Galician justice officials on strike over work-life balance and equal pay for equal work

2,500 officials of the Justice Administration in Galicia (North West of Spain) have been on strike for 5 weeks in response to the refusal of the regional government to negotiate an increase in salary and other measures to improve their working conditions. An article by Javier Jordán de Urries Sagarna from CESI’s Spanish member organisation CSIF.

The strike has been called by the Central Independent Trade Union and Civil Servants CSIF (a member of CESI) as the largest trade union in the Spanish Justice Administration and 6 further trade unions in defence of the principle of “equal pay for equal work”.

The main claim of CSIF and the other supporting trade unions relates to unequal remuneration of justice sector personnel in the region of Galicia.

The Xunta de Galicia established a compensation for its employees which is up to 500 euros/month less than what justice sector officials in other autonomous communities receive, even if all these public servants belong to the same national body of officials, perform the same functions and assume the same responsibilities.

No public administration in Spain has made more significant cuts under the pretext of the crisis than the Xunta de Galicia. This has led to an employment situation of Galician justice officials which is worse than that of their colleagues employed in other autonomous communities.

Since February 7 more than 85% of the Galician justice officials are on strike. Around 20.000 hearings had to be suspended and more than 50.000 judicial proceedings have been blocked because of the strike. Negotiations should continue during the next days but the positions of the negotiating parties are not close to reaching an agreement. CSIF requests that government representatives are more flexible in the negotiations in order for this conflict to be settled.

Other claims of the trade unions refer to a compensation system in situations of sick leave, the requirement to adjust remunerations 100% when lower grade employees substitute higher level workers, and further family and work reconciliation measures.

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