The Government asks officials to return to the office and suggests that they only telecommute one day a week
A worker carries out his task from his home.Unsplash

The return to normal labor is closer and closer in the Public Administration, although the times in which the Government plans for public workers who still operate remotely to return to their physical job position arouses suspicions among the unions. On the one hand, because they consider that it is still too early to recover the full face-to-face activity, and on the other, because they ensure that the proposal that the Ministry of Public Function has transferred to them for its regulation breaks with the agreement reached with the previous person in charge of the wallet, Miquel Iceta. In that pact a formula was established that allowed (in most cases) to combine face-to-face with up to three days of remote work. Now, as they denounce, the new proposal only contemplates one.

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From the Ministry of Public Function they point out that they are working on a “resolution that allows progress in the accessibility of citizens to public services through greater presence of public employees, always respecting health safety regulations”, and argue for its execution the good advance of the vaccination, “with more than 70% of the population with complete schedule”. The date for that full return would be October 1, in just two weeks. Even so, according to the draft general criteria for reinstatement of civil servants, to access public service services it will be necessary to continue with the prior appointment system “at least until December 31, 2021”.

From the UGT they criticize that this return to the job is promoted ―except in the case of vulnerable groups, immunodeficient or subjected to oncological treatments and cases of mandatory quarantine―, and, nevertheless, “other aspects related to the guarantee of rights of public employees of the General State Administration (AGE) such as courses and training activities, selective tests, meetings, trips or social dialogue ”.

Public Service sources assure that these two circumstances – the return to face-to-faceism and the design of a formula that in the future makes it compatible with remote employment – are two different matters, and two different negotiations. They also say that “each department will have room to organize itself according to its particularities, the type of services provided and the evolution of the epidemic itself,” and they deny that public workers will be allowed just one day of teleworking. “These negotiations are still in progress,” they say. At the same time, they recognize the value of the agreement reached last April between the Government and the main unions (CSIF, CCOO, UGT and CIG) in which the workforce was allowed to work remotely on a voluntary basis for up to three days a week. week.

Change of criteria

CSIF, for its part, does not consider that the return resolution meets “the necessary requirements to guarantee the return to face-to-face work in the best conditions”, and maintains the proposal of a hybrid model defined by 40% physical presence, and a 60% for telematic work. “In the opinion of CSIF, the Administration should value the positive experience that has been the performance of work in telematic mode that during all these months of pandemic has guaranteed the operation of the Administration and the maintenance of benefits to citizens in areas such as the Employment, the Public Treasury, Social Security and many others that represent the backbone of our State and develop without delay the rule that embodies the Telework agreement in the AGE that will be applied under normal conditions when the current health crisis ends “, assures the union in a statement.

From the UGT they express their “bewilderment” at the attitude of the Administration, since “it constantly changes its criteria, even going so far as to propose its intention to make the non-face-to-face mode of service provision disappear”.

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