The salary of public employees costs each Spaniard, on average per year, more than 2,700 euros. That is, the bill goes to each household for almost 7,000 euros a year – the official statistic says that the average Spanish household is made up of 2.5 individuals. That cost has returned to record highs after having grown rapidly in the last five years. The public payroll has grown so much and so fast that there is nothing left of the fleeting adjustment that took place in the worst of the crisis. In 2018, the expenditure of personnel of the Spanish public sector left a record figure, never before seen: 127,017 million euros. This is what went to pay the salaries of all administrations and entities controlled by them – consortiums, foundations, public companies and similar organizations.
The great crisis that broke out in 2008 caught the Spanish public sector with a runaway personnel expenditure that had been shooting unchecked for decades. Take an example: in the sexennium 2003-2008, this cost increased by 59%. In 2009, completely oblivious to the crisis that was already plummeting, the Spanish Administration continued to gain weight and, in just twelve months, increased its personnel costs by more than 7,000 million euros. Such was the dynamics of debauchery in which it had been installed that, as if it were a huge racing car, when he had to step on the brake, his drift was eternalized. The scissors did not make visible effect until 2011, and with a discreet cut. When it was really noticed was in 2012, year that included the unpaid passenger of the extra Christmas among public employees.
But the Administration soon forgot about the adjustment. In fact, the crisis had not yet passed when the personnel cost again gained weight with ease. In 2013 it already increased by more than one billion euros compared to 2012, in 2014 another 500 million extra costs were added, 4,150 million more in 2015, 2,100 million extra in 2016 …
Until the crisis forced to cut the spending of personnel in the public sector, his record was the record of 2009, 125,564 million euros. But that figure has already gone back to surpass widely with the 127,017 million euros to which rose the cost of personnel of the administrations in 2018, fruit of that accelerated escalation in which they return to be immersed for years. From 2012 to 2018, the cost of personnel of the administrations has grown by 11.5%: in 2018 the public sector spent 13,092 million euros more than in 2012.
The Local Administration, generous in salaries
The Local Administration – the city councils, county councils, councils and island councils – has increased its personnel costs the most in the last decade. Between 2008 and 2018, they have increased their salary expense by 21.9%. They are closely followed by the regional administrations, with a rebound of 20.2%, which has a great impact, since the autonomous public sector is the one with the most staff – the Autonomous Communities have the competences of Health and Education, public services very labor-intensive. In the General State Administration, however, the rebound has been much more discreet, 10.7% between 2008 and 2018, while in the Social Security Administration has been only 4.3%.
In the last financial year (2018), the autonomous administrations spent a total of 77,395 million euros in salaries, 23,937 million the General State Administration, practically the same number of local entities -23,151 million- and the Social Security staff consumed 2,534 millions of euros.
Personnel on the payroll of the public sector are as broad as they are heterogeneous: there are both civil servants and those hired under the ordinary labor regime; there are both fixed and interim; there are eventual political appointments that accompany the large list of senior officials and politicians in government positions; and to all of them are added the managers of companies and public entities, which in turn also add a large group of public employees. As a whole, all those salaries and the corresponding contributions to Social Security swallow 10.5% of Spanish GDP. In 2010 it was something else, 11.6% of GDP, but not because spending was greater than now, but because the crisis had thinned the national income.
The escalation of personnel spending in the public sector has occurred after years in which the regional and local administrations have fattened their workforce and the aggregate salary of their staff. In front of them, the Central Administration moves on a much more discreet path.
What you do not have is spent
In any case, the aggregate cost has been growing strongly for years and is reaching indigestible figures for a public sector that remains anchored in growing indebtedness because, despite economic growth, it continues to spend far beyond its means. The doctor in Economy and president of the Real Academy of Political and Moral Sciences, Juan Velarde, is of those that thinks that urges to slim down the cost of personnel of the Spanish administrations. "It is a very serious problem," he says, after blaming partisan and electoral interests for the tendency to fatten the public workforce and the correlative spending on salaries.
In his opinion, the level reached by this cost of personnel "requires a very serious rethinking, because it contains a worrying economic inefficiency that, in order to be resolved, requires decisions to be taken at a very high level and to face necessary changes in the structures of town halls, councils, of autonomous communities … », of all that multiple network that makes up the Spanish public sector. Juan Velarde insists that it is urgent to thin the public structure and its personnel costs in order to avoid economic risks that can become very severe.
The CSIF asks for a HR plan
Since the public sector unions, meanwhile, believe that the escalation of staff costs is closely related to what they charge the extensive policy structures that lead the public sector. From the CSIF union they ask for more transparency to clearly know the salary distance between the average career public employee and the high salaries of political or political appointments. This is indicated by the Secretary of Trade Union Action of CSIF, Francisco Camarillo, who says that "in the Spanish public administrations there are many salaries of between 1,000 and 1,200 euros net per month, especially in the General State Administration."
Camarillo criticizes the "high rate of temporary employment that occurs in the public sector, 26.8% of the total workforce, compared to 25.6% of private companies." And he urges that a "human resources (HR) plan be drawn up that clearly defines how many people the public sector should have and which priority services should be concentrated, because we defend that public services must be safeguarded effectively, and that it goes through that there is not a worker more than necessary, but neither one less than the precise ones. " In his opinion, perhaps the problem is not so much the global staff as its distribution among the different sectors of the Administration. And he notes that the percentage of public employees over the total number of employees is "much lower" in Spain than in France or in the Nordic countries. . (tagsToTranslate) costhogaresueldossectorpublico