judicial standoff between the ministry and the CGT

In the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic, the Ministry of Solidarity and Health is fighting in the courtrooms against one of the most important unions established within it: the CGT Santé federation social action. She won the first battle, which very recently took place, on her initiative. But the belligerents will again cross swords, Friday, November 20, at the Council of State, the services of Olivier Véran not having said their last word. The confrontation casts a shadow on the will displayed by the government to take care of the dialogue with the intermediary bodies.

The case has its source in the Ségur de la santé of July 13 – the agreement negotiated by the State and the social partners to revalue the salaries of staff. On this occasion, a committee and working groups were created to monitor the application of the measures taken within the framework of this compromise. The problem is that the non-signatory organizations – like the CGT federation of health, the first union in the hospital public service – were kept away from these meetings: only those which had affixed their initials on the agreement were invited.

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In mid-September, the CGT Health sent a letter to the ministry asking it to have a voice in the chapter. No answer. At the same time, she seized the Paris Administrative Court for interim relief so that it ordered the services of Mr. Véran to open up access to meetings. A request based on the will to obtain “Treatment equal to that of other representative organizations”, regardless of their non-signatory status.

“Serious attack on freedom of association”

On October 23, the court upheld her case. In his decision, the summary judge considers that the meetings of the working groups “Have a broader vocation” than the simple follow-up of Ségur. They aim “To submit for the opinion of the trade unions texts allowing to give legal force to various orientations” mentioned in the agreement of July 13: among the themes concerned, there is, for example, the improvement of treatment schedules, “The organization of working time” or “Professional promotion”. Therefore, these moments of exchange must be watched “As involving open negotiations (…) on a national level “. And the CGT Santé “Must be called to [y] participate “, considers the court, which adds this very severe conclusion for the ministry: “The complainant’s failure to convene these meetings seriously and manifestly unlawfully infringes her freedom of association, which has the character of a fundamental freedom. “ For this reason, the judge therefore ordered the administration “To invite” the CGT federation at these sessions.

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