Public sector workers when protesting against Partido Popular pay cuts. | Joan Torres (Archive)


Unions representing workers in the public sector are warning the Balearic government that it faces confrontation if there is a pay freeze in 2021, which is what the draft budget indicates.

This freeze is despite the Spanish government having indicated a 0.9% increase, and it comes on top of the Balearic government saying that there will not be a backdated increase for this year. The unions say that this means the loss of a two per cent pay rise.

The regional government has stated that its priority is the creation of new jobs, especially for the health service and education, and that personnel costs will therefore rise by six per cent in 2021.

Miguel Ángel Romero, the general secretary of the UGT's federation of public service employees in the Balearics, says that his union has told the government that it is willing to postpone other demands but not salaries. Describing as "outrageous" the de facto freeze in pay, Romero is critical of the fact that the government hasn't listened to workers' representatives.

"We are asking the government to think again. There is time and we are offering all our good faith in reaching an agreement." If there isn't a rethink, he stresses that there will be action, with a rally likely to be called in two weeks' time in front of the Consolat de Mar headquarters.

Miguel Lázaro of the Simebal doctors union accuses the government of "institutional mobbing". Over the past few years, the Armengol government has insisted that there will be no cuts, yet now there will be. Referring to 2020 and 2021, he describes this as "a double cut done with treachery and premeditation".

"The medical community does not merit this mistreatment, as we are demonstrating an enormous capacity for work." Lázaro confirms that the doctors union will join action by other public sector employees, as "confrontation will be warranted".

The Balearics is the only region where a pay freeze has been applied.