Portuguese Labor Minister said on Monday (December 10th) that the Portuguese government "had kept its program" by raising the minimum wage to € 600 a month by 2019, justifying that it did not go further because of a lack consensus between unions and employers. Contrary to what the government announced some time ago, there will be no surprise about the increase of the minimum wage in Portugal. This will reach the gross monthly amount of 600 €. Officials see their salaries rise to € 635, the first increase since the wage freeze imposed in 2009. Why has the minimum wage not increased more? What decisions have been made regarding the Portuguese minimum salary ? Bob, the expatriate assistant in Portugal, tells you everything about the minimum wage in Portugal in 2019.
A minimum increase due to lack of consensus
According to Vieira da Silva, Minister of Labor "There was no consensus for a higher increase and, in the absence of agreement and knowing that the government also values predictability for all economic agents, the decision was taken to be faithful to his program. At the end of the social dialogue, which concluded the debate on the minimum wage, the government has in fact limited itself to a minimal increase of the Portuguese minimum wage, or 600 € gross per month, in accordance with its campaign commitment but on the contrary of what he had announced earlier this year. The trade union centers had demanded higher increases than the government program - UGT 615 euros and CGTP 650 euros - but the employers' unions argued that the update of the Portuguese SICU should not exceed 600 euros.
According to the government, "the commitment of the government has been fulfilled", the increase of the minimum wage being "the most important or the most significant of a legislative assembly", that is 14% in real terms. The proposal presented during the social dialogue by the Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security coincided with the meetings at the Ministry of Finance with the public administration unions, in which a proposal was presented to increase the minimum wage in the civil service at 635 euros.
Asked about the difference of 35 euros between the minimum wage in the private sector and that of civil servants, Vieira da Silva said it was necessary to "distinguish situations".
The Portuguese minimum wage in the civil service increased to 635 euros, first increase in 9 years
In the case of the civil service, it is "relations between an employer and its employees", whereas "the minimum wage is a rule of general application" which can be negotiated in the context of collective bargaining, a- he declared.
"Many sectors of the private sector have a fixed minimum wage above the minimum wage," said the official, noting that the latest figures show that 51% of branch collective bargaining have defined higher values for the minimum wage in Portugal. In addition, "the legal framework of the State facilitates the setting of this value," he added.
"On the other hand, we must keep in mind that public administration workers did not have during all these years of crisis nor an update of wages or even benefited from the recovery enjoyed by others. employees of the administration, with the end of the wage cuts introduced by the previous government ".
Civil servants with salaries over € 1,500 suffered pay cuts between 2011 and the end of 2014, which began to be gradually replaced after 2015. The latest pay increases in the civil service were implemented in 2009.
CGTP Secretary General Arménio Carlos has argued that the government applies "the principle of universality" and advances with the same value for the minimum wage in the private as in the civil service. Arménio Carlos also said he was "surprised" by "the alliance between the Confederation of Enterprises of Portugal (CIP) and the government" "to set the minimum wage at 600 euros by 2019.