Four unions which signed amendments to the Basic Collective Agreement for employees in the public sector on Wednesday agreed to the government proposal to settle their dispute through arbitration, should all legal prerequisites be met for launching such a procedure.
"We are prepared to leave it to representatives of the unions which signed amendments to the Basic Collective Agreement for employees in the public sector to appoint union members for arbitration and this way help resolve this problem," read a statement issued by the independent union of health and social welfare, the Croatian doctors' union, union of social welfare employees and the union representing culture workers.
Four public-sector unions have refused to sign the annex to the Basic Collective Agreement -- the unions of primary school teachers, secondary school teachers, university lecturers and scholars, and nurses.
Leaders of the four trade unions told a press conference in Zagreb earlier today they would most probably not accept the government's proposal for arbitration.
After the four public-sector unions signed the document on Friday, the government announced that the Basic Collective Agreement would be referred to arbitration.
If the arbitration fails, the government plans to initiate the procedure for cancelling the Basic Collective Agreement, which, according to unofficial reports, may result in a 10-percent reduction of salaries.