Despite the reinforcement of the negotiations between the Government and the social agents, the Ministry of Labor has in mind to approve the increase in the interprofessional minimum wage (SMI) before the end of January, although it intends to continue with a “calm dialogue “that allows an agreement to be reached with the unions and employers throughout this week. This has been revealed by the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, during his intervention to assess the unemployment data for December, published this Tuesday. The Executive added the extension of the current SMI, which stands at 1,000 euros per month, within the royal decree of economic measures to deal with the effects of inflation.
Pérez Rey has pointed out that “there are no disagreements within the Government” about increasing the minimum wage, although he has indicated that in the Department headed by the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, “they want to give social dialogue a chance.” On the number of this increase, the ‘number two’ of Labor has referred to the proposal of the experts of the Ministry, which proposes a fork that goes from an increase of 4.6% (which would allow reaching 1,046 euros per month in 14 payments) up to an increase of 8.2% (for a salary of 1,082 euros). In either case, the increase will be applied retroactively.
Discrepancies over the minimum wage between unions and CEOE
Where there are clearly visible differences between unions and employers and the latter with the Government. The CEOE employers refused a few days ago to meet with the Executive to negotiate the possible increase in the SMI for the new year, but opened the door to a 4% increase to 1,040 euros per month. A rise that the unions fully reject on Christmas Day itself.
Asked about the approval of the scholarship holder’s statute, Pérez Rey has stated that it is a “complex negotiation”, although he has announced that the Government is working on a new draft that will be transferred to the social agents this week and that, he hopes, will serve to reach “a meeting point”. Regarding the reform of employment incentives, the Secretary of State has indicated that his department hopes to carry out a text to the Council of Ministers “as soon as possible”, since Labor wants to implement measures that promote “a new panorama of incentives” in 2023.
Pension negotiations remain stagnant
Regarding the negotiation of the second leg of the pension reform, the Secretary of State for Social Security, Borja Suárez, has stressed that the intention is to comply with commitments with the European Union “under the agreed terms”, that is, with the two committed milestones, the increase in bases and maximum pensions and the changes in the computation period.
Suárez has indicated that this is a “very important” negotiation and that the Ministry headed by José Luis Escrivá continues to work without detailing new dates for meetings with the social agents. It has also been highlighted that, although the deadlines are relevant, in other reforms, such as the self-employed, a few weeks were exceeded without any consequences for the final disbursement of the funds.
The Government’s objective was to have this last block of measures on the pension system approved before December 31, on which the disbursement of the ‘Next Generation’ funds also depends (Spain will receive the horrible from this year). The adequacy of the calculation period generates important differences both with employers and unions as well as between the partners of the Government.