Monday 2nd May 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: original article – Carlos López
The local council plenary session held last Thursday in Xàbia was attended by practically all of the Local Police staff who responded to the call of the trade union to pressure the local government in relation to the demands for improvement in their salaries, including the payment for night shifts and working on bank holidays and Sundays, demands that were made public at the beginning of the month when they announced that they would stop doing these extraordinary services.
The union representatives had met in recent days with the representatives of the opposition parties in order to inform them of their demands so that, in the April plenary session, they could pressure the local government from their bench on this matter. Meetings have also taken place with the mayor, José Chulvi, who has decided to assume the search for the resolution of the conflict with the officers.
The councilor for Compromís, Vicent Colomer, took the floor in the questions and answers and remarked that “personnel policy for whatever reason has not been on the agenda of the PSPV, neither this legislature nor the last one” and opted to attend to what considered is “a fair demand” of the Local Police. For this, he opted to make a Job Assessment (VPT) of the Local Police, which will allow updating the salaries of “all the Police“. Colomer claimed that doing this “is not that complicated” and stressed that everyone should make a commitment “that it can be done now“.
In his response, mayor José Chulvi announced the steps that the local government intends to take with the favourable reports from the municipal technicians. In this sense, Chulvi recalled that the law prevents hiring municipal personnel through “zero replacement rate” is still in force, without any reproach to his socialist party that has been governing the country for the past three years and does not plan to modify this law.
But when it came to the officers and their demands, he considered that “no one questions that the claim is fair” and after several meetings with the union representatives, they made a proposal that was transferred to the Personnel Department, which reported against it, but with the caveat that the rest of the municipal staff who also work on Sundays and bank holidays (Tourism and Sports) had to be included.
Chulvi confirmed that the next step will be to hire a specialised labour consultant through a minor contract – at a cost of around 6,000 euros – that can report on whether the salaries of the local police as well as staff in the Department of Tourism and Sports should be modified. Once that external report is ready, it will go through the staff negotiation table and then it must be endorsed by the plenary session of the corporation.
The spokesman for Ciudadanos, Enrique Escrivá, also intervened in the debate, claiming that “a talent drain” is taking place in the Xàbia Local Police due to salary conditions and he bet that the drafting of an Assessment of Jobs will begin.
If all this goes ahead, the councillor responsible for Personnel, Pepa Gisbert, will have to try to reassure the rest of the municipal staff and convince them that the local government wants the best for all of them and not just for one part.