The economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, has not ruled out this Thursday that the Government considers a freeze on the salary of public employees for next year, as El País has advanced. Calviño has affirmed that it is a decision that the Executive will make in the preparation of the General State Budgets (PGE) for 2021, which is still “in the early stages” although he has added that both officials and pensioners have gained purchasing power in the last few years and that in 2021 inflation is expected to be close to “0%”.
State officials may telecommute four days a week when they take care of minors and dependents
“We are setting up the architecture of the Budgets and the decisions will be made taking into account a multiplicity of factors”, Calviño answered in an interview at Cope to the continuous questions about this possible salary freeze for public employees.
The vice president has praised the work of professors, doctors, politicians, the Army and all officials in the Administration in managing the extraordinary measures for the coronavirus pandemic and their “very important” effort, for which she has also pointed out that she believes that “There has to be general recognition of their work.”
However, regarding the variation or freezing of their salary, he said that it must be taken into account that in recent years there have been “gains in purchasing power” of this group and of pensioners, something “important and positive” because ” they have recovered the losses that have occurred during the crisis, “he said.
In the Ministry of Public Function, those responsible for applying the measure, respond for their part to elDiario.es that “until there is a draft Law on General State Budgets there is nothing” decided on the matter. This Thursday the Ministry has called a meeting with the unions to address the telework legislation in the public sector.
Unions demand negotiation now
The unions have already received the first reactions, which first of all require the Government to comply with social dialogue and bring this issue to the negotiating table, to be discussed with the representatives of public workers. The CSIF union has stated in a statement that public sector employees, key in this pandemic, “do not deserve a unilateral measure of this type, nor do they deserve to be treated with probe balloons”, which is why it demands “the opening of negotiations union immediately. ”
In the same sense they are expressed in CCOO. “Responding to hypothetical leaks is very uncomfortable. If it is true that the Government is considering it, without talking to the workers’ representatives, it means giving a kick in the shin to the social dialogue in the Public Administrations,” says Francisco García, coordinator of the CCOO Public Area.
Both unions recall that public employees have not yet fully recovered the purchasing power they lost due to the cuts applied during the last economic crisis, which amount to between almost 13 and 17% depending on the case. In 2010, the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero reduced the salary of civil servants by 5% and the following years the salary was frozen under the mandate of Mariano Rajoy, who in 2012 withdrew the extraordinary pay of December, although it was later returned.
In 2018, the former Minister of Finance, Cristóbal Montoro, reached an agreement with the unions to set wage increases until 2020 of between 6.1% and 8.8% linked to growth and meeting deficit targets. For 2020 an increase of 2% was set, plus a variable of up to 1% based on GDP and another 0.3% of additional funds, in parallel with the salary equalization of the State Security Forces and Bodies.
CSIF and CCOO demand that the Civil Service sit down to negotiate and pay compensation for next year, for which they intend to continue recovering the purchasing power lost throughout this term. In CCOO they also insist that many other issues must be addressed beyond the salary issue. “Such as employment in Public Administrations, which in this crisis the lack of personnel in Health and Education has become evident, which no one can deny, but also in places like the Public Employment Service (SEPE), which is absolutely collapsed “recalls Francisco García.