Santoña’s cleaning service returns to the streets this Tuesday after the strike was called off

The Santoña cleaning service strike has come to an end. After ten days with the garbage accumulated in the streets, the workers will return to activity today to remove – it will surely take a few days – the thousands of bags and accumulated waste. The union representation of the staff (CCOO) and the service concessionaire company (FCC), with the intermediation of the City Council, reached an agreement yesterday, which puts an end to the conflict.

Three meetings and nearly twelve hours of negotiation were necessary to bring positions closer together. Finally, the workers have accepted a proposal for a salary increase, which guarantees recovering all the CPI lost in the last two years of the collective agreement. This means that during 2023 and 2024 they will continue with the same salary as now, and it will not be until 2025 and 2026 when they will see an improvement in their payrolls, with the commitment to fully recover the CPI accumulated since the beginning of the agreement.

The staff unanimously approved this approach, put on the table by the City Council, since it “guarantees and improves their purchasing power and includes other improvements in their working conditions.”

“We are delighted,” said the general secretary of the Habitat Federation of CC OO in Cantabria, Jesús de Cos, yesterday afternoon after signing the agreement. “The salary increase for the duration of the agreement guarantees the real CPI that occurs, with a review clause in case it increases.”

The main obstacle to accepting this proposal were the years 2023 and 2024, in which there will be no salary increase. The staff, finally, has accepted this alternative in the face of the “absolute” refusal of the FCC concessionaire to carry out a salary increase, if the City Council did not pay them the 120,000 euros of losses that it carries with the contract due to inflation. For his part, the mayor, Jesús Gullart, has defended during this conflict that this payment was “unviable” because the City Council should not address losses or unforeseen events that may arise in the contract. Furthermore, this path opened by the previous local government to study the company’s economic request to rebalance the contract was met with opposition from Intervention “for going against the public contracts law. Given this situation, negotiations have been made with the perspective of September 2024, when the contract with FCC ends.

The other option that has been considered was to wait for the allegations of the independent economic study commissioned by the City Council, which estimated the losses of the service at 34,000 euros, and for the subsequent pronouncement of the municipal technical services resolving whether, finally, it can be paid. or not. “This would mean waiting about fifteen days and it seemed outrageous to us to maintain the strike for so long, being able to reach an understanding,” De Cos told this newspaper.

In the end, he says, “we have managed to guarantee the CPI from 2023 to 2026, whatever it produces; and, in addition, starting in 2025, one more extraordinary payment will be created, which will be collected in October, and which “will make up for what is lost in the first two years in the updating of the collective agreement.” To all this, we must add that, also starting in 2025, the weekly working hours will be reduced by one hour, so they will work 35 hours, and a day of rest will be included every time they work on Sundays or holidays.

“It is a spectacular leap, which fully satisfies our claims,” ​​highlighted the secretary of CCOO. “At the same time, we have the commitment of the City Council, recorded in writing, that the next specifications for the service will be issued before next summer, since this document will include all these economic improvements and improvements in machinery and containers,” said De Cos. . This document will be open to the participation of the operators, through the person in charge, as agreed.

What was signed yesterday is the commitment to call off a strike, and it is expected that in the coming days the collective agreement will be drafted with this set of sections for signature. «The collaboration of the City Council and the municipal technical services yesterday was total to be able to reach an understanding and put it on paper. The same could not be said of the company, which has slowed down initiatives and has only looked toward its most favorable position,” de Cos noted.

Bases new agreement

From the Consistory, through a statement, they indicated yesterday that they have laid the foundations for the preparation of the next service contract, since the current one will expire in September 2024. “The new tender will include a technical report to improve this service and adapt it to the current needs of the municipality in terms of waste collection and street cleaning, as well as a cost study that allows us to satisfy the salary demands of workers so as not to see their purchasing power diminished in the coming years.

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