Raising the lowest wages in the civil service "must be done in the next Government"

Increase was scheduled for January

The valuation of the lower salaries of civil servants “is something that will have to be done in the next Government” due to the compression of the salary scale, says the minister for the Modernization of the State and Public Administration, Alexandra Leitão.

In an interview with Lusa, the government official indicated that the negotiation with the unions on the salaries of technical and operational assistants was scheduled for January, but due to the 'lead' of the State Budget for 2022 (OE2022) that led to the call of early legislative elections for January 30th, it was by the way.

“It is something that will have to be done in the next Government, because the increase in the national minimum wage (…) has the effect of compressing the remuneration table” of the public administration, defended Alexandra Leitão.

"As a structural change, obviously it could not be done without a budget", but "this will have to happen", stressed the minister.

Asked whether she will be available to join the PS lists in the next legislative elections or the new Government, she replied: “I have been a member of the Socialist Party for many years and I am always available to naturally commit myself in all places and in all tasks that I see fit. where I can be of use”.

After negotiations with the unions in November, the Government moved forward with a salary adjustment of 0,9% for civil servants, but unlike what happened in the two previous years, operational assistants, with remuneration immediately following the salary base (equivalent to the minimum wage, which will be 705 euros in 2022), had no additional valuations.

As for the 0,9% salary increases for 2022, which were below what is required by the unions, the minister explained with the crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

“When this Government took office in October 2019, the perspective was different, we were on our way to the first year with a budget surplus (…) but from March we entered a crisis situation, which was a public health crisis, but with obvious economic and social consequences that meant that some things had to have another design”, said Alexandra Leitão.

The minister also indicated that the 0,9% increase is "exactly in line with inflation", stressing that the annual value of inflation taken into account was the one calculated in November by the National Statistics Institute (INE), of 1,02 %, excluding the 0,1% deflation of 2020.

The Government took into account the inflation figures calculated in November and not in December "because it was the 'deadline' to approve the measure" so that it would be operationalized in January, taking into account that this is an increase transversal to 720 thousand workers, justified the minister.