The Official State Gazette (BOE) published yesterday the V Agreement for Collective Bargaining 2023, 2024 and 2025 (AENC) signed on May 10 by the leaders of the CEOE-Cepyme employers and the CC OO and UGT unions. This agreement is an important guide for action for the negotiators of thousands of collective agreements that, whether active or ultra-active, govern the working conditions of more than ten million employees.
The central and most mediatic nucleus of this pact was, without a doubt, the recommendation of salary increases for the present fiscal year and the two following ones –4%, 3% and 3%, respectively; with the possibility of additional increases each year of 1% if the CPI exceeds the agreed figures. However, the 22 pages of this agreement go far beyond mere salary guidelines and cover practically all the areas that make up the labor relations between the company and its workers (employment quality, conciliation, teleworking, digital disconnection, absenteeism or diversity among other things)
But, beyond these recommendations for the negotiators of the agreements, the employer and union leaders introduced in this agreement several clear recommendations to the Government that will already be the one that leaves the polls on July 23. The first of these is already becoming historic and consists of the unanimous request of the social agents to the Executive branch to modify the current regulations regarding the review of prices in public procurement, especially in the inflationary scenario that is plaguing the economy. If this review does not take place, the social agents have already been warning that many of these public contracts will not be able to be fulfilled and many future awards will be void.
“Working people and companies that participate in public procurement in labor-intensive sectors cannot once again be the pagans of a regulation that prevents de facto review of prices and, with it, wages, even in extreme situations such as the current”.
The second task that employers and unions entrust to the future Executive is related to retirement policies in companies. The signatories of this agreement are aware that the latest pension reform is aimed (especially in its first phase) at encouraging workers to decide to delay their retirement to contribute to the financial sustainability of the system. For this reason, given this evidence, the social agents emphasize in the text of this agreement that “partial retirement and relief contracts must continue to be an adequate instrument for maintaining employment and rejuvenating the workforce.” And they add that, “to this end, collective agreements may recognize access to partial retirement with a relief contract in accordance with the regulations that apply to it and will promote, where appropriate, the mechanisms for its implementation in each one of the sectors and companies, depending on their own circumstances and characteristics”. At this point, they urge the future Government to open the social dialogue table to comply with the pension reform regulations that oblige the Executive to present a proposal for partial retirement reform within one year.
Finally, the signatories share “a positive assessment of the complementary social security systems” for what they consider “advisable to address their development within the framework of collective bargaining”. This indicates that also in this matter businessmen and unions will demand incentives from the next Executive for these plans.
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