“Montero resigns”; “Montero, listen, the inspection is in a fight”, “There is money, there is an agreement, only Montero is missing”. These are some of the proclamations that some 70 labor inspection employees started this Thursday in front of the headquarters of the General Directorate of Public Celebrations in Madrid. The unions have protested before the department, headed by Finance Minister María Jesus Monteiro, to ask her to unblock the agreement to strengthen the workforce, improve working conditions and modernize the organization. The Labor Ministry was the one that reached the deal in July 2021 with the unions accusing the Treasury of not giving the green light for political purposes, a view shared by workers. For this reason – three days after March 28 – they demand Monteiro’s resignation, since Yolanda Díaz’s resignation had already been requested last week.
The government’s commitment was to approve the Agreed Jobs List (RPT) two years ago. But, according to the unions, the public function now rules out this possibility in the short term. “They say we forget about RPT. It is clear that the problem is now in the civil service”, commented Rafael Prieto of the SISLASS union. CC OO’s spokesman, Rafael Boro, agrees, pointing to Minister Monteiro as the main person responsible at the moment, but also lashes out against Labour: “It is now too easy to jump ship and blame the Treasury, But the reality is that the Ministry of Labor is telling us Milonga. Either he has an attitude problem or he has less weight in the Council of Ministers.
The RPT agreed two years ago sets out three main objectives: reorganizing the inspection structure, improving working conditions and strengthening the size of the workforce. “To achieve these objectives, the general lines of the content of the list of jobs to be proposed to the Executive Committee of the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Remuneration for approval have been agreed upon,” the text specifies. CC OO has indicated that the deal involves reinforcement of around 1,000 more places. The inspection currently has about 3,100 employees and will need at least 4,500 more to function properly, according to the unions. To support this position, they highlight that Spain has one inspector or sub-inspector for every 15,000 workers, compared to the EU average and what the International Labor Organization recommends is every 10,000.
Sources in the public function highlight that he has transferred a proposal to the Ministry of Labor that increases the inspection staff. “The induction of 781 labor inspectors and sub-inspectors that have just been authorized reflects the work done to strengthen the labor inspectorate, which performs key functions. This is in addition to the six million authorized productivity for this year”, they indicate from the Montero department. “If the Public Function thinks they are going to buy us off with those six million in productivity, they are wrong. We unanimously reject it. And we do not believe in those 781 places if the RPT is not already approved”, answers the borough, who highlights the budgetary margin: “20% of what was assigned to us last year was not executed” .
This Thursday the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, met with unions to inform them of his talks with the Treasury. Negotiations sources report that there has been no significant development and the unions are committed to maintaining the conflict. Furthermore, Perez Rey has informed him that he will express the “discomfort” of his ministry in a public function.
Two weeks earlier, the workers had increased the intensity of their weekly protests, threatening an indefinite strike from June 26 if the executive did not change its stand. From the UGT they specify that, although they are part of the workers’ platform and accept the decisions of the majority, they do not share the request for the resignation of the ministers.
Unions point out that agreement was very close, but it has been derailed by the civil service’s “stunning” rejection. “There was a closed agreement, all that was missing was the signature, but suddenly he told us that nothing was achieved. It’s a shame”, condemned Miguel Ángel Monteiro from CSIF, who warns of political motivations in the lack of a solution to this conflict: “When judges raise their paw, Justice is the PSOE, a Ministry of the Treasury, whatever is a socialist says: musk, i’m going to pay, When they say it in Social Security, even from PSOE, they listen to them. We reached an agreement two years ago and we have been demanding for this for a very long time as compared to other ministries, but here PSOE comes and does not tell us that the entire administration is revolting.
Those in Díaz’s department share this analysis: they believe the Treasury does not greenlight RPTs but that it grants claims to other ministries because labor is not managed by PSOEs. At the public function they do not respond to this allegation and indicate that talks are still open.
Ana Erkorka, from the SITSS union, has asked that Labor and Treasury leave inspection staff “out of the crossroad of accusations, that they don’t involve us in their political wars.” “Commitment”, Erkorka said, “is from both sides. This is the commitment adopted in the Council of Ministers. With what arguments can a government ask citizens to respect the laws if they break their agreements in the first place? Furthermore, he laments that Díaz overworked him despite not having resolved the conflict: “Inspector action is increasingly reinforced, as the last thing we know to escape the heat and now With domestic staff but no means to supervise they have to reinforce us if they want to end the uncertainty.”
The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escriva, asked this Thursday to “make time for dialogue” in this struggle. Responding to questions from the press in Lugo, he said, “I will give time to confirm these things.” “It is a negotiation process between representatives of the Labor Inspectorate and the Ministry of Labour, which is the responsible ministry. I think you have to give time for talks, sometimes in the process of talks there is this kind of noise which gets amplified”, he said.
The majority of unions representing inspection workers submitted a complaint against the government to the European Commission in late March for this conflict. The complainants allege that there is a violation of the 2021 strategic plan for the Spanish executive labor and social security oversight, and also of a 2020 royal decree—law that includes urgent measures to modernize public administration. with the execution of a recovery, transformation and resilience plan, These regulations included reforms to the public institution, which have not yet been implemented.
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