Chaos in Social Security, unions call first strike in history

escrivaSocial Security Minister, José Luis Escrivá

José Luis Escrivá will go down in history as the minister whose trade unions called the first ever strike in the history of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration. Staff shortages, delays in appointments and in the recognition of benefits, the closure of offices, and non-compliance with the agreements signed with the trade unions. For all these reasons, the trade unions CSIF and CC.OO. have called partial strikes every Friday from 10.30 to 11.30 a.m. in Social Security and a 24-hour strike on September 7.

The unions’ mobilisations come after the chaos of appointments and management suffered by the Social Security, an administration that has always stood out for its good treatment of citizens and impeccable management. Now, the system is at its lowest ebb, with a lack of attention that has even reached the Ombudsman, Ángel Gabilondo, who criticised the minister for his disastrous management and urged him to improve attention to citizens.

The trade unions CSIF and CC.OO. justify the call for the mobilisations “in view of the chaotic situation, and in order to find a way out of the problems that Social Security is going through”. They add that they “regret” the decision, but consider that “it is the only option for the recovery of serious and dignified commitments for the staff and to offer a good service to the public”.

The minister is unable to find solutions to a problem that has become entrenched and has led to the flourishing of a parallel business of buying and selling appointments. In ten years, the workforce has gone from 36,000 to 26,000, and today the average age is 60. There are 10,000 fewer workers, but the workload has multiplied for these civil servants, who are responsible for managing and administering all the system’s benefits, including almost ten million contributory pensions and dozens of allowances and benefits, as well as the minimum living income. As a result of staff shortages, four million calls were missed last year.

As an express solution, Escrivá has offered six euros per appointment to civil servants who decide to work overtime to speed up the process of attending to citizens. All this while waiting for the 2,000 temporary workers he promised the unions, who are now on the warpath, to be incorporated. The unions complain that more temporary workers will increase the rate to 18% in the administration, and that the head of Social Security is going against European guidelines with these decisions.

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The Corner
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