THE Spanish Government is working on an increase of 0.9 per cent in the salary of civil servants within its General State Budget project for 2021. This increase although minimal, but when doubled with low inflation as a consequence of the crisis caused by the pandemic would allow the nearly three million public employees to keep their purchasing power in tact.
The initial idea of the Government, especially of the Ministries of Finance, Economy, and Social Security, was to freeze the salary of civil servants. But after the publication by El Pais newspaper of his plans, the second vice president, Pablo Iglesias, turned the matter into one of the red lines in the negotiation of the Budgets.
For weeks there has been a tug of war. Finally, Unidos Podemos won the vote on a salary increase in exchange for giving in to other demands, such as tax increases or rent control.
The union’s response to this 0.9 per cent increase was not a happy one. CSIF rejected the proposal, claiming that it “does not recognize the work done in the face of the pandemic, nor by far the loss of purchasing power,” and demanded a long-term salary agreement that includes “an increase of 3 per cent each year.”
“The Government has missed a good opportunity to reach an agreement with the trade union organizations,” said Julio Lacuerda, general secretary of the Federation of Public Services of the UGT. Even so, from this union, they assure that “there is still room to negotiate and improve important aspects of working conditions.”