CHAD – The government in Chad has made a decision lto suspend a controversial cut in the salaries of civil servants announced in early January. This was at the centre of negotiations with trade unions, said Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke on Wednesday.
The country, which has been facing a severe economic and social crisis since 2014, mainly due to the fall in oil prices, made an announcement at the beginning of January its intention to reduce its wage bill. This announcement led to an outcry within the unions and political parties. Negotiations had been going on between the unions and government.
“The government has decided to postpone the wage cut,” the Prime Minister told the unions at a meeting in his offices.
“It is a very good thing that the government hears the voice of workers,” Michel Barka, President of the Union of Trade Unions of Chad (UST) reacted.
“We ended 2017 with a payroll of more than 376 billion CFA francs (approximately 600 million euros), representing almost 100% of total customs and tax revenues. That is why the government has no choice but to explore new tracks to try to save money,” said Finance and Budget Minister Abdoulaye Fadoul Sabre.
Due to the fall in crude oil prices in 2014, Chad saw its revenues drop drastically and increased its debt, thereby having to multiply austerity plans in a country where half the population lives below the poverty line.