Green light for shorter working week in Andalucia

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THE Junta de Andalucia has approved a scheme whereby its 270,000 municipal employees will only have to work a 35-hour week from January 2017.

Although the decree remains to be approved by Spanish Parliament, the regional Governing Council agreed the measure on Tuesday, October 11.

Junta spokesman Miguel Angel Vazquez said: “This is a measure which will improve public services, and it is also a question of political will which the Junta is determined to implement.

“It would be irresponsible to prevent these professionals benefiting from the [financial] recovery.”

If approved by the central government, the decree would see the 37.5-hour week agreed in 2012 abolished, although there is likely to be resistance from Mariano Rajoy’s interim administration.

Madrid City Council and the Basque Country have already failed in attempts to reduce the number of weekly hours for civil servants following appeals from the national government.

Vasquez and Andalucian president, Susana Diaz, appear prepared to defy any appeal, however, with both declaring that the issue is none of the government’s business.

“Our Statute of autonomy gives us full responsibility for the management of our civil services,” said the former, who also believes that the change will create “thousands of jobs” without specifying precisely how.

The reduction in working hours was initially agreed with the CCOO, UGT and CSIF trade unions in June, and is earmarked to be brought into practice on January 16.

The new timetable would be introduced gradually in the health sector, while those employed in education would have to wait until the new academic year begins in September 2017.

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