trade unions

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.

The Catalan Government plans to modify the working conditions of 45,000 public employees

March 16, 2012 09:33 PM | CNA

The Catalan Government has drafted a plan regarding public employees for the 2012-2014 period. The aim is to reduce public spending in order to meet the deficit targets by reorganising civil servants, including their working conditions. The plan foresees the possibility of a reduction in salaries and working hours, as well as making their working conditions, tasks, and location more flexible. 6,800 temporary workers will have their hours reduced by 15% from April 1st. Unions have criticised the plan. However, the Catalan Vice President has asked unions to avoid exaggerating the issue and creating problems.

The Catalan Government reduces public sector salaries by 3% to meet deficit objectives

February 17, 2012 10:06 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The salary drop is to be added to the 5% cutback in 2010 and the 2011 salary freeze despite the increase in inflation. Trade unions denounced that since May 2010, Catalan public employees have lost 20% of their purchasing power. In addition, trade unions have abandoned negotiations as they say the Catalan Government is imposing the measures. The Vice President, Joana Ortega, stressed that the measure is “temporary”, in principle only for 2012; however she did not discard the idea of repeating it in 2013 if the economic situation requires so. The measure will save €180 million this year, which is part of the €625 million package to be saved that affects public employee labour conditions.

Public employee unions protest at not being informed by the Catalan Government about delays in the extra salary payment

December 15, 2011 10:27 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Minister for Finance, Andreu Mas-Colell stated in a press conference that because of the Spanish Government’s refusal to pay them the promised €759 million, the Catalan Government will be short of cash for the remainder of the year. Mas-Colell explained that Catalan public employees would receive most of their Christmas bonus with a one week delay. In addition, service providers will also be paid later. Visibly angry and arguing that they had not been previously informed about the measures, union representatives decided to leave the negotiation table with the Catalan Government where talks had been taking place about next year’s salaries, working conditions and staff numbers.

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.

Transversal agreement in Catalonia to renew the labour relations framework and foster “negotiated flexibility”

November 29, 2011 12:30 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government has signed an agreement with the main trade unions and business association to foster “negotiated flexibility” within the labour market. The aim is to provide companies with a greater flexibility framework while securing jobs. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, suggested the new Spanish Government follow Catalonia’s example of reaching an agreement with the social agents to improve the labour market.

Catalan healthcare is unevenly affected by the doctor strike to halt budget cuts

November 15, 2011 10:02 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The trade union organising the protest has said that 70% of doctors took part in the strike, while the Catalan Ministry of Health reduced the figure to only 20%. Doctors are protesting at the budget cuts in the Catalan healthcare system in order to decrease the public deficit, which included a 5% salary reduction. The doctor’s union called for a strike on November 15th and 16th, coinciding with the negotiations on the 2012 budget and the Spanish elections. The Catalan Government stated that the strike asks for unrealistic salary increases and considered it has “failed”. 20,000 medical consultations have to be postponed.

Barcelona airport is strengthened with new flights, no strikes planned, and a future of decentralised management

March 17, 2011 11:35 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The strike threatened by Spanish airport staff was finally cancelled as an agreement was reached between the ministry and trade unions. Air Berlin announced a flight increase in Barcelona: 38 flights per week will link the Catalan capital with Düsseldorf. The Spanish Minister for Transport insisted that the tender process to manage the airport will be issued before the end of the year.