Wednesday, December 7

CCOO and UGT, on pensions: “The government’s ability to complicate the negotiation has no limits”


The General Secretaries of UGT and CC.OO Pepe Alvarez and Unai Sordo respectively.

The General Secretaries of UGT and CC.OO Pepe Alvarez and Unai Sordo respectively.
EP

CCOO and UGT have come out en bloc to reject any change in the formula for calculating pensions that implies a reduction of the final amount of the same. The plants have reacted to the documents published this past Wednesday by the Government and the European Comission, which include details of the reforms and commitments related to the receipt of European recovery funds. One of these commitments is to “increase” the number of years that Social Security takes into account to calculate the final amount of the pension that the future retiree will receive. The unions have stated that “in no case” are they going to accept any measure “that implies a cut in pensions, as it means extending the period for calculating pensions that has been announced,” they said in a statement.

Currently the pension is calculated based on the social contributions paid during the last 25 years of the worker’s professional career. The intention of Social Security is to modify this method, since, they argue, currently the last years are not necessarily the best years of a worker. And they intend to enable reforms that enable filling in gaps in contributions – in case the worker has been fired and remains unemployed for a few years-; among others. The fear of the unions is that Escrivá will increase the calculation period and that means that some people will see the amount of their pension reduced. The minister already surveyed months ago the possibility of increasing that term from 25 to 35 years; although finally the proposal did not prosper. Within the government itself, the United We can branch was opposed.

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The negotiation to dismantle the pension reform of the PP and replace it with the one claimed by the Government of PSOE and United we can it is assuming a roller coaster of tensions. The last has jumped for the publication of the contract signed between the Executive and the EU for the arrival of European funds. The package of 30 components that compose the different measures was already published by the Government itself before the summer and it explicitly contained the Executive’s commitment to modify the formula for calculating pensions to adapt it to “new professional careers.” Now, in the last document, the verb “increase” already appears directly.

“The government’s ability to complicate the negotiation processes does not seem to have limits,” CCOO and UGT have stated in their statement. The centrals have charged against the Government for the new controversy, since the negotiation to reform the method of calculating the pension is not currently on the agenda of the social dialogue tables and is committed to seeing it from next year. Right now the conversations revolve around the new ‘Intergenerational Equity Mechanism’, referring to that 0.6 point increase in workers’ contributions that Escrivá has raised to feed the pension piggy bank.


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