The Junta has decided not to cut the salary of public workers in Andalucia after the central government ordered that all civil servents lose their Christmas bonus this year.
It seems that the Junta is concerned that if it too applies a seperate salary cut, this will penalise government workers twice which is “unfair”.
The issue per se is: who’s paying the bills, and who will save the money?
The Junta had originally ordered a 1,5% pay cut in order to avoid firing an estimated 30,000 workers, and slashed (not eliminated) the summer and Christmas bonus, to save 777 million euros. This was… unpopular, especially with the IU who are the minority coalition partners of the PSOE in Andalucia. It also told people to work longer hours.
However, the central government has now stopped the Christmas bonus of civil servants altogether, although it will top up the pension scheme, causing an overall salary cut of around 5,4% in real terms. Topping up the pension scheme is a cunning plan – it pumps money back into public coffers and keeps the workers happy(ish).
Of course, the central government tops up the wage bill of the Junta, who pays for a lot of the civil servants in Andalucia (teachers, doctors, paper pushers in your local government office, etc). Although centralised government workers (police, army, centralised government workers) get paid directly from Madrid.
So if Madrid cuts the amount Seville receives for the wage bill, then Seville passes that onto the wage receiver. So yes, if the Junta implemented seperate cuts, the worker in Andalucia would have a bigger pay cut than those in the next region (ie Murcia).
But, the original Junta idea was to save 777 millions from its own budget, Seville never intended to pass that savings back up to Madrid. So, given that Madrid has ruled out giving Seville any more money for this or next year, and is trying to stop them issuing any more debt….
Where’s Seville going to find that 777 million euros it was going to save on the wage bill now?