The anger of civil servants

escrivaSocial Security Minister, José Luis Escrivá

Fernando González Urbaneja| The government has not shied away from criticising employers for their labour management and for allegedly poor relations with unions and workers. They say that the beam in your own eye is less obvious than the speck in someone else’s. On labour relations, the government has little to boast of; its performance is abysmal, and the consequences for the customers of public services and for citizens are onerous.

The threat of strike action by judges and prosecutors is staggering and probably illegal, as they are state servants anchored in an independent branch of government such as the judiciary. Their dereliction of duty, which the ministry of justice cannot sanction, seems to me to be flagrant and should be met with some kind of response, even if it is only being docked their pay for the days not worked.

That a few thousand judges and prosecutors are threatening to go on strike is a symptom not only of the very disordered thinking of these people but also of the fact that something is wrong with the model, a sign of exhaustion and decomposition. And that is the responsibility of the executive and even the legislature. To coexist with this strange strike, with high-ranking justice officials negotiating with the strikers, is evidence of more disorder and disorientation. And the fact that all this coincides with a president of the government spouting every day about his effective and exemplary “management capacity” points to greater evils.

In addition to the strike by judges and magistrates, there is also a strike by other high-level bodies in the executive branch that have to do with the ministries of Labour, on the one hand, and Social Security, on the other. The two ministers, Ms. Díaz and Mr. Escrivá, are also among those who give the most management lessons to employers. They could start with their own management in their respective offices, whose performance is going from bad to worse. The civil servants themselves are protesting and threatening strikes over neglect and poor performance.

The problem with this government is that it believes its propaganda and lies; it perceives alternative realities and how well its ministers are doing in the face of disappointed citizens and angry civil servants. They could do with taking a step back to look inwards, to look at their own areas of responsibility, regardless of how bad the opposition and the critical press are.

The anger of the civil servants is evident, and it is hard to fix on the eve of elections (in May and December) that make WINNING a central objective, almost the only one, for the ruling politicians. The rest is immaterial; if they lose, let whoever comes after them sort out the mess, and if they win, they will try to placate the irate ones.

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The Corner
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