Sunday, October 1

The lifeguards of Ibiza, on the warpath: “There will be a strike if our working conditions do not improve”

The lifeguards on the island of Eivissa continue their struggle to improve their working conditions. A profession that, in the words of its union representatives, “is not valued.” And it is that a worker in this sector earns between 1,000 and 1,070 euros net per month. This summer, the lifeguards of the twelve beaches of Santa Eularia des Riu and four o’clock Sant Joan de Labritja that have the coverage of the surveillance and lifeguard service started a salary increase of 10% (with retroactive effect) for the entire season in which this service is contemplated (from May 1 to October 15), which in the northern beaches of Eivissa operates the Balearic Red Cross through an agreement with the two town councils.

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This increase was achieved after a meeting that took place at the beginning of August between CGT Eivissa and Formentera (which represents workers) and the Balearic Red Cross, at the Court of Arbitration and Mediation of the Balearic Islands (TAMIB). The agreement also prevented the lifeguards from going on strike, which they had announced for August 13. “We also managed to get the supervision bonus recognized,” Carles Tur, CGT Eivissa and Formentera union delegate in the sector, explains to, who, however, insists that the main fight is to negotiate a regional collective agreement that leaves behind “the shortcomings” with which they consider that these professionals carry out their activity.

A regional agreement is “the solution”, says the CGT

Among other issues, they claim that in the autonomous collective agreement negotiated by the CGT, CCOO and UGT and the SALVIB Business Group (which includes companies such as Marsave Mallorca SL, Emergències Setmil SL or the Institut Balear de Emergències SL) there is an improvement in salary conditions , days for personal affairs are included, vacations are increased by one day (going from 30 to 31 calendar days per year), the process by which workers are subrogated is stipulated more clearly (that is, the way in which employees move from one company to another, in the event of a change after the municipalities put the service out to tender and public tender).

The workers also ask that maternity leave, temporary disability and overtime be stipulated in the regional collective agreement, which are other points of conflict, according to the CGT. “Fighting for a regional agreement is very difficult, but the truth is that I saw that it was really a solution to all problems, as long as it is good,” says Tur.

This agreement would also seek to prevent lifeguards who work in a hotel pool from not having the same conditions as those who work on beaches because, according to Tur’s complaint, the hospitality agreement “allows the service to be outsourced”, which results in the The employer can set the worker’s salary based on their company agreement, which in any case must respect the Workers’ Statute.

Precisely, this is another of the problems they have, says the CGT. The lifeguards of the twelve beaches of Sant Josep de sa Talaia that have this service work to Marsave Mallorca SL, successful bidder for the years 2020-2024, with the conditions established in the company agreement. In this particular case, this does not affect their salary conditions, which are determined in the specifications drawn up by the Sant Josep Town Hall. “When a company manages a public service, it should benefit from a regional, state or sectoral agreement, which better specifies working conditions, but Marsave applies the company agreement, which specifies almost nothing (and which refers to what the Statute indicates of the Workers, which is ‘minimum’)”, complains Tur.

When a company manages a public service, it should benefit from a regional, state or sectoral agreement, which better specifies working conditions, but Marsave applies the company agreement, which specifies almost nothing

Carles Tur
Union delegate of CGT Eivissa and Formentera

The agreement of Marsave Mallorca SL, which can be consulted through the resolution of the Ministry of Labor, Commerce and Industry of the Balearic Government, published on April 7, 2016 in the BOIB, details in its article 4 of chapter 1 its temporary nature, indicating its validity until December 31, 2021. “This collective agreement may be extended expressly or tacitly. It will be understood to be tacitly extended for annual periods if there is no notice of complaint made by any of the parties at least three months before the end of its validity or, where appropriate, the extension in progress”, establishes the text.

The labor reform approved in 2012, with Fátima Báñez as Minister of Employment and Social Security of the first executive of Mariano Rajoy, limited the ultra-activity of collective agreements to one year. In other words, one year after the loss of validity without an agreement having been reached for its renewal, it ceased to be in force, being replaced by one of a higher scope, as explained by the Col lectiu Ronda, an expert cooperative in the legal and labor field (that is, until December 31, 2022).

With the new labor reform promoted by the Ministry of Labor of Yolanda Díaz, in case of denunciation of the agreement (unlike what was established in the previous reform), it will remain in force as long as the negotiations for its renewal last. Last year the union representatives of the lifeguards of Sant Josep denounced the agreement to the Labor Inspection of the Ministry for “harmful”, according to the CGT version.

At the moment, the workers of Sant Josep have managed to negotiate an improvement in the remuneration of overtime, set at 13 euros gross per hour, 14.60 euros gross per hour in the case of supervisors, while the company, according to CGT , offered 8 and 9 euros an hour, respectively, conditions that, according to Tur, are better than those of his colleagues in the municipalities of Ibiza Y Sant Antoni de Portmany. In these municipalities, the surveillance and lifeguard service is managed by Emergències Setmil SL (of the IBE group) and Marsave Mallorca SL, respectively.

They also point out that this sector has benefited in recent years from the progressive increases in the Interprofessional Minimum Wage (SMI), which reached 900 euros gross with Magdalena Valerio and 1,000 euros gross (in 14 payments) with Yolanda Díaz at the head of the portfolio of work.

Rescuers threaten to “go on strike”

The negotiations to sign the regional collective agreement are, at the moment, “stalled and in a very initial phase”, says Tur, CGT union delegate of the Eivissa lifeguards. As he explains, from this year talks began between the CGT, CCOO and UGT unions and the employers, SALVIB Business Group. After having traveled to Palma on three occasions to deal with this matter, he hopes that in September the dialogue with all the actors involved can be resumed.

“If the negotiations in September do not go well, we would consider going on strike on September 30, also with the Red Cross workers,” says Tur. contacted Marsave Mallorca SL for the first time on August 30, to obtain their version of the complaints from the lifeguards of Sant Josep and the state of the negotiations of the future regional agreement, without having received a response, until this moment.