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Social Service Workers End Strike After Reaching Deal

About 400 employees of the Social Service Agency ended a five-day strike after reaching an agreement with the employer.  

The Solidarity Network —an independent labor union of healthcare and service sector workers —said overnight on January 21-22 that the employees agreed to pay increases of 40%-60%, but they will now receive one-year contracts instead of previous one-month agreements.  

The Solidarity Network also noted that the striking workers and the Agency reached a deal on paid maternity leaves, meaning that a parent will receive the same amount of salary while on maternity leave.  

In addition, the employees will get paid for the days they had been on strike. The rule for paying salary supplements for filling out a declaration of examined cases will be improved and a 15-day limit will be removed.  

The employer also pledged to provide social agents with transportation while visiting beneficiaries.

Besides, the Solidarity Network said that a special platform will be created to promote communication between the employees and the employer.  

But the labor union stressed this was only the “first victory” of the workers, adding “it is only the beginning, our collective struggle will continue.”

The Social Service Agency workers launched their strike on January 17, initially demanding a 100% rise in monthly salaries. Until now, the base monthly salary of social agents and senior social agents amounted to GEL 250 (USD 80) and GEL 550 (USD 180), respectively, following the last increase in 2020. Besides, social agents earned per examined case a commission of GEL 6 (USD 1.95).  

Meanwhile, the monthly pay for specialists and senior and chief specialists ranged between GEL 450-600 (USD 146-195), an amount that remained unchanged since 2007 according to the Solidarity Network.

The Social Service workers rejected the employer’s January 16 proposal, which promised a 40-60% pay increase, but left other demands of the workers unaddressed.

The Social Service Agency operates under the Health Ministry and administers state social and health protection programs. It provides social assistance payments, state pension, assistance to people with disabilities, among others.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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