After last week’s mass public transport strike, on Monday over 700,000 skilled workers from 14 different fields are expected to be absent. It’s the first time professionals, from nurses to airline pilots, will march together under the same banner, “SOS retraites”, to defend their own specific pension plans.
“It’s a hold up,” exclaims Jean-Paul Hamon, the president of the Federation of Doctors in France. “They want to grab what we saved.
“It is not a strike of the rich. We work on average 60 hours per week. The nurses, who have a tough job and earn a low salary, will have to contribute more towards their retirement – only to earn a pension of 900 euros per month. That’s enough to make us very angry.”
Hamon says French doctors have collectively increased their contributions since 1999, which enabled them, today, to reach pension funds amounting to seven billion euros.
The government’s reform would not only further reduce the number of French general practitioners, it would also mean less doctors willing to adhere to the social security system (known as “conventionné”), according to Hamon. If doctors don’t do so, it means that social security won’t reimburse their patients.
France’s pension reform
The government’s pension reforms aim to simplify the current system, with a standardised pension plan rather than the current version, which has 42 different schemes.
“We’re going to construct a truly universal system where every euro paid in will provide the same rights for everyone, whether a labourer, a shop owner, a researcher, a farmer, a civil servant, a doctor or an entrepreneur,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in a speech on Thursday.
The move to a universal points-based pension system will effectively wipe out the more advantageous pensions for a wide range of professions.
Jean-Paul Delevoye, who is leading the reform project, also proposed making a full pension available from the age of 64. People who retire earlier would have to accept a lower pension: five percent less for someone who stops working at 63, for example.
Unprecedented lawyers’ strike
The Chairperson of the Paris Bar, Christiane Feral-Schuhl, said that it is unprecedented for such a large number of lawyers to mobilise for today’s strike. Half of France’s 700,000 lawyers work in and around Paris.
Like doctors, lawyers fear that their pension fund of around 2 billion euros will disappear under the government’s new system.
Lawyer Xavier Autain, a member of the umbrella SOS Retraite protest group, told RFI that his colleagues contribute some 80 to 90 million euros to the general pension plan for the rest of the population.
“We don’t understand why the government wants to switch us over to a general pension plan. Ours has been in existence since 1954 and we’ve managed it well with contributions which are higher than those set up under the general pension plan,” he says.
Airline pilots feel the same. Yves Deshayes, chairman of the National Trade Union of Airline Pilots, said that they do not wish their contributions to be absorbed by a standardised pension plan.
“We’ve saved up to 5 billion euros. We want these funds to benefit the people who contributed towards it.”
The SOS Retraite march begins at 1 PM Paris time (1100 GMT), from Opéra to Nation.
Published to The Liberty Beacon from EuropeReloaded.com
The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)
Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.
Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.
Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.