The long-awaited fight against the abuse of temporary contracts in the Public Administration takes a new direction from today, in tune with the wishes of Brussels, and places the objective of reducing the average rate to 8% on the government’s eye. European, and that Spain currently exceeds by 20 points (28%). It is one of the reforms committed by the Government with Brussels in the recovery plan to collect European funds. In recent months, in addition, the precariousness rate in the administration has skyrocketed due to the hiring of health professionals, teachers and other public employees to face the Covid-19 crisis. The measure will affect some 300,000 temporary workers of the Administration, according to calculations by the ministry; and 800,000 employees, according to the union organizations.
The pact between the Public Function and the unions states that temporary contracts will have a maximum duration of three years and those positions will have to be incorporated into public job offers (the interim will also have a guarantee of permanence in their job as long as they are in the selection process is underway). For their part, “the administrations must compensate the affected personnel with 20 days per year of service and up to 12 monthly payments when temporary contracts are extended beyond three years and their employment relationship is terminated. In addition, any administrative act that entails non-compliance with these maximum deadlines will be null and void and the appropriate responsibilities (in disciplinary, civil or even criminal matters) will be demanded from the managers ”, according to CSIF through a statement released after the agreement.
“We were looking for a practical, fair and legal solution for the hundreds of thousands of people who occupy structural positions and who have reached them by occupying various interim contracts. And I think we have found it, ”said Minister Miquel Iceta after signing the pact at the Public Service headquarters. “We are not going to commit any injustice to any interim and we are going to call the Administrations so that not an atom of capacity is lost in public services,” he added. Not in vain, the agreed framework establishes only the path to be traveled, since it will be the autonomous communities and local entities that will finally establish the conditions to be applied in their territories.
“The signed reform professionalizes the public employment model, maintains the figure of the interim civil servant staff and oversees its proper use by the Administration, while establishing a flexible framework of legal security within the framework of the state, regional and local Administrations ”, Says UGT.
The stabilization process, which must be resolved before December 31, 2024, will affect all positions of a structural nature, budgetary endowments, temporarily and uninterruptedly occupied at least in the three years prior to December 31, 2020 and that they have not been included in the stabilization processes foreseen in the Agreements for the Improvement of Public Employment of the years 2017 and 2018. “Much remains to be done, but today we are moving forward,” said Miguel Borra, president of CSIF. “It is an agreement that bets on dignifying the eventuals by recognizing that their rights are the same as the permanent and career civil servants”, indicated, for his part, Paco García, coordinator of the public area of CC OO. “This commitment adopts preventive and sanctioning measures that avoid anomalies that have been occurring cyclically”, celebrated Julio Lacuerda, Secretary General of Public Services of UGT.
The Government is expected to approve this Tuesday in the Council of Ministers a royal decree with which it intends to establish a roadmap from which to face one of the most representative anomalies in the labor market and that has become entrenched within the institutions public. The final text, which includes short and medium-term plans, received this Monday the approval of the majority unions (UGT, CC OO and CSIF) in the General Board of Public Administrations, who positively valued the latest contributions made last week by the autonomous communities and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP).
With the approval of the social agents, but without that of the organizations that represent the interim – who consider the plan “unfair” to consolidate positions and not people, and believe that it does not establish the necessary restrictions to prevent it from reproducing in the future – The Government thus agrees to hold a stabilization process by which it intends to regularize the situation of the group of temporary civil servants in fraud of the law – those who have been occupying a temporary position for more than three years.
In addition to establishing a maximum period of two years for its execution – the plan will be launched in 2022 and all processes must be executed by 2024 – the royal decree also includes the modification of the Basic Statute of Public Employees (EBEP) in which Indemnities of 20 days per year worked are recognized with a maximum of 12 monthly payments for interns who are dismissed if they do not consolidate their position.
As of the entry into force of this reform, those public workers who have spent more than three years as temporary workers will also be compensated. This expansion of the protective umbrella is interpreted by the unions as a dissuasive measure to prevent Administrations – especially community and local administrations – from continuing to abuse the temporality, not so for the organizations that represent this group, which call it “insufficient” .
More value from experience in contests
The design of this regulatory framework contemplates the holding of a competition-opposition in which the years of stay in the administration will weigh more than other merits. This was one of the main demands on the part of the unions and that the Government has finally approved with the argument of facilitating the entry of those workers who accumulate more experience in the administration. Their weight will be up to 40% of the total, however, before computing these years of stay as merits, they must first approve the opposition part, which is eliminatory. In the event that an intern who chooses to consolidate his position does not pass the process, in addition to compensation, he will become part of a specific job bank that guarantees re-entry into the Administration in the future.
This agreement “responds to the call of attention to the Spanish administration made from the EU, through different pronouncements of its Court of Justice (CJEU) and other community institutions, in addition to adapting to the recent doctrine of the Supreme Court”, they point out from CSIF. In its last pronouncement, the European justice affected Spain the fact that the regulations did not contemplate any measure that establishes the maximum number of renewals that can be made to a temporary worker, despite the fact that the maximum limit has been met. three years. Something that in practice does not prevent the employer from meeting “permanent and stable personnel needs” through these renewals, warns the CJEU in its ruling of June 24.
Picking up this glove, the Supreme Court reversed its traditional position regarding this practice, and a few days later it ruled in favor of converting into indefinite non-fixed – they are those who hold a square indefinitely until it goes out to competition – to all those temporary that add more than three years with an interim contract. Along with this measure, it also decreed the impossibility of extending the interim period beyond three years, even if the resolution process for public job offers had not been completed.