Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal has announced that a 15-month agreement has been reached with 70 percent of labor unions which will see an 18 percent increase in wages, in three installments.
Speaking at a press conference, a visibly satisfied Vidal revealed that “we have had a year of constant dialogue, during which we re-opened negotiations and both parties complied.”
The figure is significantly lower than the estimated inflation rate for 2016 which, according to economists will be around 40%. Despite this shortcoming, the agreed increase for 2017 “will correspond with projected inflation rates and will include meetings to revise the figures and discuss other issues.” The potential revisions to the agreement will take place on a trimesterly basis and will depend on the inflation rates. If rates exceed projections a clause will be triggered, increasing the 18% figure.
In reference to inflation, the Governor spoke of “an inflation figure in which we can believe and a national government that has put a plan in place to ensure that inflation rates decrease.”
It would seem that most of the province’s labor unions were at least partially satisfied, with UPCN, the Public Health Union, SOEME, the pilots and graphic design unions all accepting the Governor’s proposal. Reflecting on the agreement, Vidal declared that “we have shown that conflict is not always to best way to reach agreements. We greatly value and believe in a constant dialogue.”
The Governor also revealed, however, that an agreement has yet to be reached with unions in the teaching sector. Remaining hopeful, Vidal added that “they are now invited to enter negotiations with us and reach an agreement as soon as we can for the sake of the 5 million children that have to start classes [in February]”.
Vidal finally added that she was “proud” of the progress made between the government and labor unions and referred to the end product as “a historic agreement which shows how to do things right.”
Time, and by the looks of it — inflation rates, will tell whether Vidal’s self assessment pan out to be true.