The meeting held this Wednesday between the associations of judges and prosecutors and the Government has ended without an agreement, although it has been valued positively by members of the judicial and prosecutorial career. According to sources present at the meeting to EL MUNDO, the Government has offered to allocate up to 44.5 million euros to improve the salaries of judges and prosecutors. However, the call for an indefinite strike is maintained for the moment and the robed prefer to be cautious.
The Executive's proposal has not yet been approved by the groups calling for the indefinite strike scheduled for next May 16, since both the members of the Ministries of Justice and Finance as well as the different representatives of the magistracy and the Prosecutor's Office have returned to meet next Monday at 11:30 a.m. in a new meeting. Sources consulted consider that it is an "initial proposal" to start the negotiation.
However, the feelings after the meeting, which lasted this Wednesday morning and afternoon, are good and the sources consulted are optimistic that an agreement with the Executive can be reached in the coming days.
The morning meeting, which lasted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., served for the togados to present their demands. The meeting ended with the Executive's commitment to present a proposal at 6:00 p.m. to judges and prosecutors. And so it has been. From the Government, especially from the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Finance - the Secretary of State for Public Function, Lidia Sánchez attended the meeting - it has been indicated that an item of 44.5 million euros could be allocated to salary improvements, leaving single-person bodies benefit more than collegiate bodies from salary increases.
Judges and prosecutors for their part have indicated that they have been suffering a loss of purchasing power of 22 percent in recent years. The informant sources explain that the Government's proposal is going to be studied in detail by the groups of judges and prosecutors because the offer is "insufficient" since it does not contemplate a formula to satisfy "historic demands" such as three-year improvements or a greater guard fees.
On the other hand, the different associations of judges and prosecutors have refused today to call off the strike as requested by members of the Government as soon as the meeting of the Remuneration Table began. "You cannot ask us for that," the conveners responded to the team of Llop.
The meeting was attended by representatives of both ministries -Justice and Finance-, the General Council of the Judiciary, the State Attorney General's Office and representatives of judges' associations, the Professional Association of the Magistracy, the Francisco de Vitoria Association, the Judges Association and Judges for Democracy and the Independent Judicial Forum and the collectives of prosecutors, the Association of Prosecutors, the Progressive Union of Prosecutors and the Professional and Independent Association of Prosecutors.
Last week the judges announced a call for an indefinite strike starting on May 16 after the Government decided last October to call off the so-called remuneration table - a body established to negotiate their salary improvements - which had not met since the year 2008. To this circumstance, it was added that when the lawyers of the Administration of Justice (LAJs) attended an indefinite strike in February, which caused the suspension of some 356,000 trials and hearings, the Ministry of Justice agreed to approve a salary increase up to 450 euros for former court clerks.
This fact outraged both the judicial and prosecutorial careers, which had been negotiating salary improvements with Pilar Llop's ministry for months without success (despite the fact that they did so without making noise or causing any harm to citizens).
The complaints that led to both judges and prosecutors consider that Justice is the "Cinderella" of the State Administration. They believe that there is an excessive workload, that the courts are overwhelmed and that successive governments have not invested enough in material or personal resources for the Justice Administration to be able to provide quality justice to citizens.
However, sources present at the meeting held this Wednesday explain that the demands of the togados have focused on salary payments.
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