Government and unions agree to raise the minimum wage by €15

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minimum wage rise
Image - AntonMST29, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Government and trade unions agreed yesterday, Thursday, September 16, to raise the minimum wage (SMI) by €15 a month.

The Government and trade unions UGT and CC.OO. agreed to raise the minimum wage (SMI) by €15 a month. This raise is in the middle of the range that is recommended by experts, which is between €12 to €19.

This increase will not have the backing of the business organisations CEOE and Cepyme who have rejected the increase repeatedly, claiming that the Spanish economy could be damaged in these early stages of recovery from the health pandemic.

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However, UGT is positive about the agreement that has been reached, saying the increase: “takes place in a context of economic difficulty, of increase of the CPI and of the disproportionate increase of electricity, which totally and absolutely justify the increase of the SMI”. They are also going to continue to demand that the increase next year will set the minimum wage at €1,000.


Yolanda Díaz asked the employers to “return to the path of reunion”.

Díaz also criticised the attitude of the employers’ association during the negotiations: “The CEOE entered asking for zero and came out asking for zero, that is not negotiating,” she said.

“We have yielded all parties and I am sorry that before such a small increase has not accepted (…) not negotiate are red lines and borders. Neither the unions nor I were like that,” she stressed.

When asked about the disagreements, the Head of Labour Nadia Calviño said that the rise in SMI is: “a decision of the Government, whatever each one of us thinks.

“Within the Government, which is very large, we have different opinions and different tasks,” she added.

Calviño said that at the moment there was no agreement and that she intends to let the negotiations continue so that “in the next few days we take the decision that is the Government’s responsibility”.

As reported by rtve, experts have recommended an increase of between €12 and €19 to start with to reach 60 per cent of the average net salary. To get to this number, experts have taken the average net salary of a full-time worker from the most recent data available, the INE Wage Structure Survey of 2018.

Experts advise an increase of €19 in 2021 and €40 in both 2022 and 2023.  In the case of the average wage not changing in 2020, the SMI would have to rise €61 between 2021 and 2023, about €12 euros this year, €24 in 2022 and €25 in 2023.

However, unions would like this to speed up,  with a €35 rise in January 2022 which would reach the round figure of €1,000 minimum wage next year.


Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to check The Euro Weekly News for all your up-to-date local and international news stories.

Laura is from a small seaside town in North Wales and has also lived in Liverpool and Manchester, where she studied English Literature and worked in social media and marketing. Laura moved to the city of Zaragoza last August to teach English, but after missing the coast she decided to move to beautiful Nerja to enjoy the sun and sea. Laura has a passion for animals, films, outdoor activities, writing and the environment.

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