The new coalition government’s weekly Consejo de Ministros cabinet meeting has approved an immediate 2 percent hike in salaries for public employees retroactive to January 1st, with possible additional increases after May when final figures on Spain’s economic growth for 2019 are due to be released.
The pay rise was previously agreed between labour unions representing workers in the public sector and the last Socialist party government of President Pedro Pedro Sánchez, but after the Sánchez administration failed to get its 2019 budget approval through Congress the increase was put on hold until a new government could be formed following the November general election.
In announcing the agreement by the Consejo on Tuesday, the new Minister for Territorial Policies and Public Administration, Carolina Darias, said that the pay rises will be included in Decreto Ley legislation that the government will propose to Congress for approval without amendment, providing for a minimum pay rise of 2 percent that public sector workers will receive beginning February, with a one-time retroactive 2 percent payment covering the month of January.
Should the growth in Spain’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2019 supersede the government’s current estimate of 1.8 percent, Darias said, supplemental public sector pay raises could be forthcoming, depending on the final 2019 GDP figures released in May.
Beginning next year, the new legislation provides for automatic annual increases in public sector pay packets of 0.3 percent, with the possibility of greater increases of as much as 1 percent should annual growth in GDP top 2.5 percent or more. The government’s current projection for 2020 GDP growth is 2.1 percent, which independent analysts say could occur only in a best-case scenario for the Spanish economy.
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