The State Technical Staff Union (STE) criticized the government for having allocated only 50 million euros to the salary increase and saying that public administration workers will have average increases of more than 3%. "The Government's OE2019 proposal does not respond to the claims of public officials. We have no idea how the 50 million euros will be spent and how it can result in an average increase of 3%, "STE president Maria Helena Rodrigues said yesterday.
At the OE2019 press conference, Finance Minister Mário Centeno reiterated that there is only a margin of 50 million euros for salary increases in the civil service in 2019 but did not indicate how that amount will be distributed. The last negotiating meeting between the Ministry of Finance and public service unions took place on Friday and the STE has already called for further negotiation. This union structure affiliated to the UGT demands increases of 3% and the thawing of careers without stages, among other matters. The STE has a strike scheduled for October 26.
On the other hand, Helena Rodrigues warned that "the high taxation" foreseen in OE2019 will reflect negatively on the disposable income of civil servants, despite the thawing of careers in progress. "This is a state budget that continues to have a very high tax rate, which will have a negative impact on the disposable income of civil servants," he said. According to the trade unionist, if the IRS steps are not updated, any increase resulting from the thawing of careers will be absorbed and will not result in more disposable income, "continuing the public servants to impoverish."
"The margin is not much"
In the presentation of OE2019, asked about how the distribution of the salary increase can be made, whether concentrated on the lowest salaries or distributed by all workers, Centeno indicated that the Government will still take a decision on this issue.
"The Government will take a position on the issue that has put, at this time we have 50 million euros of budgetary clearance, the negotiation process will run until the Government makes a decision," said Finance Minister yesterday.
It is recalled that on October 7, Prime Minister António Costa considered it "fair" to restore "normality" in increasing civil service salaries, after the careers were thawed. "The margin is not much," but "is a first step to restore this normality," said Costa.
For its part, the Ministry of Finance has indicated that there are two alternatives on the table for wage increases in the civil service: concentrating this effort on the lowest wages or on a measure that covers all workers. In a recent interview, Centeno specified the possible values: five euros for all workers, 10 euros for those who win up to 835 euros and up to 35 euros for wages up to 635 euros.
Reacting yesterday to the presentation of the OE2019 proposal, António Filipe, MP of the PCP, was questioned about the funds provided for increases in the civil service. The Communist deputy stressed that these increases "are fundamental", but referred to the definition of the value of the seat of trade union negotiation.
"There has been a certain media fixation on the issue of 50 million euros. It is a reductive view, in this phase of the Budget we do not set ourselves in tax numbers ", he affirmed, reiterating that this is a matter of negotiation between the Government and the unions.
As for Catarina Martins, coordinator of BE, said yesterday "to understand" that "state workers have been frozen wages for many years" and expressed their "solidarity" with the demands.
However, he noted that "there are some steps in this State Budget", since the Government "had said that it would not accept the increases in the civil service and, at the moment, it is already negotiating, not exactly with the amounts that the unions demand and that the BE even thinks they could be fair, but there is an approximation. "