Spanish court questions legality of public sector wage cuts

7th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Spanish court Thursday questioned the legality of government wage cuts for civil servants, which are part of tough austerity measures aimed at slashing the public deficit.

"We have doubts about the constitionality ... of Article 1 of the decree dated May 20, in which extraordinary measures were adopted to reduce the public deficit," the High Court said in a ruling seen by AFP.

The article "could affect the basic content of the law on union freedom" as the right to collective negotiations on the wage cuts had not been respected.

In its ruling, the court said that it had agreed to hear a suit by several unions contesting the move.

The parties involved have 10 days to present their cases to the court.

The Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last May introduced a 15-billion-euro austerity package to shore up its public finances.

It included an average state employee salary reduction of five percent and a pensions freeze.

© 2010 AFP

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