Julia Jiménez is a psychologist and has worked for almost twenty years in the Canarian public administration. He agreed through a competition for labor personnel and with a contract for accumulation of tasks, to alleviate a waiting list of more than a year and a half for the assessment of disability. Six months later, she was transferred to the Juvenile Justice service, under the Directorate General for the Protection of Minors of the regional government, to a newly created team. Since then, he has been in charge, among other tasks, of implementing judicial measures of therapeutic internment for adolescent offenders.
Canarian health temporary doctors present indefinite strike notice for December 11
José Antonio Valido has a diploma in Labor Relations. He has been working since July 2005 in an office of the Canarian Employment Service (SCE) in the Puerto de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria district. He also entered by competition-opposition, to enter a reserve list. Only 16 people approved in this selection process. At 46 years old, he is one of the youngest public employees in a department that serves groups with difficult labor insertion, addresses problems of structural unemployment, manages European funds or executes the Integral Employment Plan of the Canary Islands (PIEC), endowed with a of 42 million euros.
Rita Moreno is an architect. In March 1997, she was selected through a selection process by the public company Gesplan. He never got to join this society. He went directly to the Regional Ministry of Territorial Planning, where he has been a specialized technician in the management of rustic land and natural spaces since then. In 2000, he sued the administration for the illegal transfer of workers. The courts agreed with her in 2006 and declared her permanent non-permanent staff. You will retire in less than ten years.
Julia, José Antonio and Rita are three of the employees affected by the abuse of temporary contracts in the Canary Islands public administrations. Until now, none of them has been able to opt for consolidation, to obtain a fixed position. The stoppage of Public Job Offers (OPE) as a result of the economic crisis at the end of the last decade has deprived them of the right to job stability enshrined in the legal system.
The regional Parliament approved last Wednesday unanimously a Proposition No of Law (NLP) that urges the Government to seek formulas to end this “endemic evil” of the Archipelago. The Platform of Public Employees in Fraud of Law (PEFRALCA) estimates that there are more than 50,000 workers affected in all the Islands, accounting for the personnel of the island, local and regional administrations in all their sectors (general, Health, Education, Justice…). The temporary employment rate in the Archipelago is around 30%, although in some services, such as Dependency, created just over a decade ago, it reaches 100%. Added to this is the aging of a workforce that has not been renewed either through public job offers or through the replacement of staff to cover vacancies due to the retirement, death or resignation of the holders of the positions , due to the restrictions imposed in 2011 by the Government led by Mariano Rajoy (PP). According to PNL, more than 50% of public employees in the Canary Islands will retire in the next decade.
The parliamentary initiative responds to the alarm generated by the plans of the General Directorate of Public Function of the Canary Islands Government to promote an extraordinary OPE of stabilization and consolidation under the agreements signed in 2017 and 2018 between the Central Executive and the CCOO unions, UGT and CSIF. The Platform of Public Employees in Law Fraud and the majority unions in the general administration of the autonomous community, Intersindical Canaria and Sepca have already warned that, in practice, the calls held under this formula in recent years have implied the termination massive number of workers with years of service, by using free, unrestricted selection systems, and without any differential treatment for temporary employees who accessed their positions respecting the principles of equality, merit, ability and publicity.
“I am 55 years old. I have been in the public administration for almost 24 years and I have colleagues with 33 years of seniority. When you start working, you have a work project and ten years ahead of you. Right now, I carry the financial burden of the house by myself. For six For years I was a caregiver for my dependent parents. There are many of us who are immersed in this situation. It does not seem fair that at this point we have to compete in an opposition with recent graduates, with people who have just left the race “, Rita Moreno states.
Those affected point out that they are victims of an abuse, that of temporality, the result of the public administration’s own breaches. Julia Jiménez, spokesperson for PEFRALCA, recalls that the Basic Statute of Public Employees establishes that temporary hiring for the performance of tasks of career officials (permanent staff) may not exceed three years. Another of the access routes, the one planned to reduce the accumulation of tasks in certain services, sets a maximum period of six months. However, the Canarian administration is nourished by a good percentage of workers who have continued in their positions once those deadlines have been exhausted, covering structural needs, not eventual ones, and without having been able to opt at any time for the consolidation of the position.
