Court workers to vote on new wage proposal
Justice Ministry aims to end the eight-week strike that has brought courts to a standstill across the country with the proposal.2 April 2008
MADRID - Court workers are due to vote today on a new wage proposal by the Justice Ministry aimed at ending an eight-week strike that has brought courts to a standstill across the country.
The plan - which includes a EUR 140 monthly salary increase, to be paid retroactively as of January this year, and a further EUR 40 a month from April 2009 - is intended to end the deadlock that has led to at least 40,000 court cases being suspended in seven Spanish regions and in national tribunals such as the High Court and Supreme Court.
Around 9,500 workers, including judicial secretaries, registrars and ushers employed directly by the Justice Ministry, seconded the strike on grounds that they were being paid less for the same work than their counterparts in regions that had had justice competencies transferred - they are paid around EUR 200 more per month.
The strike has led to births and deaths going unregistered in affected regions, marriages being cancelled and court hearings being put on hold.
Though the Justice Ministry hopes its proposal will end the chaos, unions representing the court workers said yesterday that they believe the offer is still insufficient.
"We would still be far from equal this year with workers in other regions," Javier Hernández, a representative of the CC OO union, said. He is urging workers to vote against the proposal and continue the strike.
[Copyright El Pais / A.E. 2008]