Thus, Ecolo asked that rail users not be forgotten. And the Deputy Prime Minister Ecolo and Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, obtained an increase in federal intervention in the cost of subscriptions borne by workers who go to work by train but do not benefit from the system of third-party payment.
The third-party payment system allows a commuter to benefit completely free of charge, with an intervention of 80% from the employer and 20% from the State
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They pay 44% of the price of their subscription
Among these are some 100,000 people covered by Collective Labor Agreement 19/9. Today, these people have to pay on average 44% of the price of their subscription, the rest being paid through employer and state interventions.
The indexation of SNCB fares (+5.9%), which took place on February 1, is therefore very detrimental to them, the intervention of their employer being fixed. “This deterioration in the income of the workers concerned is not acceptable and risks distancing workers from this mode of travel. Which is contrary to the government’s objectives of increasing the modal share of the train, of reducing emissions of CO₂ and limit the economic impact of traffic jams”we explain to Georges Gilkinet’s office.
It is therefore for these 100,000 workers that Deputy Prime Minister Ecolo obtained a gesture from the government: additional State intervention of 7.5% in covering the subscription if employers agree to increase their intervention up to 71.8%. These workers should therefore benefit from a strong reduction (from 44% to 20%) in what they pay to get to work, calculated the Mobility cabinet.
“Blocking commuters will be very expensive for Brussels. The Region is almost bankrupt and if they are not careful, they will no longer have the means to invest”
Budget: 5 million euros
A budget of 5 million was released by the federal government for this measure. But there is a but… The bosses will have to agree to play the game. Which is not yet a given. “We have signals from the companies concerned which make us believe that it will be possible to negotiate this in the discussions which will soon be held between social partners”, we hope, in the Mobility cabinet. Time will therefore tell whether 100,000 workers will receive the boost that was promised to them.