San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Salary increase for public sector workers set at 3.24 percent

Government officials on Monday evening set a 3.24 percent wage increase for public sector workers for the second half of the year.

Labor Minister Olman Segura said the decision was made by executive decree due to a “lack of will” by union leaders to reach an agreement after three meetings.

The percentage was the government’s initial proposal, while unions were demanding a 6.2 percent increase.

Segura said that the hike represents an expenditure of some ₡80,000 million ($160 million) in government funds.

Union leaders remained defiant, saying, “There was no negotiation,” according to Walter Quesada, secretary general of the National Association of Public and Private Employees. He added that government representatives declined to discuss changes in the calculation formula used for salary increases.

Union leaders also claim that government representatives rejected an additional increase of 2.5 percent for the lowest-earning public workers.

Said Quesada: “This government is not open to dialogue and the only thing they do is impose their point of view.”

Contact L. Arias at

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