After months of negotiations, the employers’ associations and majority unions have finalized the text of a new Agreement for Employment and Collective Bargaining (AENC), to whose draft elDiario.es has had access, which, as already announced on Friday, recommends wage increases 4% in 2023 and 3% in 2024 and 2025, with a review clause based on inflation that can increase these initial amounts by up to an additional 1% each year. The CEOE and UGT have submitted the document to an internal vote this Monday, already with the approval of both organizations, and the CCOO will do so tomorrow, with the expectation of officially signing the pact on Wednesday.
This is the fifth AENC, a recommendation from the leadership of the CCOO and UGT unions and the CEOE and Cepyme employers to all the workforces and companies in the country for the negotiation of their collective agreements and agreements. Therefore, the terms of the text are not mandatory, but they function as a guide for action that the union and employer leaderships send to their lower levels.
Although wages are the matter that receives the most attention, especially now due to the intense devaluation of the purchasing power of workers due to the skyrocketing inflation of 2022, the AENC takes a position on many aspects, such as the regulation of contracts, the day and the measures for gender equality in the agreements, among others.
Next, we collect some of the most outstanding keys of the pact:
Increase of at least 10% in the next three years. The recommendation of the management of the unions and the majority employers go through wage increases of 4% this year, 3% in 2024 and another 3% in 2025, with a review clause that can increase these data up to an additional 1%, according to the march of prices. The proposed revision clause proposes that the interannual CPI data for December of each year be taken into account. In the event that this is higher than the agreed salary increase for that year (4%, 3% and 3%), “a maximum additional increase of 1% will be applied, effective January 1” of the following year.
Being a general recommendation, the text itself states that “the specific circumstances” of each agreement must be taken into account “in such a way that the application of the previous guidelines may be adapted in each sector or company”. From the past 2022, on which there are still many agreements to be closed, “the negotiating parties of each of the areas will face the negotiations seeking solutions, based on the situation and reality of their own area,” the document states.
In addition, employers and unions urge to modify the laws of Rajoy’s mandate that prevent the review of prices in public contracts, weighing down the salaries of employees in outsourced public services.
Partial and flexible retirement
It is considered that “partial retirement and the relief contract must continue to be an adequate instrument for maintaining employment and rejuvenating the workforce”, for which reason it is requested to promote collective bargaining, as well as other “gradual retirement formulas and flexible to facilitate the transit from active life to work retirement”.
The social agents remind the Government of its commitment to submit a partial retirement reform proposal before the end of June, which was included in the last phase of the pension reform.
There is also a call to promote employment pension plans, complementary plans to the public pension that are agreed upon in collective bargaining and that the pension reform also promotes.
Temporary, permanent, discontinuous, partial contracts
Regarding temporary contracts, the possibilities opened up by the labor reform are recalled. On the one hand, extend the duration of the contracts to one year due to production circumstances (usually six months), and also specify a period of duration for replacement contracts to temporarily cover vacant positions, with the maximum of three months that established the norm.
With regard to discontinuous permanent contracts, it is recommended to display the fine print in collective agreements, such as the criteria for making calls, creating a sectoral employment exchange for these workers, as well as a “minimum period for annual calls and a final amount of appeal”.
It is called to promote the ordinary permanent part-time contract as “an adequate tool to meet the flexibility needs of workers and companies”. For this, it is recommended to increase the number of interruptions in the working day when it is broken and to establish a maximum percentage of complementary hours that can reach up to “60%” of the ordinary working day of the contract from the general 30% established by the Statute of workers.
Low, mutual and occupational health
The two parties express their “concern” about “indicators of temporary disability derived from common contingencies”, which have increased in recent years, which calls for studying their causes and “setting lines of action” that reduce the number of processes and their duration.
In order to “improve waiting times” and “reduce waiting lists in the public system”, the social agents urge the administrations to sign collaboration agreements with the mutual societies to “carry out diagnostic tests and therapeutic and rehabilitative treatments in IT processes due to contingencies common causes of traumatological origin. “All of this will be carried out with respect for the guarantees of privacy, secrecy, confidentiality, informed consent and coordination with the health professional of the public health system,” the agreement adds.
