Normally I'm only iterested in the take home figure but today, as I collected my wage slips, I had to sign so many bits of paper that I was sufficiently stirred to ask my boss which convenio I work under. Convenios are the agreements that the Employers Associations hammer out with the Trades Unions and which set the baseline terms and conditions for any worker in every sort of job. I don't know exactly how they are organised but I presume that there are convenios for broad areas, like food preparation, with more detailed convenios within each sector; bakers for instance. I'm in a sector called something like Unaccredited Studies which falls under Private Education.
The convenios add all of the detail to the barebones contracts which seem, from my limited experience, to give only the essential information such as who's employed by whom, for how long and with what holiday entitlement.
Someone told me that only the "poor and downtrodden" actually work to convenio and that any employer worth working for always enhances the conditions above the baseline they set. Again I haven't actually checked whether that is true but it sounds reasonable enough.
I'd never thought about the system too much. A bit different to the individual contracts I was used to in the UK but the idea of a simple contract backed up by a negotiated agreement for each sector seems like a perfectly valid approach. Anyway, nobody ever reads their contract except in the first flush of a new job or when disputes arise. Maybe that's why none of my three employers to date have actually provided me with a copy of the relevant convenio.
It took me a while to find the document on the Internet as I kept coming up against dead links, but eventually I found all 26 pages of it.
The convenio isn't written in the sort of language that makes for a cracking read. Despite being available electronically it smelled of sealing wax and red ribbon. I've saved the document in a nice neat computer file alongside scans and copies of my other essential paperwork but I have this feeling that it will be a while before I even consider actually trying to read it.
Roll on next pay day I say.