Wednesday, January 19

The Government approves this Tuesday the extension of the SMI in 965 euros pending negotiation with the social agents

The Council of Ministers plans to approve this Tuesday the extension of the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) at 965 euros per month until a new amount is negotiated with unions and employers, as government sources have informed Europa Press.

The rise in the minimum wage in 2019 reduced inequality and poverty rates in the workplace

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In this way, 2022 will start with a minimum salary of 965 euros per month, although the intention of the Executive is that it continue to rise to fulfill the commitment to reach 60% of the average salary by the end of this legislature. The Government reached an agreement in September with the majority unions to increase the SMI by 1.6% to 965 euros per month in 14 payments in 2021. The CEOE employer did not want to join this agreement.

Once the labor reform has been agreed, which will receive the green light in the Council of Ministers this Tuesday, the Government, employers and unions will now open the SMI negotiation. The rise resulting from this negotiation could be retroactive, although not necessarily from January 1, 2022.

The rise in the SMI of 2022 was one of the determining issues in the difficult negotiation of the increase in the minimum wage in 2021. The Executive had already resolved its internal differences on the amount of the increase this year, of 15 euros, after a negotiation between the hike defended by Vice President Nadia Calviño (12 euros) and the one proposed by the Ministry of Labor, higher and that in recent days stood at those 15 euros. It was a moderate increase, in line with the wage increase agreed in the collective agreements (1.5%), and which corresponded to the intermediate path recommended by the committee of experts to the Government on the way to place the SMI in the 60% of the median salary at the end of the legislature, a compromise of the coalition agreement. The group of specialists developed several rise scenarios, with a range of 12 euros to 19 euros per month.

But those 15 euros were not enough to reach a pact with the unions. Once the entrepreneurs were anchored to the ‘no’ to any increase, no matter how small, and that the negotiation had extended to the final stretch of the year (with an increase in prices around 3%), the majority representatives of the workers asked for more.

CCOO and UGT claimed to the Executive that, if the increase in the minimum wage for the remainder of 2021 did not compensate for the growth in prices, it was accompanied by a commitment to place it at 1,000 euros in 2022. In recent days, this was the The main stumbling block: what commitment to set up for 2022 to be able to add the unions to the agreement without leaving the employers out of this decision.

The “fringe” of 2022 continued to kick in. In this debate, the differences within the Executive branch reappeared. While Labor and the unions agreed to state in writing that the Government promised to raise the SMI in 2022 in line with the recommendation of the committee of experts, this text did not go ahead pending the green light of the part socialist, according to sources familiar with the negotiation.

Finally, the agreement contemplates this commitment for next year. It does not specify an increase figure for 2022, but the intention to continue the increase as recommended by the specialists to reach the goal of 2023. In the intermediate scenario of the experts, an increase in the SMI of 15 euros was reflected in 2021 and from 31 euros in 2022, up to 996 euros per month.

Despite the fact that the 2021 rise was celebrated by the Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, she then avoided specifying whether the minimum wage will rise to 1,000 euros in 2022. Faced with the journalist’s questions in this regard, she has limited herself to answering: “We are going to comply with the path that the experts have determined” to reach 60% of the average salary in 2023. “The minimum wage is good for the economy in general and is the salary that reaches the stores in our neighborhoods, to the cafeterias of our neighborhoods, to the hairdressers of our neighborhoods … “, said the vice president.

Both CCOO and UGT have already pointed out – with the closing of the previous minimum wage agreement that “the Government and the unions advance in the commitment so that the SMI, through its progressive revision in 2022 and 2023, reaches 60% of the average salary before the end of the legislature, as determined by the European Social Charter signed by Spain “.

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