September 18, 2020

The Balearic Islands freeze the salary of all officials to face the expenses of Covid-19


PALMA DE MALLORCA

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The Executive chaired by the socialist Francina Armengol has agreed this Friday, in the Governing Council, to start the procedures to proceed with the salary freeze of the 34,000 community officials. Initially, it was planned that the public employees of the islands received 2% more salary this year, which was the percentage increase that the central government had set in January for all civil servants in Spain. However, the Government has now decided to apply the aforementioned salary freeze, which will allow it to save about 39 million euros this year, to face the consequences derived from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of Public Administration and Modernization, Isabel Castro, explained this Friday that the salary freeze now agreed for officials would be in the same line as others recently approved in the private sector, for example in hospitality, commerce or discretionary transport agreements. “The priority of this Government is to maintain the rights of public officials, so that no public official will see his payroll reduced by a single euro with respect to what he received in December 2019,” stressed the counselor. In any case, Armengol has already received the first criticisms from the unions and the opposition.

Castro has justified the measure now adopted by the Government on the need to «to continue hiring professionals, at a time like the one we are living, in essential services such as health, education and the rest of the essential services of the general services. In this context, the counselor recalled, for example, that since the state of alarm for Covid-19 was decreed, the Health Service “has hired 900 health professionals to reinforce all levels of care, whom they will join in brief 40 trackers». In the educational field, Castro has highlighted that the counselor Martí March “has already announced the hiring of 458 teachers.”

Legal issues

In order to make possible the salary freeze announced this Friday, the Balearic Government must approve before December 31 of this year a resolution that will resolve the technical and legal issues involved in taking a measure of these characteristics. In said resolution, on the one hand, the 2% increase in base salary and in the three-year terms of public employees, in order to comply with state legislation, although at the same time it will proceed, on the other hand, to a 2% reduction in regional remuneration supplements. Both measures will be taken in parallel, with retroactive effects to January 1 of this year, so the aforementioned salary freeze will be applied de facto.

The counselor has indicated that the freeze in the salaries of public employees in the Balearic Islands will continue until there is a recovery in GDP to the level at which said economic indicator was last year. Therefore, everything points at the moment that the announced salary freeze could be maintain until the end of the current legislature, in three years.

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