Local councils have lashed out at the government decision to cut 25 per cent of their budgets. The government has implemented cost saving measures in a bid to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Municipalities and their employees, who are not counted as ‘essential services’, are considering strike action.
Pointing out that the 28 municipalities are working for the health of the public. the mayors argued that the 25 percent cut was not the right decision.
Emphasising that both the municipal employees, they themselves and their families are at great risk, the mayors argued that all municipalities are on the streets 24/7 supporting their local areas.
The local mayors stated that after the government’s decision, all municipalities were rising up and that strike action was at the door if this decision was not revoked.
Head of the Municipal Workers Union Mustafa Yalınkaya, argued that the government remained in the classroom, and that he was focusing on supporting the workers.
Stating that a 25 percent cut to local council funding will create chaos in a crisis environment, Yalınkaya said, “The issue we focus on after this decision is not the money but the health of the public. Our priority is to protect our people with better services during these difficult days. This decision to cut our budget will indirectly challenge the mobility of the municipalities.
“Health workers, police officers have been applauded by everyone, and municipal employees, who are working to provide the best service to the people during these difficult days have been ignored. The unsung heroes of the people are municipal employees. Worldwide, all kinds of support is given to municipalities, while our government is doing its best to hit those who are in the middle.”
Akdogan Mayor Ahmet Latif stated that the municipality has been fighting the state for 20 days without any financial resources.
Latif said, “During this crisis, Akdoğan Municipality did its best in this struggle with its own resources even though no government officials had any idea, suggestions, solutions or financial contribution to make. I hope that the UBP-HP government, which deems it appropriate to make a 25 percent cut as a reward to all the municipal staff who undertake continuously their duties regardless of their working hours, reverse the decision.”
Lapta Mayor Mustafa Aktuğ argued that the decision was wrong and that all municipalities alike, have been on duty for 24/7 in the streets for the last 20 days.
Aktuğ said, “A wrong decision was made. Lapta Municipality has been on the streets 24/7 for 20 days, so that our people will not be in a difficult situation and our elderly can get service without going out on the streets. Our workers ignored all the risks, and the 25 percent cut has damaged the morale and motivation of the workers. We will never accept this cut. We try to provide the best service to the region with our staff, without any contribution from the state. We provide our employees’ daily with overalls, masks, gloves without any help. After the 25 percent deduction decision, we have registered our reaction and today (yesterday) work has been stopped. Lapta Municipality is not working today, there has been incoming aid, we asked for help from AKUT to distribute it. We take all kinds of precautions in the context of combating the epidemic, We are one of the first to call our elderly not to leave the house from the first day. In this way, we are not happy to leave work on such difficult times.”