Construction will be the first sector to adhere to the collective pension plans promoted by the Ministry of Social Security after the agreement reached by employers and unions, sources in the negotiation confirmed to EL PAÍS. Almost a million and a half employees will see their retirement improved thanks to a tool that offers higher bonuses than private formulas to companies and workers. This collective pension instrument, or employment plans of publicly promoted companies, is the one that the department of José Luis Escrivá intends to extend to all productive vectors. His first immersion will take place in a very labor-intensive branch, where 328,527 companies coexist, and which represents 5.2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The development of the Public Employment Plans is part of the preliminary agreement reached between the National Construction Confederation (CNC) and the CC OO and UGT unions for the signing of the VII General Collective Agreement of the Construction Sector (CGSC), in the which also defines how much wages will rise during its term. Despite the fact that the time frame of the new framework will extend over the next five years, only the increases for the first three are established: 4% in 2022 (of which 3% will go to salary, and the remaining 1% to pension fund), and 3% in both 2023 and 2024 (here 0.25% will be allocated to the plan); which represents 10% at the end of the three-year period divided between salary and the employment plan. The amount of the increases for the following two years will be determined in accordance with the evolution of the country’s economic situation.
The collective pension plans, designed by Escrivá as the second pillar of social security, were born with the aim of being a more attractive formula for companies and employees than other types of savings mechanisms. Also for SME workers and the self-employed, two groups in which this type of complement has a smaller presence. To do this, they offer a series of tax incentives to companies, such as deducting up to 10,500 euros from the tax base (in individual companies the maximum amount is 1,500 euros), or that contributions to pension plans are not contributed to Social Security ( with a limit of 115 euros per month per worker).
These employment plans are constituted in the sectoral collective bargaining – as has been the case with construction – and will participate in a large public fund that will be supervised by the Government, the employers’ association and the unions, and that will manage funds and depositories that concur and win the contests. Escrivá’s objective is that sectors where wages are lower, such as construction, hospitality or the countryside, can start saving for retirement.
The preliminary agreement of the construction agreement (CGSC) takes place in one of the most convulsive moments of the social dialogue. The Government has skirted the Income Agreement with which it intended to combat inflation, among other reasons, because unions and businessmen have also not been able to agree on a salary increase for this 2022. A fiasco that puts at risk the social peace that has prevailed in recent years, since both the UGT and the CCOO have announced that they will soon begin to call for demonstrations in those sectors and companies in which the renewal of collective agreements is to be negotiated. Nor is it easy for the Government to reach an agreement with the representatives of the self-employed to agree on the new contribution model for real income for this group. So the agreement in the construction sector emerges as an exception at a time of tension between social agents.
In addition to defining the first collective pension plan and setting a growth path for salaries, the new construction agreement includes the incorporation of a salary guarantee clause that will take into account the average of the Consumer Price Indices (CPI) of the first three years, so that, in the event that this figure exceeds the 10% increases for that period, that difference is transferred to the 2025 tables.
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The entry into force of the new contracting scheme of the labor reform – which banishes the work or service modality, the most used in this sector – is also reflected in the new construction labor relations. Together with the assumption of the indefinite contract assigned to work as the primary model, a maximum period of duration is established for a temporary one year due to circumstances of production, and the conditions of extinction of the discontinuous fixed are regulated. Workers with this contract will receive an amount at the end of their activity period, to which an additional amount may be added when the employment relationship is terminated voluntarily by both parties without a new call having been made. In both situations, they will be incorporated into a sectoral employment exchange.
In other sections of the agreement, the presence of women in the construction sector is promoted, together with the updating of plans on equality. The payment of salaries by bank transfer is also established as mandatory. “In this emblematic year for collective labor relations in the sector, the three organizations (CNC, CC OO and UGT), aware of the importance of the moment we are going through, from our culture, mutual respect, dialogue, negotiation and consensus, subscribe to the pre-agreement with the final and sole objective of continuing to develop, analyze, adapt and improve the construction industry”, point out sources of the negotiation.
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