in one year. The liter of diesel, which was 7 liras and 23 kurus a year ago, is 28 liras and 9 kurus today, which is a 288 percent increase in a year. A year ago, one lira was 30 kuruş per cubic meter of natural gas. With an increase of 140 percent in the intervening year, 3 lira has reached 26 cents today. The natural gas purchased with the average salary of a public worker has decreased by 1,533 cubic meters in the last year alone. Even on the basis of the lowest consumption, the annual increase in electricity bills exceeded 125 percent. Wherever and wherever we look, we encounter prices that are expensive. Let’s tell which one.
“WE ARE DIFFICULT TO BUY POTATOES”
- We even had a hard time buying potatoes. It is not possible to find the potato, which we bought for 2.5 liras a kilo a year ago, for less than 10 liras, even in the cheapest neighborhood markets. Even the potato, which is consumed the most by the low-income, increased by 300 percent in a year. The egg, which we bought a box for 22 liras a year ago, climbed to 55 liras today. Eggs purchased with the average salary of a public worker have decreased by 91 parcels in the last year. It is not possible to find the cheapest feta cheese, which we bought for 30 lira a kilo a year ago, for less than 70 lira today. The price of a pack of 32 diapers has increased from 29 liras to 70 liras in a year. The 32 diapers purchased with the average public worker salary decreased by 65 packages in one year. The dollar, which was 8 lira 40 cents a year ago, has increased to 17 liras and 20 cents today. A year ago the average public worker salary was the equivalent of $559. It was down $167 today to $392. Quarter gold, which was 838 TL a year ago, is 1,700 TL today. We had already forgotten to buy a quarter of gold and switched to gram gold. But it is no longer possible to come close to gram gold. One gram of gold, which was 507 TL a year ago, has reached 1,28 TL today. Quarterly gold, which was purchased with the average salary of public workers, decreased by 1.6 units and gram gold by 2.7 units in the last year alone. Worst of all, as we cry out that ‘we can’t get along’, they cling to policies aimed at making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
“WE ARE TRYING TO SURVIVE WITH DEBT AND MORTAR”
Saying, “They are turning even this period, when the economy has hit rock bottom, into an opportunity for those who have money,” Doğan continued as follows:
- With the Currency Protected Deposit System, the cost of the increase in the dollar, which has reached 17 TL today, is taken from the taxes paid by our people, from the Treasury, and transferred to the pockets of the rich. With this system, the amount taken from our pocket has already reached 50 billion TL. But that was not enough. Now, revenues of public institutions are taken into consideration under the name of Income Indexed Bills (GES). With this system, which is no different from the tax farming system of centuries ago, high-income institutions such as State Airports are almost donated to the rich. Those who are generous to the capital, the bosses and the rich, those who waste the country’s resources with security war policies, create all kinds of excuses when it comes to the low-income, workers and laborers. We are trying to survive on debt and mortar by reducing our basic needs of life. But even that, they saw a lot of us.
- They shortened the maturity period of our loans and doubled the minimum payment. Promises made years ago are quickly forgotten. The demand of millions of public workers and retirees for a fair additional indicator is being narrowly ignored. They claim that 5.3 million civil servants and retired civil servants will benefit from the arrangement they want to pass off as the ‘3600 revolution in the public sector’. However, with the regulation, nearly 600 thousand contracted employees from the beginning are excluded from the scope in all respects, and approximately one million 750 thousand public workers who started working after 2008 are excluded from the scope of retirement pension. They are trying to pass the regulation as ‘revolution’, which will be limited to those whose additional indicator is below 3000, an increase of 600 points. Every day, a new speech is added to speeches such as ‘The country is growing, the wheels are turning, people are finding jobs’, as if making fun of millions who are overwhelmed by poverty and unemployment.
“WE WANT ENOUGH WAGE TO LIVE HUMANLY”
Following the announcement, the demands were listed as follows:
- The minimum wage should be raised above the poverty line. For this, the income of the public worker with two children, who does not work, and who receives the lowest salary, will be able to reach the poverty line (as of May 2022) with increases in items such as spouse and child assistance, rent assistance, transportation assistance, food assistance, bonuses, and fuel assistance. thousand 785 TL) should be increased. The hikes on all consumer goods should be withdrawn, and VAT should be reset on these items. SCT should be abolished in every product that ceases to be a luxury, from fuel products to telephones. Currency Protected Deposit System, public-private cooperation projects, foreign exchange guaranteed auctions, which are the means of transferring the money from the pockets of the people and the workers to the rich, the gang of five and their supporters should be terminated. These demands should be implemented without waiting for the August 2023 collective agreement, and the losses of both public workers, retirees and minimum wage earners should be eliminated as soon as possible.
KESK members said, “We want a wage sufficient to live humanely,” and ended their protests by burning their payrolls after the statement.