Labor will address the increase in the minimum wage at the beginning of September

The new course will recover one of the labor issues that has generated the most debate in recent years, outside and within the Government: the rise in the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI). The Ministry of Labor is organizing the activity of the department headed by Vice President Yolanda Díaz at the turn of the summer and has already summoned the commission of experts on the analysis of the SMI to a meeting on September 2. Labor wants the advisory body to contribute its opinion again on the increase in 2023, which has to place the SMI at 60% of the average salary, as promised by the coalition government as recommended by the European Social Charter.

The appointment has been convened for next Friday, September 2, via email. The Ministry of Labor recalls that the report of the advisory committee, which proposed a SMI between 1,011 and 1,049 euros in 2023was presented a little over a year ago based on different forecasts of the average salary in 2020.

Some data that has already been published by the INE, in the annual Salary Structure Survey (EES), for which Yolanda Díaz's department once again summons the experts to provide an updated assessment of the increase in the SMI on next year with the support of official data.

At the moment, the minimum wage reaches 1,000 euros gross per month after the important increases approved in recent years, among which the 2019 one stands out. Some increases that in recent months have been raised as a social flag from both wings of the Executive, PSOE and United We Can, but which in the past has generated significant tensions in the coalition. Especially between Yolanda Diaz and Nadia Calviñodue to its freezing for months in 2021.

In your report, the committee of experts envisioned three SMI goals in 2023, depending on how much the average salary would rise in 2020. The hypotheses were the following: that the average salary would increase by 1.8%, as the salaries agreed in agreements were doing collectives; that the increase was 0.9%, as the expected inflation for that year; and, finally, a third scenario in which the average salary is frozen, without any increase.

The following table shows the three simulated SMI, which would meet the goal of 60% of the average salary in each situation.

The results of the EES, published at the end of June, are finally close to the highest SMI scenario (1,049 euros per month) since the annual increase in the average salary is close to the 1.8% expected as a hypothesis, indicate Labor sources . The commission of experts took the average full-time salary as a reference. This increased by 1.65% in 2020, to 2,406.8 euros gross per month. For the final calculation of the SMI, the commission calculates a theoretical average salary, to which it applies that threshold of 60% recommended by the European Social Charter. If these 1,049 euros per month are reached, the increase in the SMI would be 4.9% compared to the current one.

The Ministry of Labor wants the commission of experts to rule again on the increase, once the latest salary data is known and in the current context of high inflation, so that they update their estimate of what that 60% of the average salary and provide "your opinion" on the increase.

With this technical support from the advisory commission, on which Labor has often relied to defend the increases in the SMI, the following phases would be activated until the definitive approval of the SMI in the BOE: the consultation of Labor in the social dialogue, with the most representative employers and businessmen, and close the decision within the Government. The Executive is the one who has the final decision in this regard, by legal mandate.

This is established by the Workers' Statute, which states that the Government will establish the interprofessional minimum wage "taking into account": the consumer price index (CPI), the national average productivity, the increase in the share of work in income country and the general economic situation.

One of these economic factors stands out above all, inflation. shot currently at 10.8% (for next year the Government forecasts 2.9%). The great rise in prices affects to a greater extent the households with more economic difficulties. Also the economic situation, downward revision of growth and great uncertainty due to the war in Ukraine. Both elements can mark the discussion of the definition of the increase for 2023, both in the claims of unions and employers and in the internal conversations of the Executive, which should conclude before the end of this year.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez and the Vice President Yolanda Díaz have highlighted the same idea in their speeches in recent days: the defense of the increases in the minimum wage in recent years, of intense job creation as shown by the latest EPA, contrary to the "catastrophist" theories that predicted a great destruction of employment. It will be necessary to see if, in the new course, the two formations of the coalition also share criteria to set the new minimum wage.

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