Thursday, December 7

Salaries rise 2.56% in collective agreements, at an increasing distance from inflation

The salary increase agreed in the collective agreements until July increased to 2.56%, which represents a slight acceleration compared to the last months in which the figure was stagnant around 2.4%. However, the timid rise in wages is light years ahead of price advances, with a widening gap between wages and inflation. The interannual CPI provisional figure for July stood at 10.8%, with a difference of more than eight points between the two values.

Inflation shoots up to 10.8% in July

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Statistics from the Ministry of Labor indicate that, until July, the agreements with economic effects in 2022 reached 2,428, affecting 667,434 companies and 6.9 million workers. Of them, 374 have been signed and registered so far in 2022, covering 132,600 companies and just over a million workers.

After several months with a growth of only tenths, the salary increase agreed until July accelerated one point, from 2.45% to 2.56% on average. Contrary to usual, wage increases are being higher in company agreements, 2.69% on average, compared to those agreed in sectoral and higher-level agreements, 2.56%.

Inflation, for its part, stood at an increase of 10.8% year-on-year in July, according to provisional data from the INE. Core inflation, which is the one that excludes energy prices and unprocessed food prices (fruits, vegetables…), which are more volatile, is also well above the increase in wages. In July, it reached 6.1%.

Most workers, with rises between 1% and 2%

If we look at the sections of increases broken down by the Ministry of Labour, it can be seen that the majority of workers (3.8 million, 55% of the total number of employees affected) have agreed salary increases of between 1% and 2 %. According to a survey by Simple Lógica for, salary is the greatest source of dissatisfaction among workers in Spain.

By sectors of activity, those with the smallest wage increases in their agreements are financial and insurance activities (with an increase of 1.1%), followed by the hotel industry (1.61%) and energy supply companies ( 1.93%).

Those showing the greatest increases are two agreements that affect domestic employment, surely marked by the increase in the minimum wage, with an increase of 6.3%, followed by agreements in the artistic activities sector (3.65%) and of professional, scientific and technical activities, with an agreed increase of 3.5%.

25% of workers, protected by review clauses

According to the latest data, the number of workers covered by salary review clauses in collective agreements reaches 25%. Thus, their salary increases will be compensated a posteriori (totally or partially) depending on how the price evolution turns out.

These clauses were the main conflict between employers and unions in the negotiation for a wage agreement at the state level this year, which broke down in May. The employers were reluctant to include these safeguards, which compensate for inflation in the salary increase previously agreed upon in collective bargaining, while the unions considered them an essential minimum given the context of skyrocketing prices, which represents a great loss of purchasing power for workers. .

Although economists warn of the need to curb the increase in inflation through measures such as wage containment (which do not rise as much as prices) and business profits, in CCOO and UGT they warn that workers are the most affected party, that it is losing a lot of purchasing power while companies are indeed increasing their prices and thus expanding their business margins.

Non-applications of agreements affect more workers

In addition, so far in 2022, up to July, a total of 348 non-applications of collective agreements have been deposited in the Labor Authorities, involving 299 companies and affecting 13,874 workers.

When comparing the evolution with the same period of the previous year, 4.7% fewer non-applications have been filed (348 compared to 365), which nevertheless affects almost 20% more workers than workers (18.8%) .

The non-applications focus, above all, on the salary issue. 65% of the total non-applications filed so far this year had to do with this matter, according to data from the Ministry.