Regulatory rigidity forces the Library of the State of Tenerife to do without workers while its opening is in danger

The Public Library of the State of Santa Cruz de Tenerife once again presents serious personnel problems that endanger its opening. In a few weeks, the center will no longer have the four people it hired last summer to cover the afternoon shifts, which until then were deserted, because the appointment formula used does not allow for extensions of the stay. The center also has an outdated List of Jobs (RPT) that has not made it possible to renew the multiple retirements and departures of personnel in recent years, which has resulted in an increasingly pressing lack of public workers.

Both the director of the institution, Javier Machín, and the technical general secretary of the Ministry of Education, Universities, Culture and Sports, Manuel Peinado, are aware of the situation and hope that some oppositions about to be resolved to appoint career officials solve this issue once and for all. But while waiting for that to happen (none of the aforementioned protagonists dares to detail a specific date), the library will have to do without, as of April 11, the four employees that it appointed eight months ago from a reserve list to carry out the functions of technical assistant for archives, libraries and documentary centers because, if he did not do so, he would be prevaricating, indicate the sources consulted.

The key lies in the appointment formula: “accumulation of tasks”. The Public Library of the State of Santa Cruz de Tenerife accepted this norm, framed in the Royal Decree-Law 14/2021 of urgent measures to reduce temporary employment in public employment, to hire these four people and thus open the afternoons from Monday to Friday, something that until then was not being done due to the shortage of workers. The choice to use the “accumulation of tasks” model was due to the fact that, says Peinado, there was no other option. Neither the execution of programs of a temporary nature, nor the temporary replacement of the holders were on the table.

The added setback is that the center’s RPT is so outdated that it does not include the positions held by these workers, no matter how bizarre it may seem. Hence, it has not been possible to use the coverage of vacant or replacement positions that allows staff to stay for a maximum of three years, in the first case, or “during the time strictly necessary”, in the second case, since literally “the position does not exist” in the technical instrument that structures the staff of the center, says Peinado.

In this sense, the four contracted workers, who must cease their work because the “accumulation of tasks” only allows stays of nine months within a period of a year and a half, feel harmed by a rigid regulation that makes it impossible for them to continue working in the library of the capital of Tenerife, despite having passed some oppositions and taking time forming. “The departure of this new staff [es] a waste of time and resources for everyone”, they denounce.

“There is a problem in the library that nobody denies and that is the lack of stable workers. We are only four in this sense. We have repeatedly requested the Public Function, which is the one in charge of publishing the Public Employment Offers (OPE), so that those necessary places for us come out, both for this center [del Estado] as for the one in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria”, says Javier Machín, director of the resource.

Machín himself confesses that, at first, he thought that the four people booked last summer, “which work very well”, they were going to be able to extend their contract for another nine months. But after a while he realized that this was not possible because the regulations have changed and it is no longer as easy as it used to be, when it used to “hire temporary people until the position was called”. Now there is a real possibility that the center will have to close in the afternoon if the selection process to appoint archive library assistants announced by the Canary Islands government is not expedited, although at the moment the fate of the 11 permanent positions is a “mystery”. that will come out of those oppositions.

“We have already asked the Public Function in writing. We are waiting for what will happen. It would be a solution that would allow us to breathe and have stability in the matter of personnel that we have not had in a lot of years”, adds Machín.

The other alternative, that of going back to a reserve list, is more tricky. The workers defend that when their contractual relationship with the library ends, on April 11, they will once again occupy the top positions in it. But the technical general secretary of the Ministry of Education, Universities, Culture and Sports, Manuel Peinado, reiterates that they cannot be hired again because the law prevents it and it would be a full-fledged prevarication. The coach acknowledges that “it is a circumstance that is beyond our control” and that it would be necessary to analyze it in more depth.

All in all, Peinado and Machín agree that the RPT’s gap is the mother of all problems. The second says that it is “real nonsense” because, on the one hand, there are workers carrying out tasks that do not correspond to them and, on the other, unnecessary positions, such as the demand for subordinates, among other things. Peinado comments, for his part, that the positions of labor personnel that the library has been losing due to retirement or death the link has not been renewed or modifiedbecause it would require a reform of the RPT that has not arrived, although it is true that both actors affirm that “it is underway”, again without specifying when said declaration of intent will be able to materialize.

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