seven questions about the announced thaw of the index point of civil servants

The government assures us, through its Minister of Public Service, Amélie de Montchalin, “it’s not no electoral measure† Less than a month before the first round of the presidential election and a few days before an interprofessional mobilization, his cabinet announced on Monday, March 14 that the index point used to calculate the treatment of millions of civil servants would be revalued by the summer. Inflation has never been “so strong since 1991”justified the minister “It is our responsibility to ensure that we do not allow the purchasing power of civil servants to slip, especially when compared to private sector workers.” Franceinfo returns with questions about this announcement.

1What is the civil servant index point?

The index point is the common denominator of the remuneration of the 5.7 million civil servants, divided over the three public functions (State, hospital and territorial). Since February 1, 2017, the value is exactly 4.68602 euros.

The method of calculating gross salaries is common among civil servants and contract workers, explains the government agency website. You have to multiply “the index point value by the increased index specific to each official”† This is defined according to “his step, his rank, his work frame and his seniority”

>> Purchasing power: how much do civil servants really earn?

“The index point system ensures rationalization and comparability of civil servants’ remuneration”defends Prune Helfter-Noah, spokesperson for the collective of public officials Our Public Services, to AFP. Gold, “when we freeze the index point and inflation starts to rise again” like the past months, “this results in a loss of purchasing power”she explains.

2Since when has this index point been frozen?

The index point has been frozen since the election of Emmanuel Macron. The Minister of Transformation and the Civil Service also ruled out any thawing at the end of the five-year term in December. According to data from the Ministry of the Civil Service, the last two slight increases (0.6%) in the index point have taken place under the presidency of François Hollande. The most recent took place on February 1, 2017, a few weeks before the previous presidential election.

Previously, thaws were frequent and always served to increase the calculation base, never to devalue it. Under Chirac’s presidency, the value of the index point has thus increased 19 times between 1995 and 2007, for a total increase of 10.69%. The first part of Nicolas Sarkozy’s mandate was also marked by five successive, much more discreet increases. The point’s value increased by 1.61% between 2007 and 2010, before being frozen.

3What has the government announced?

Amélie de Montchalin’s cabinet said the index point would be thawed “for the summer”, for the first time since February 2017. This change will necessarily take place after the presidential elections; it therefore depends on the re-election of Emmanuel Macron, candidate for a second term.

According to the government, this decision was prompted by high inflation. An initial estimate from INSEE reports that the consumer price index rose 3.6% year over year in February, fueled by rising energy prices exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. lThe Banque de France, for its part, expected a 3.7% to 4.4% increase in the harmonized consumer price index in 2022.

In front of “protect the purchasing power of officials” and contract workers, the government has also chosen to take action on the mileage allowance received by agents who use their personal vehicle as part of their duties. “We’re going to increase it, just like for private sector workers, by at least 10%”said the minister Parisian (article reserved for subscribers)and “This measure will be effective in the coming days.”

4How much will civil servants’ salaries rise?

At the moment, the increase of the point is not specified. Negotiations will begin in the coming days, the ministry said, with: “all actors, all financiers and all employers”† It is therefore impossible to know the magnitude of the increase in the salaries of civil servants and contract workers. parallel, “the system of remuneration of civil servants as a whole will have to be revised”, announced Amelie de Montchalin

An initial evaluation of the costs of this measure was nevertheless mentioned by the Minister of the Civil Service. Increasing the index point by, say, 1% would cost “two billion euros”she told the Parisian† this increase “will be included in an amending financial law to be voted on in parliament this summer.” The unions, for their part, estimate that a 3% increase would cost the State 5 to 6 billion euros.

5Why is this announcement a surprise?

Amélie de Montchalin’s announcement is in stark contrast to measures previously announced during Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term. The thawing of the tip, long demanded by the unions, was not topical. If she considered “legitimate” the salary expectations of civil servants, the minister often described a remuneration system “breathless”.

Until now, it has been assumed to favor targeted increases, in particular for health workers or category C civil servants (executive positions requiring a BEP/CAP or accessible without qualifications), the least well-paid. “With the index point, we raise everyone or no one. We have chosen to focus our resources on the least well-paid”she defended it during a trip to Haute-Vienne in January.

Less than a month before the first round of the presidential election, the ministry assured AFP that these measures had been taken “based on economic determinants”. “This is not a political decision, but a shock absorber to protect the purchasing power of officials” and contractors, he argued.

6How did the unions react?

The revaluation of the index point is the first demand of the five public service unions calling to join the March 17 interprofessional mobilization for wages and employment. The CGT, FO, FSU or Solidaires had also slammed the door of the salary forecast conference at the end of 2021. Monday evening, March 14, there was a cautiously tempered contentment. The trade unions remain vigilant about the concrete translation of this measure on the payroll of the agents, especially in the event of political change. For example, the UFSE-CGT expects: “a major upgrade”according to a tweet posted Monday.

“Negotiations on the pay of civil servants are more than ever on the calendar for the coming months, regardless of the next government”insisted Twitter Mylène Jacquot, secretary general of the CFDT Public functions, who had not called for mobilization on Thursday. The announcement is coming “in a timing that fools no one”responded to the same social network Gaëlle Martinez (Public Service Solidarity), before adding: “The urgency is so great that the percentage of upgrades will have to be very high to make up for the delay.”

Secretary General of Unsa-FP, Luc Farre meanwhile greet a “good news” in a tweet, while Celine Verzeletti (UFSE-CGT) wanted “overall increases now and not in three months”.

7Is this thaw being suggested by other candidates?

On the left, the thawing of the index point is a recurring proposition. The ecologist Yannick Jadot had wanted it Certainly france info lJanuary 28 “In absolutely essential sectors such as schools or hospitals, we increase salaries by an average of 20% over the five-year period and increase the minimum wage to a net amount of 1,500 euros.”

For its part, the team of the candidate of La France insoumise has announced the objective of: “Increase index point of all civil servants by 10%”according to an tweet broadcast by Jean-Luc Mélenchon on Saturday 12 March. Of ‘Increase minimum wage to 1,400 euros net per month’“This will drive the economy and represent approximately EUR 10 billion in revenue”

The main right-wing candidates Valérie Pécresse (Les Républicains) and far-right Marine Le Pen (National Rally) and Eric Zemmour (Reconquest!) do not propose in their program about the issue of the civil servant pay index.