Colombia’s 18-day judicial strike will stretch at least through the
weekend after the workers’ union turned down an increased government
offer, but with newspapers reporting conflicting numbers.
According to El Colombiano, the government is now offering US$33 million over two years for salary equalization, up about 25 percent from their offer at the beginning of the week, yet still well below the judicial union’s desired US$400 million budget.
El Tiempo, however, reports the government is offering the same amount, but over five years and says the president of Asonal, as the syndicate is known, asked for a US$125 million sum for salary equalization.
In any case, the two sides do not appear close to a compromise.
The increase represented a 600 pesos daily increase in the salaries of the 43,000 judicial workers, a level the union could not accept, Fabio Hernández, president of Asonal, told El Colombiano.
“Unfortunately, the proposal of the government didn’t change considerably. We proposed a modest salary equalization,” he told El Tiempo.
But the government remained stern, with Judge Jesael Giraldo, president of the Administrative Chamber of the Judiciary, reiterating that payments to striking officials may be halted, reported El Tiempo.
“The demand of the judicial branch is to double the remuneration of judges and prosecutors as well as increase 70 percent the remuneration of the judicial employees, which is impossible due to the fiscal difficulties that the country is experiencing and inequitable to the other workers of the state,” the government said in a statement quoted by El Colombiano.
Negotiations will recommence Tuesday.