In 2015, the Government of Mariano Rajoy approved the Law for the De-indexation of the economy, which de-links any contract in which it participates in any public sector entity from the evolution of the CPI. And two years later, the Public Sector Contracts Law was carried out, which transferred two community directives and which -together with the previous norm- makes the price review of public contracts unfeasible. But unlike what happened in other matters, the change of color of the Government has not introduced changes in this matter, even though most of the formations in the chamber understand it to be reasonable. Meanwhile, the effects of this refusal are especially noticeable in the sectors that cover the functions that the Administration has outsourced, such as cleaning or care.
The year was marked by a general rise in prices that stood at 8.4% of the media, however, these companies will not be able to transfer the increase in costs to contracts in progress, which according to current regulations may have a duration of up to five years. Although they will not be able to rebalance the contracts sealed after a tender to compensate for the increase in the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI) up to 1,000 euros, nor will they now be able to pass on the new increase of 80 euros. For Juan Díez de los Ríos, president of the cleaning association ASPEL, it is an injustice that the Government determines these increases “with the money of others”, while showing zero political will to review these contractual agreements, as he declared in conversation with Information.
The representative of the businessmen maintains that it is an issue that he has been defending for nearly eight years, although he does not observe political movements that are going to modify the scenario. On the other hand, it is a demand that he shares with the unions, which have also observed a progressive precariousness of the workers who work in these sectors, with high rates of partiality and a remuneration very close to the SMI. Almost a year ago, the CCOO, UGT and CEOE jointly signed a manifesto in which they argued that the Public Contracts Law “makes it impossible to review their prices in most service contracts” which means that, before Any modification that affects the costs of a contract already in force, such as salary costs, “will produce an economic-contractual imbalance in the winning companies.”
However, almost twelve months later, the companies continue in the same situation as in March 2022, with the exception of the construction sector, for which a specific Royal Decree was presented to assess the increases generated by the conflict in Ukraine. . While they must face a new rise in the SMI that from ASPEL they estimate affects more than 50% of the collective agreements, in addition to the suggestions that they may have in the negotiation between companies and union representatives to the axis as a reference for salary increases. Díez de los Ríos does not dare to venture what implications this will have in terms of employment or downsizing, since he reflects, they must attend to the contracts they have signed and have the necessary personnel for it. So he calculates that these effects will be seen in the medium term.
This sector, like that of other services such as care in nursing homes or assistance, is spent feminized. 78% of its workforce are women and more than 70% have a partial contract, although on many occasions this is not the desired one, which impacts the gender wage gap. In the presentation of the ‘By doing more, we earn less’ campaign, the secretary of the Workers’ Commissions, Unai Sordo, highlighted that part of the responsibility for the 20.9% difference in the average remuneration received by men compared to women is publish. Since the administrations had followed a process of “systemic outsourcing” while the aforementioned regulations “make it difficult to improve the salaries of services outsourced by the public sector.”
“The Administration cannot evade or not have any type of responsibility for the public services that it manages indirectly,” points out the CCOO’s Confederal Secretary for Women, Equality and Working Conditions, Carolina Vidal, in conversation with this medium. “Now the prices of wages are rising and jobs, often subcontracted, are becoming more precarious, because the increases cannot have an impact on the price and it is something that mainly affects women,” she maintains, while denouncing that it is a generalized situation that It is happening at all territorial levels.