Against the European directive
This situation also clashes with European regulations. The argumentative framework of the workers in fraud of law is based on the community directive 1999/70 / CE, which obliges the member states to end the precariousness of employment. It is this directive that supported the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of March 19 of this year or a more recent one, issued last October, as a result of the question of prejudiciality raised by a Portuguese judge to the lawsuit filed by a worker who worked from 200 to 2013 in the same position with five fixed-term contracts. Community justice urges to prevent and punish the abusive use of this temporality. “Spain penalizes it in the private sector, but not in the public,” says Jiménez.
The PEFRALCA spokeswoman maintains that the competition-opposition formula imposes a series of barriers to temporary workers with extensive experience in the administration, threatens their positions and does not favor the job stability that the European directive advocates. On the one hand, the characteristics of the opposition phase, “purely rote”, punish employees of advanced age and with work and family burdens. If, in addition, the process is not restricted, professionals from other communities “can access”, which also makes the desired consolidation difficult. Jiménez points out that the damage is not only for the affected personnel, but also for the administration, which can lose all that baggage accumulated over decades, the experience and the relationships of teams that, in many cases, have a high degree of specialization. “They are many years of service, we have taken many issues forward due to the relationship between technicians from different administrations.”
The Minister of Public Administration of the Government of the Canary Islands, Julio Pérez, recently rejected the possibility of automatically converting workers into permanent staff in fraud of the law, as defended by the group of affected people to avoid the other alternative that, according to their interpretation , is detached from the ruling of the Luxembourg Court, which is more burdensome for the public coffers in that it would entail large compensation for termination of contracts. According to PEFRALCA calculations, more than 50 million euros. The regional executive maintains that any of the formulas to stabilize employment must respect the constitutional principles of equality, merit, ability and publicity.
The collective of public workers proposes as a solution a restricted process similar to the one that allowed the consolidation of the places of doctors who had not completed the period of residence, consisting of the presentation of a report on the position and an interview. “In Catalonia there is also a proposal for them to appear in the List of Jobs as stable workers, without competition-opposition,” adds Jiménez.
“I entered the administration respecting the principles of equality, merit and ability. We approved only 16, it was not an easy opposition. In all this time I have not been given the opportunity to present myself, to consolidate my position. Now they are proposing a PEO to the that people from all over Spain can present themselves and that, if I do not approve of it, I will go to the streets “, says José Antonio Valido. This Canarian Employment Service worker adds another edge to the debate: the work overload in some services that have been diminished by the cuts in recent years. “During this pandemic, we even had to help the SEPE (State Public Employment Service) to process the ERTE (Temporary Employment Regulation Files). The burden is brutal, there are significant staff shortages and we provide an essential service for citizens with A lot of pressure, since unemployment rates are very high in the Canary Islands. There is no excess, there is a lack of people. If we have to present ourselves again to an opposition, there are people who will not be able to assume it because of their burdens, it is not the same now as when we entered “, Valido emphasizes, who warns that workers with extensive experience in the administration and, however, due to their age, of difficult labor insertion, could remain on the road.
“On the salary of a public employee depend their families and their dependents, so it must be understood that the magnitude of the social problem will be unbearable for the whole of society and the economy of the Canary Islands”, includes the contribution of PEFRALCA to the Initiative Legislative Regulatory of Public Employment promoted by the Government of the Canary Islands.
Strike of specialist doctors
One of the groups affected by the abuse of temporary contracts are specialist area doctors. Two out of every three physicians who practice in the Islands are in this situation. Faced with the “unsuccessful” negotiations with the area councilor, the socialist Blas Trujillo, and the director of the Canarian Health Service (SCS), Conrado Domínguez, the doctors have decided to call an indefinite strike as of December 11. They demand the immediate conversion of temporary workers with two or more years of experience into interns, so that they would be integrated into the organic staff of the autonomous health administration, and that the places offered in the extraordinary selection process are, at least, equivalent to the current number of interns plus that number of professionals in law fraud. As for the formula, they advocate a restricted call or, failing that, an open procedure that introduces characteristics in its bases that “guarantee that the final result is not uncertain and unpredictable” for the health workers affected by this situation, according to the notice.