Monday, July 4

A new betrayal of the investigation staff

History repeats itself. In 2011, during the accelerated processing of Law 14/2011, on Science, Technology and Innovation, the PSOE accepted an amendment to the PP that was reflected in the disastrous Additional Provision 23, which excluded personnel from the investigation of the application of articles 15.1 and 15.5 of the Workers’ Statute. Thus, an island of labor exceptionality was established, condemning research personnel to perpetual precariousness: Spanish Science today has a temporary rate of more than 45%.

The arrival of the coalition government in 2019 promised to break that destiny with the modification of the Labor Reform, which is committed to eliminating work and service contracts and limiting the causes of temporary hiring as much as possible. CCOO and the vast majority of research staff consider this news as a true giant step against precariousness. A conquest that is not due to chance, but to the constant effort of CCOO in the defense of the rights of workers.

However, this application of the Labor Reform in research has provoked the frontal rejection of the CRUE and many foundations, which state that “Formalizing indefinite contracts for research and transfer activities in universities would imply “falsifying” the employment relationship with researchers, by generating false expectations”. Arguments that continue to feed the idea that research staff have enough with their scientific vocation and achievements, which consolidate their precariousness and distance them from the stability of their personal lives.

In February, the processing of the project to amend the Science Law began. After going too long for the insignificant changes introduced, the draft of the Law has rejected the vast majority of the amendments presented by the parliamentary groups. In particular, the amendments that modify Additional Provision 5 of the Labor Reform, which excludes Next Generation fund projects from indefinite contracts and which, after a final touch-up, was extended to all projects financed with European funds.[1].

The competitive funds of the Horizon 2020 program have meant an injection of more than 4,762 million euros in its first 5 years. The current Horizon Europe increases its budget even more, and therefore the Spanish participation and the hiring of personnel associated with these projects will surely grow.

With these arguments, the text for amendments 59 was agreed with the Ministry of Science and Innovation[2] and 125, presented by United We Can and Mas País respectively, which eliminates temporary hiring linked to competitive European projects, stating that “It is clear that European funding for research projects or programs is perfectly assimilable to the contracting modalities provided for in this regulation. Maintaining in this area the general exception of the fifth additional provision of RDL 32/2021 would only contribute to perpetuating precariousness and excessive temporality, elements that this Law intends to tackle”.

And here came the new betrayal of the investigation staff. The socialist parliamentary group voted against these amendments, condemning this staff to new quotas of precariousness precisely linked to the most competitive projects. Nothing can justify this change of course, when the Ministry itself had agreed to the amendment. Together with the socialist group, the representatives of the right, who have always defended the precariousness of research personnel as a way of promoting excellence, voted against it.

The PSOE must amend this disloyalty with the investigation staff on June 23, in the final approval process in the plenary session of the Congress of Deputies.

The majority government party prevents the application of its own Labor Reform, once again betraying the investigation staff. It is not decent to hold a discourse on the importance of Science as a motor of transformation and at the same time condemn its personnel to precariousness.

Being the most important, this has not been the only amendment rejected. Among others, they have denied the professional career of technical and management staff, a decent salary for predoctoral staff, as well as the opening of the R3 to all experienced doctorates, limiting the recovery of emigrated talent and promoting inbreeding.

We await the rectification of the Socialist Party, and also of the rest of the political parties that demand a Pact for Science. Deputies and deputies: look beyond the colors, and vote on the 23rd thinking of building a strong scientific system, something that will only be possible with decent working conditions for all research personnel.

[1] Fifth additional provision. Hiring within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and European Union Funds.

Fixed-term contracts may be signed by the entities that make up the public sector, regulated in article 2 of Royal Decree-Law 36/2020, of December 30, which approves urgent measures for the modernization of the Administration Public and for the execution of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, provided that said contracts are associated with the strict execution of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and only for the time necessary for the execution of the aforementioned projects. The provisions of the preceding paragraph will also apply to the signing of fixed-term contracts that are necessary for the execution of temporary programs whose financing comes from European Union funds.. The aforementioned contracts [..].

[2] Within the scope of application of this Law, only the Fifth Additional Provision of Royal Decree Law 32/2021, of December 28, on urgent measures for labor reform, the guarantee of employment stability and the transformation of the market will be applicable. of work, in relation to the reform of temporary hiring modalities, in the case of fixed-term contracts by the entities that make up the public sector, regulated in article 2 of Royal Decree-law 36/2020, of 30 of December, which approves urgent measures for the modernization of the Public Administration and for the execution of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, provided that said contracts are associated with the strict execution of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and only for the time necessary for the execution of the aforementioned projects, as well as for contracts necessary for the execution of temporary programs whose financing depends on non-competitive European funds. Those concluded before the entry into force of the Law under the aforementioned fifth additional provision will remain in force until the completion of the established duration, with a maximum limit of three years counted from the date of entry into force of the present. Law.



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