The measure could contribute to the regularization of at least 15,000 Murcian employees
The Government finally managed to save the furniture and avoid a painful parliamentary defeat that seemed inevitable early in the morning of this Wednesday, but the long extraordinary plenary session held in Congress, the last one before the summer holidays, revealed how precarious that remains the majority of Pedro Sánchez with or without new ministerial teams.
An agonizing negotiation and until the last minute managed to get Podemos, first, and Esquerra Republicana, later, to agree to support the decree with which the Executive intends to reduce the temporality in Public Administration from 28% to 8%, the one that was most in danger of the three who were being debated, among other things, because even the minority partner of the government coalition looked at him suspiciously. Without the vote of the separatist formation, together with Más País and Compromís, and the “critical” abstention of the PNV, the numbers would not have come out for the socialists. In fact, the accounts were so tight that the green light came after having had to repeat the vote for a tie at 170 and with only one deputy on the sidelines. The final result: 170 yeses, 169 noes (from PP, Vox, Ciudadanos, EH-Bildu, PDeCAT, Junts, CUP, UPN, Canary Coalition, BNG, and Asturias Forum) and 8 abstentions.
That achieving the turnaround of its partners was not easy shows the tone used by the ERC spokesperson, Pilar Valuguera, when she went up to the rostrum. “We have changed position in five hours,” he admitted, “and we owe an explanation to all the people who expected another vote from us.” In the first place, the decree will be processed as a bill to be modified. The parties no longer trust the Government, which on other occasions has made that same promise with other texts and later lengthens the deadline for amendments ‘sine díe’, but now the commitment is that by mid-October the new law will be ready. “We are going to see the loyalty and sincerity of the socialist group,” Valuguera said.
Relevance in the Region
The new regulations will help to regularize the situation of 15,000 public employees without a fixed position in the Region, including the 7,000 of the Murcian Health Service (SMS), which has increased its workforce with temporary contracts to face the pandemic. They are followed by temporary teachers, who range between 5,000 and 6,000 (of them, 1,500 were hired last fall in the wake of the pandemic), according to the teaching unions. Administration and public services add another 1,660. To all of them must be added hundreds of eventuals in the town halls.
Among the changes that the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, agreed to assume regarding the text agreed by her predecessor in the Public Service, Miquel Iceta, and the majority unions, would be the possibility that the communities do not grant an eliminatory character to the oppositions that they be convened to regularize the situation of interns or that public employees who have held a position without interruption in the last ten years are exempted from these oppositions.
The general reproach to the government decree. In fact, it does not refer so much to the solution it offers so that in the future large pockets of interns will not be generated again, but to the output that is put on the table for those who have been splicing temporary public contracts for years, the precarious workers of the administration. To the right and to the left, all the parties agreed that now they are going to be made to pay for a sin that is not theirs and they criticized the “hypocrisy” or the “stinginess” of trying to compensate them with a severance pay of 20 days per year worked with a maximum of 12 months, the same as the labor reform that the Executive has promised to repeal for the private sector.
Neither this debate nor any of those that took place in yesterday’s intense plenary session was, on the other hand, peaceful for the Government. The Socialists knew in advance that no party would oppose the decree that lowers the VAT on electricity from 21% to 10% just in a day that once again recorded historical records in the price of the wholesale market, but that does not mean that they applauded it .
On the contrary, all the formations warned that the measure is no more than a mere “patch” that does not solve the underlying problem and urged the Minister for the Ecological Transition to act diligently.
The decree that eliminates the obligation to use the mask in open spaces when there are no crowds and it is possible to maintain safety distances also went ahead comfortably, with 180 ‘yeses’ compared to 90 ‘noes’ and 78 abstentions but that did not prevent that both the popular and Vox charged against the Government for, in their opinion, making public health decisions without attending to criteria other than their political interest. Both parties thus maintained that the decree, approved in an extraordinary Council of Ministers two days after the pardons to the leaders of the ‘procés’ sought to create a smokescreen to distract public opinion.