Jean Castex announces the postponement of negotiations and “a new approach”

Consultations on pension reform will not take place immediately: Jean Castex has indeed proposed on Friday for the social partners to resume discussions later, “in the coming months”. If he declared that the reform would be “maintained”, he also promised to apply “a new method”, and also announced that the suspension of the application of the unemployment insurance reform.

He wanted to solve the “short-term” pension issue. Finally, on Friday 17 July, Jean Castex proposed postponing the negotiations on pension reform “by resuming consultations in the coming months”.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed that the pension reform would be “maintained”, but promised “a new method”, at the end of a meeting with the social partners in Matignon, which particularly distinguishes “structural nature” and the financial component.

“The establishment of a new universal pension system undertaken by the President of the Republic in 2017 before the French people will be maintained. Quite simply, as I stated to the social partners, we will apply a new method to it,” which distinguishes the “structural nature” of the reform. “aiming for more justice” and its economic aspect, [et] by resuming consultations in the coming months, “the prime minister said.

“A good reform”, Judge Castex on unemployment insurance

The Prime Minister also announced that the date of entry into force of the reform of unemployment insurance would be “postponed” due to the health and economic crisis, but that it would be brought to its “maturity”.

“The unemployment insurance reform is a good reform and we will implement it. But because we are pragmatic, we have decided to adapt it to the current circumstances and therefore postpone the start date. parties.

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With regard to this reform, the Prime Minister also decided to suspend at least until next year the measures that had been introduced on 1your November 2019, thus facilitating the conditions for entry into the regime, said the General Secretaries of the Force Ouvrière, CFDT, CGT and CFE-CGC.

It is therefore sufficient to open the right to the unemployment insurance system to have worked for four months in the last 28 months and no longer six months in the last 24 months, in accordance with the reform.

However, the executive urged “not to put the dust under the carpet and take our responsibility for the current system”, which should be in sharp deficit by the end of the year, explained François Asselin, president of the Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (CPME).

Decisions welcomed by trade unions

“We continue to believe that a universal system is fairer, but this is not the priority today,” said CFDT chief Laurent Berger. Prime Minister Jean Castex “said that discussions have been postponed until 2021”, he confirmed.

“It corresponds to our desire not to make the subject of pensions a subject in summer and autumn, but rather to give us time for the diagnosis to first see how we have been able or not to respond to challenges in fighting unemployment, maintaining employment, fighting poverty, with a priority aimed at young people “, LaurentBerger further praised, saying that” priority is in the right place when it comes to goals and timing, namely employment, employment, employment “.

“[Le Premier ministre] assured us that we should distinguish between what is in the economic sphere and what is structural [sachant qu’après la crise du coronavirus] balance pattern [financier] is no longer the same thing, “said François Asselin of CPME.

In this perspective, JeanCastex informed the participants that he would again refer to the Pension Orientation Council (COR) to assess the financial situation of the current plans. According to a preliminary estimate by COR revealed in June, the deficit could approach EUR 30 billion this year.

The social partners unanimously requested that the pension reform, if not for part of the total transition, be postponed indefinitely by the coronavirus epidemic.

Jean Castex had initially indicated that he wanted to resume consultations to resolve the file “in the short term”. He also said he wanted to distinguish “very clearly” the review of the current system “from all economic measures”, such as the extension of the grant period, to compensate for deficits.

With AFP and Reuters