It is not often that the local Administration manages to make higher institutions comply with their obligations in court, but that is what has happened with a group of municipalities that have been litigating for years over the collection of aid corresponding to municipal nurseries. The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia has ruled that the Generalitat must pay "immediately" the amounts owed, in compliance with a 2017 ruling.
The 26 litigating councils, grouped in the Fòrum d'Alcaldes per l'Educació de Catalunya, will collect 24 million euros corresponding to the subsidies stipulated in three academic years (2012 to 2015) for students in municipally owned nurseries: 1,300 euros per child and course. In addition, when the transfer takes place, late-payment interest will be calculated from the favorable ruling to the city councils of December 20, 2017, which is equivalent to about 3.7 million euros.
The mayors accuse the Generalitat of having tried to delay the payment and have put the town halls in an "obstacle course", with appeals in the courts and with a legislative modification "through the back door" in the Accompaniment of the budgets of 2020 by which a term of ten years is set for the payment.
Within the framework of a policy of budget cuts, the department headed by Irene Rigau stopped paying the agreements with the municipalities for the financing of daycare centers in 2012, a circumstance that significantly reduced the economy of the municipalities. The councilor acknowledged that this aid was diverted to subsidized schools so that they could meet the payroll of their employees.
The first framework agreements of the Generalitat with the consistories for nurseries were signed in 2005 (1,800 euros per student and year), as a result of a popular legislative initiative from the previous year that advocated the creation of 30,000 places in municipally owned nurseries in Catalonia (40,000 were created in 5 years).
With the breach of the agreements, the municipalities looked for other ways. In this sense, sources from the Barcelona Provincial Council explain that this institution allocated 170 million euros to municipalities in seven years (2015 to 2021) to prevent the closure of nurseries. By virtue of a framework agreement with municipal entities, Educació restored transfers in the 2021-22 academic year: 1,600 euros per student/year. (There are about 600 municipal nurseries in Catalonia and each place, according to expert calculations, has an annual cost of 6,000 euros.
The resolution affects 26 municipalities: Barberà del Vallès, Camprodon, Canovelles, Castellar del Vallès, Castellbell i el Vilar, Cerdanyola, Lleida, Montmeló, Montseny, Olesa de Montserrat, Pineda de Mar, Pont de Vilomara, El Prat, Ripollet, Rubí , Sant Adrià de Besós, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Seat Cebrià de Vallalta, Sant Celoni, Sant Esteve Sesrovires, Sant Llorenç d'Hortons, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, Tarragona, El Vendrell and Viladecans. The amounts to be received (without interest) range between the 3.4 million from Lleida and the 10,400 euros claimed by the small municipality of Montseny (Vallès Oriental) for 8 students.