• The unions describe the offer of the Ministry of Finance as “insufficient” and call for new meetings

    The Government has proposed a salary increase of 6% for the Public employees until 2024. This has been transmitted by the team of negotiators of Maria Jesus Montero to the unions Csif, CCOO Y UGT at the meeting this Wednesday, according to their sources. The centrals have considered the proposal “insufficient”, since it implies a loss of purchasing power in the short term and they have called for a new meeting this Thursday to try to continue advancing in the planning of salary increases for the coming years. The pact (or not) that they can reach between the Executive and the centrals will directly affect the payroll of 3.4 million people throughout Spain. From the Ministry of Finance and Public Function they have declined to make statements regarding the ongoing negotiation.

    The first proposal for salary increases that the Treasury has put on the table for officials has been the following. This 2022, in which wages rose 2%, the Government proposes to retroactively raise another point and a half, to compensate for the high inflation. Looking ahead to next year, in 2023, payrolls are intended to rise 2.5%. And in 2024 the increase offered would be 2%. In other words, an accumulated figure for the next two years would be 6%. Closing a multi-year pact is a red line for the unions, especially in the face of 2024, when due to electoral cycles it can be difficult for there to be a fully functioning government to agree on a new increase and implement it from the beginning of the year.

    The plants have rejected the first offer and the negotiations continue. It is in the hands of the Treasury to decide when they end, since it has the power to carry out the increases without the approval of the most representative unions in the public service. Union sources explain that the Treasury has expressed urgency to close the negotiation. They formally have a new appointment scheduled for this Thursday at four in the afternoon. And those of Montero have slipped that they would like to have the negotiation closed for next Tuesday.

    35 hour workweek

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    The Government is aware that the figures it is putting on the table cause public employees to lose purchasing power. That is why they are open to negotiating other working conditions beyond salary, such as the duration of the working day. The Treasury is considering reducing the ordinary working day for the entire Administration to 35 hours a week, something that would be well seen by the centrals. These also claim to address the professional reclassification of certain groups, which, de facto, would imply a salary increase for some and with special incidence among the health and education professional.

    The salary increase figure that the Treasury has put on the table for next year, which is de facto 3.5%, promises to become a reference for negotiations in the private sector. It is exactly the same that was on the negotiating table between employers and unions. The CEOE was willing to accept a salary increase of 3.5% for this year, although the unions aspired to shield it with a revision clause that would equate that figure with the final CPI at the end of the year. However, CCOO and UGT have announced this Wednesday that this exit figure of 3.5% no longer seems sufficient given the current levels of inflation and that, if they sit down again at the table with the employers, they will ask for more.