public sector

Transparency and Good Governance Law approved in Catalonia

December 18, 2014 09:44 PM | ACN

The Catalan Parliament approved on Thursday the Law on Transparency, Information Access and Good Governance with 81% in support and 2% in opposition. This bill comes a few months after the Catalan Government was graded 100 points out of 100 by Transparency International Spain for the information it makes available to citizens through its website about public contracts, tenders, subsidies and elected officials. However, these measures also come after years of corruption scandals, which have not only occurred across Spain, but also in Catalonia. The main parties have backed the new law, while two other parties abstained and one voted against the bill because they said they did not trust the governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU. With the new law, access to information will become a citizen’s right, which can only be limited when it affects people’s intimacy or a few other exceptions, including public security. 

The Catalan Government will restore public employee's full salary in 2015 after a 3-year reduction

September 9, 2014 10:07 PM | ACN

In 2015 the employees of the Catalan Government and related institutions and public companies will receive their full salary once again after having suffered a 7.5% reduction over the last 3 years. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government and Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs, announced the measure on Tuesday, after the weekly Cabinet meeting. Furthermore, the Executive will also stop the 15% reduction of working hours and salary of temporary workers in the public sector. Those austerity measures were approved in the 2012 budget as a drastic way to cut public spending in order to reduce the public deficit. The Spanish Government has been unilaterally imposing strict deficit targets on the Catalan Executive while it maintained an unfair inter-territorial fiscal scheme with Catalonia and reduced its resources. In fact, the Spanish Government and most of the other Autonomous Communities did not reduce public salaries in the worst years of economic crisis, while the Catalan Government was the first one to launch the ambitious austerity plan.

Catalonia, the Basque Country and Castile and León lead transparency rankings, while Madrid is at the bottom

July 17, 2014 10:10 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government, alongside the executives of the Basque Country and Castile and León, is leading the index of Autonomous Communities in terms of transparency, according to a study issued on Thursday by the organisation Transparency International Spain. These three Autonomies scored 100 out of 100 in the study, which was based on 80 indicators. They were followed by La Rioja (96), Galícia (94) and the Balearic Islands (93). The Region of Madrid occupies the last position in the ranking, with 65 points, behind the Region of Múrcia (79), the Canary Islands (80) and Castilla-La Mancha (84). The average across Spain is 88.6 out of 100. The study called upon regional governments to indicate the exact location of various data and information about elected officials, political appointments, organisation and personal wealth.

Ambulance workers go on strike in Catalonia for four days but essential services are guaranteed

September 9, 2013 09:21 PM | ACN

The ambulance service has gone on strike from Monday to Thursday because of a 9.2% drop in staff wages. However, the provision of basic services is guaranteed, such as emergencies – including accidents and intra-hospital journeys – and the transportation of oncology and haemodialysis patients with scheduled treatments. The Catalan Health Ministry and the trade union CCOO showed a disagreement on the strike’s success. According to the Catalan Government, the demonstration was only followed by 8% of the workers on its first day, while the CCOO stated that 90% of the non-essential services have not been provided. The owners of the ambulance providers announced significant salary reductions in July. After talks with unions and the mediation of the Catalan Labour Court, an agreement has not been reached to avoid the strike.

Transport workers strike coinciding with the Mobile World Congress is cancelled

February 22, 2013 08:33 PM | CNA / Rosa Soto

The Spanish Drivers and Railway Assistant Workers Trade Union, which had called for the strike, has reached an agreement with the Catalan Government’s trains operating company and has cancelled the protest, scheduled for the 25th-28th of February. The strike had been planned to coincide and affect the Mobile World Congress, the main international event of the cell-phone-related industry, to be held in Barcelona next week.

General strike against austerity measures held 11 days before the Catalan elections

November 13, 2012 11:14 PM | CNA

The general strike called at European Union level to protest the austerity measures and support a new strategy to deal with the economic crisis will also affect Catalonia, 11 days before the Catalan elections. Despite coinciding with the official election campaign, unions in Catalonia called for a general strike, arguing that the date had been decided at EU level. The Catalan Government and the main unions have reached an agreement on the minimum services to be provided. Public transportation will work at 33% of its capacity at rush hours, but not at all for the rest of the day. Emergency rooms will work as normal and hospitals will continue to offer indispensable treatments and perform scheduled surgeries. Schools will have the presence of between 17% and 33% of the staff guaranteed. Catalan Police will deploy 9,000 officers to avoid any violence.

Barcelona metro strike cancelled and will not interfere with the Mobile World Congress

February 25, 2012 09:35 PM | CNA

The metro strike organised by employees of Barcelona Public Transport (TMB) who were demanding a salary increase has been cancelled. The bus strike is still planned, although after the metro’s cancellation, bus workers would be also considering doing so. The strike was coinciding with the world’s main trade fair and conference of the mobile phone and mobile technology industry. However, it was not affecting taxis, tramways, airport buses, and commuter trains. The strike will only affect urban buses. The underground will be operating as normal. During rush hour buses will function at 50% of their capacity and the rest of the day at 20%.

Public employees and the Catalan Government clear on their aims for next year’s salaries and staff numbers

December 14, 2011 10:44 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Public employees have taken to the streets to put pressure on the Catalan Government during the negotiation of next year’s budget. The Government proposed 19 measures affecting public employees and aimed at saving €625 million in 2012. They include salary reductions, modifications in working conditions and review “of temporary staff”. Negotiations began on November 30th and, despite some temporary suspensions, they are on-going. The Catalan Government wants to close a deal as soon as possible, and unions want to keep negotiating until next year’s budget approval.