There will be no strike or stoppages in Social Security. The Minister of Inclusion and Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, signed an agreement this Tuesday with the organization’s five main unions after agreeing to fulfill practically all of their demands and committing to immediately reinforce the workforce and improve the working conditions of officials and, to in turn, the services offered to citizens, services that have been in a state of collapse for months, with waiting lists of up to three months to be able to go to an office to process benefits as important as pensions or the minimum vital income. After the signing, CC OO and CSIF announced that they were canceling all the mobilizations announced last week.
The minister, a few days after denying in Congress the poor functioning of Social Security and saying that it was “hoaxes” of the PP that it is necessary to attend by appointment, now recognizes that they have “difficulties in offering an optimal service to citizens.” and admits the “pending workload” that the officials of this public body “bear,” according to the text that was unanimously approved this Tuesday at the negotiating table.
The first thing the ministry will do is urgently incorporate 2,500 interim workers to unclog the situation in the Social Security offices and alleviate the work of the little more than 24,000 officials currently in this organization, after in the last decade, more than 10,000 employees have been lost, more than 20% of the total workforce. In addition, the 1,025 interim workers who were hired to reinforce the processing of the minimum income will become structural positions. In addition, the ministry has committed to developing a human resources plan for the entire Social Security system. In any case, the board agrees that interim employment is “exceptional” and the ministry undertakes that in the future these processes will only occur after an internal competition for transfers of civil servant personnel.
Thanks to this “important reinforcement” of the workforce with more than 3,500 public employees in the management units, Escrivá will allow teleworking one day a week as of July 1 as long as the tasks performed are “susceptible to it, with voluntary nature and guaranteeing the adequate provision of public services, especially attention to citizens. To do this, officials who wish to do so have until May 30 to submit their remote work request. Starting in January, teleworking will be expanded to two days a week at home. However, this second day can be brought forward by entities starting next September 15.
A unique structure
The Government also undertakes to create new incentives for public employees of this organization after wanting to reward them with 6 euros for each appointment they attend outside of their working hours. To do this, a study and analysis of the current system and the different productivity models will be carried out, taking into account the workloads supported by the Social Security workforce. In any case, the new model will value effort, personal dedication and compliance with the proposed objectives for each management and/or collection unit.
Likewise, Escrivá undertakes to present to the Council of Ministers “immediately” a draft bill with the creation of the new Social Security Agency, which aims to update, adapt and modernize the system with the integration of all the organizations under a single structure. This measure is already almost a year late, since it was planned to comply with this mandate contained in the Toledo Pact before June 30, 2022.
On the other hand, the agreement plans to promote the creation of the Social Security Training School, with the objective of coordinating and managing training and specialization programs for officials.