It is summoned to improve safety and health at work at a time of boom in accidents and specifically deaths at work. For example, it is recommended to promote awareness protocols and guides and training in occupational hazards, with a special look at those derived from new technologies, such as psychosocial risks, “promoting occupational stress prevention programs”.
Internal flexibility: ERTE instead of layoffs
“We consider that internal adaptation mechanisms are preferable to external ones and template adjustments,” the document contemplates. The parties choose to promote instruments such as ERTES, after what they consider a successful experience due to the pandemic to sustain employment, “prioritizing the reduction of working hours over the suspension of contracts.” It is also decided to promote “functional mobility” before layoffs.
Teleworking and more digital disconnection
Collective agreements are called upon to identify positions susceptible to teleworking, conditions of access and development of remote work, such as its maximum duration, the minimum face-to-face hours, the mechanism for compensation or payment of expenses by the company -a pending issue in most companies-, and the endowment of means, means and measures for digital disconnection.
Regarding digital disconnection, it is included as “a right not to attend to digital devices outside of working hours”, which operates in all technological means (mobile, computer, etc.), except in urgent circumstances or force majeure. Automatic responses during periods of absence and the use of “delayed” sending so that communications arrive during the work period of the recipient are considered good practices.
Measures for equality between men and women
In a generic way, it is called upon to promote equality between men and women in employment in a transversal way. Specifically, it is recommended to establish measures that favor the hiring of women, especially in the sectors and companies where they are most underrepresented, as well as promoting the participation of women in training processes and regulating criteria for promotion and promotions without indirect discrimination with “measures of positive action” that contribute to more women in certain categories.
It is also committed to advancing in “flexible alternatives” for annual vacation planning, among other measures that facilitate reconciliation needs. In terms of working hours, it also calls for “the flexibility of entry and exit times” from work.
Sexual and gender violence
The parties consider that “performance” of collective bargaining to combat sexual or gender-based harassment and violence should be strengthened, for which specific procedures are called upon to arbitrate for the prevention and reporting of sexual and gender-based harassment. , as well as incorporating into these protocols “precautionary measures” to support victims that guarantee their safety and continuity at work.
“Business and union organizations share the need to promote the diversity of the workforce,” the agreement states. To do this, they must “create inclusive and safe work spaces”, ensure that the protocols for harassment and violence at work “contemplate the protection of LGTBI people” and “favor the integration and non-discrimination of the LGTBI community in the centers of work through specific measures”, among others.
Technological and digital transition
It is considered that “digital transformation in the workplace must be promoted and promoted within the framework of participatory processes”, with information procedures prior to the representation of the templates “of digitalization business projects and their effects on the employment, working conditions and training and professional adaptation needs”. The need for “equal opportunities” policies is also highlighted so that technology is beneficial for all personnel, “overcoming the age gap” and also the training of women in certain “advanced skills”.
Regarding artificial intelligence (AI), a deployment is planned that “should follow the principle of human control with respect to AI and be safe and transparent”, in which employers agree to provide staff representatives with “transparent and understandable about the processes that are based on it in human resources procedures (hiring, evaluation, promotion and dismissal) and will guarantee that there are no prejudices or discrimination. The Rider Act already requires employers to provide this information, although the vast majority of companies do not. The agreement also urges that public administrations also follow these principles of “human control” and transparency.
It is recommended to address ecological transitions with labor repercussions “early and effectively” “from collective bargaining, within the framework of participatory processes with the representation of workers”, in order to “raise awareness and identify solutions that can be adapted to the specificities of the different sectors and raise essential questions”.
To guarantee the reduction of emissions, “sustainable mobility plans will be promoted, promoting collective transport by geographical areas, industrial estates or spaces with a high concentration of working people”.
Include “concrete” measures to contribute to the effective equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities, such as adaptations to jobs, universal accessibility of workplaces and the training and promotion of people with disabilities. In addition, addressing “the problem of sudden disability”, with the aim of establishing measures to maintain employment, such as the adaptation of the job and functional mobility processes to positions adapted to the new situation, among others.