Government raises minimum wages in lowest pay categories

  • Lusa
  • 4 January 2021

Portugal's government will raise the minimum wage in public administration to €665 and raise the next wage level from €693 to €703.

The government will this month raise the minimum wage in public administration to €665 and raise the next wage level from €693 to €703, but the unions consider it insufficient because most workers are left without a rise.

After the round of meetings that took place on Monday morning with the Secretary of State for Public Administration, José Couto, the three large unions that represent civil servants in the negotiations were unanimous in considering that the government’s proposal is insufficient, since it leaves the majority of workers without any salary updating, since it is limited to raising the two lowest levels of the new national minimum wage (SMN).

The SMN rose from €635 to €665 on January 1, 2021 and all employers are obliged to respect it.

To this end, Jorge Couto presented the unions with a proposal to change the lowest civil service pay from the current €645 to €665, i.e. €20 more.

Under the same proposal, the next pay grade would be increased from €693 to €703, and the rest would remain unchanged.

“We do not agree with this proposal and we reaffirm the need for salary increases for everyone, as well as the revision of the Single Remuneration Table (TRU),” said Lusa Sebastião Santana, coordinator of the Common Front of Public Administration Unions.

For Maria Helena Rodrigues, president of the Union of State Managers and Technicians (STE), which leads the Union Front, today’s meeting was useless, because the Government is only complying with the law, applying the new SMN.

For the president of STE, the government’s proposal cannot even contribute to the country’s economic recovery, because civil servants will not have the capacity to increase consumption or save.

“Nobody gains anything from this, how does the government intend to recover the economy in 2021 if the workers do not have wages to increase consumption or savings. For STE this is zero and not news,” she said, regretting that the government did not even want to increase the meal allowance, which is €4.77 per day.

A new meeting between the government and the unions representing public administration workers is on the agenda for Wednesday.