“The Administration is outside the law with the interims, and They are going to cause chaos with what they are preparing“warns José del Molino, mayor of Taragudo, a small town in Alcarria that shares a secretary with three other municipalities in the area. “It is a problem that the Administration itself has created by not having consolidated the positions,” agrees Marga Morera. , mayor of La Yunta, in the Sierra de Molina, also in Guadalajara.
Both run two of the more than 3,000 Spanish town councils, the vast majority of them concentrated among those with less than 5,000 inhabitants, over which operability and, in many cases, economic viability The Kafkaesque threat of a botched administration by the Administration has been looming for months.
Its about process of consolidating jobs due to abuse of temporary employment of secretaries-intervenors and the municipal secretaries-treasurers, a sector in which the accentuated tendency towards job insecurity in administrations is especially intense.
With the data from the EPA (Active Population Survey), the temporary employment rate in all administrations reaches a rate of 30.4% without discontinuous permanent contracts and another 31.1% with them, while In this group it clearly exceeds 40% to reach around 50%. In the private sector it is below 14%.
“More than 40% of city councils are in an interim situation, and in provinces like Guadalajara that rate reaches 70%,” explains Lorenzo Campillo, president of the recently created Ansiti (National Association of Interim Secretaries and Treasurers).
There is a particularly illustrative fact about the level of temporality of the group: in the contest called for last June 24 “more than 3,000 interim workers presented certificates of the autonomous communities that accredit a seniority of more than six years in their city councils,” he points out.
If we take into account that there are 8,132 municipalities in Spain and that at least 3,985 of them share the secretariat with others because they have less than 500 registered inhabitants, we quickly reach the conclusion that the exposure to the problem is greater even in terms of number of town councils.
The problem revolves around the unforeseeable consequences of the formula chosen by the Government for the stabilization process of secretaries in a situation of abuse of temporary employment: remove 593 positions and leave the rest as they were, regardless of the fact that in many cases they exceed 20 and 25 years as interim.
“More than 3,000 comply the requirements for your situation to be considered abuse of temporary employment“notes Campillo, who recalls how the Government has committed in the Recovery Plan on which the Next Generation Funds depend to reduce temporary employment in administrations to 8% before the end of this year.
This approach, used by the interim, although it is already advanced, entails the risk of generating a secretary dance with dismissals, inaugurations and new generation of vacancies that has the mayors of half the country in suspense.
“It will not be possible to fix a leak”
“Whoever gets a place chooses a vacancy” of the more than 3,000 existing in the country, explains Campillo. Another thing is that he is going to stay in the vacancy that falls to him, of which the interim would have already been displacedor that as soon as he takes office he chooses to go to another position on secondment or on leave, as often happens in small municipalities.
“We are in a situation of uncertainty that mainly affects small townsof less than 5,000 inhabitants, where the secretaries have been occupying the position for a long time because no official wants to come” to depopulated, rural or mountain areas, says Morera, who warns of the consequences of this dance of employees for the municipalities.
“If there is no secretary, the city council is paralyzed,” says Morera.
“If there is no secretary, the town hall is paralyzed, because you cannot do even simple things like registering, nor process the collection of taxes with the deputation, nor discuss the affairs of the people in the plenary session, because they cannot be held,” he says.
“It will not be possible for a neighbor who wants to fix a leak before it gets worse and damages the roof from your house you can get the building permit you need. It’s something that affects everyone. Not having a secretary paralyzes the entire management,” he notes.
“Several times it has happened to us that an owner warns that he is going to come, the one who was there stops and “The one who came sends a telegram in which he explains that he is not even going to come close.”says Del Molino, who remembers the distortions generated by the absence of a secretary for six months that they suffered a few years ago or the chaos that sometimes led to the landing of a specific substitute.
“We would have to take out a loan to pay compensation”
“The secretary is basic for a small town council, he is the driving force, and It is essential with the bureaucratic burden we have. And someone who comes from outside to cover the file does not offer me confidence, because you cannot function with someone who is not interested or does not have the will to remain,” explains the mayor of Taragudo.
To these disadvantages are added the financial impact it will have for municipalities the dance of secretaries, a group that depends on the central Administration although they work for the local one, to which the interims arrive through job boards of the provincial councils and the communities.
The law provides for compensation of 20 days per year worked for those laid off.
The law provides for a compensation of 20 days per year worked for those dismissed, the same as the labor regulations provide for objective dismissal, although nothing prevents the courts from declaring the existence of a fraud in the temporary employment relationship and that has been resolved inappropriately, which would raise them to 45 days per year for the periods before March 2012 and 33 for the periods after.
“The city council cannot make a secretary permanent who has been there for twenty years, but if the State fires him the city council has to compensate him. These compensations are going to be a ruin for many municipalities. We would have to ask for a loan,” says Del Castillo.
“We are talking about small town councils, with very fair financing. If you have to pay compensation, you are left economically incapacitated, unable to even pay for the electricity supply. In our case, the compensation would be practically like the annual budget“notes Morera.
“How is someone who has been there for so many years going to be left without a place?”
Uncertainty also affects the interim workers, who have often developed roots in the town, or towns, where they work.
“We have anxiety situations. When you have been in a place for twenty years, you have your house, your family. We have not sought this situation of abuse of temporality.and we have an occupation that prevents us from preparing an opposition,” explains the president of Ansiti.
The Supreme Court has endorsed the stabilization process of the interim secretaries on two occasions
“What happens to those who do not enter that 593-seat bag? “Are you going to go to a bag again?” she asks.
Until now, the Supreme has endorsed the stabilization process of the interim secretaries on two occasions by rejecting both appeals against its call presented by Cosital (Official College of Secretaries, Auditors and Treasurers of Local Administration) and by Aspital (Professional Association of Secretaries Auditors and Treasurers of Local Administration), although it has another on the table that requests its cancellation for not having reserved places for people with disabilities.
“As Someone who has been there for so many years is going to be left without a place. and that he has done a lot of courses?”, he asks the mayor of Taragudo, who warns of the consequences that this process can have in small municipalities.
“This is what the city councils are doing,” he says. “They are going to be destroyed.” They do not realize that it is the municipalities that support the population. And then they talk about keeping the towns alive…”
Sources from the FEMP (Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces) declined to comment on the stabilization process because the institution was in the midst of a reorganization process after the last municipal elections.