2018 March epsucob@NEWS 05
- Spain: massive support for International Women's Day strike
- Europe: Commission blocks information and consultation agreement
- Europe: ETUC calls for swift progress on work-life balance
- Europe: EPSU report reveals gender pay gap trends
- Denmark: Employers threaten lockout in reaction to strike plans
- Austria: Boost for low paid in private health agreement
- Norway: Unions recommend new pension scheme to members
- France: Action planned in eldercare and public service
- Italy: Unions negotiate public health sector agreement
- Germany: Unions plan warning strikes to support negotiations
- Portugal: Unions to protest in support of key demands
- Turkey: Survey reveals realities of workers' pay and conditions
- Europe: Workers lose out from declining wage share
- Europe: Most minimum wages on the rise across Europe
Mar. 05, 2018 The first round of negotiations covering federal and municipal workers took place on 26 February with the employers' side failing to make a concrete offer. Around a 150 public service workers provided a noisey welcoming committee to the participants, underlining their demand for a 6% pay increase, with a minimum of EUR 200 a month. Services union ver.di stressed that it would be pushing hard for the 6% rise arguing that public service workers should benefit from the current economic situation - the most positive for some 20 years. The union said it would be planning to organise warning strikes during March.
Mar. 05, 2018 After the sixth round of negotiations, the vida and GPA-djp service unions agreed a deal for 100000 workers in the private health and social care sector. There will be a 2.5% pay increase dated from 1 February but with a EUR 48 per month minimum increase. This will mean more than 3% for the lowest paid workers. There will also be specific provisions for care assistants, special care assistants and qualified nurses who will see additional increases ranging from EUR 10 to EUR 50 a month in both 2018 and 2019. Although the unions did not achieve a reduction in weekly working hours they said that this would remain on their bargaining agenda.
Mar. 05, 2018 Public sector employers have reacted to trade union plans for possible strike action by threatening a lockout across 90% of the state sector and around half of the municipal sector. The unions had announced plans for targeted strike action involving around 10%-15% of the public sector workforce following a failure by the employers to make a decent pay offer. The negotiations cover 750000 workers in the state, regional and local government sector and the unions had been pushing for a modest real wage increase over the next three years. However, employers have not only failed to come up with anything like an acceptable offer but have also rejected union proposals for a special fund to tackle the gender pay gap. A mediation process is now underway.
Mar. 05, 2018 Public sector unions have negotiated a new public sector-wide pension scheme that they are recommending to members who will vote on whether or not to accept the new arrangements. The scheme will be introduced from 2020 for all workers born in 1963 or later. The unions are pleased with the result which they say produces a gender-neutral scheme and will see members earning pension entitlement on all their earnings from day one of employment. There will also be early retirement provisions for those who need it.
Mar. 08, 2018 A survey commissioned by the DISK trade union confederation reveals the low pay and long working hours faced by many workers across Turkey. Some 54% of all workers say they are “struggling to make ends meet,” while 71% of workers without any social coverage say the same. In contrast, only 19% of trade union members say they are “struggling to make ends meet.” However, union density is only at 13%. Twenty-four percent of all workers say they do not take any annual leave, rising to 48% among uninsured workers.The study also revealed that 44% of workers believe their health and safety conditions are poor.
Mar. 08, 2018 The STAL local government trade union and other unions in the Frente Comum federation of public service unions are organising a national demonstration in Lisbon on 16 March. The protest is to underline the unions' main demands for a 4% pay increase with a minimum of EUR 60 a month. While the government has finally unfrozen career development after 13 years, some of the lowest paid workers hardly benefit at all, moving only from below to slightly above the minimum wage. The unions' demands also include action to reduce precarious employment and increased allowances to cover arduous and dangerous work.
Mar. 08, 2018 A new report from the WSI trade-union linked research organisation provides an overview of recent developments in statutory minimum wages with 19 of the 22 in the EU seeing an increase in 2017 or beginning of 2018 - the exceptions being in Greece, Germany and Luxembourg.The 4.4% average nominal increase is the second largest since 2009. The report found that most of the larger increases were in Central and Eastern Europe. In Western Europe the minmum wage rate was mainly above EUR 9.40 an hour with the exceptions of the UK and Germany.
Mar. 09, 2018 The CCOO and UGT trade union confederations report massive support for their two-shift strike action across the public and private sectors on 8 March in protest at the gender pay gap, precarious emploment and violence against women. The two two-hour stoppages took place from 11.30 to 13.30 and from 16.30 to 18.30. The unions say that over 100000 people joined rallies in front of town halls across the country and that the success of the action was the result of intensive preparation through thousands of trade union meetings, trade union statements and an well-organised information campaign in the lead up to the day.
Mar. 09, 2018 After central and local government, the public health agreement covering 550000 has been the next to be signed by the FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL trade union federations. The unions say that the agreement includes a number of important improvements including a pay rise of up to EUR 95 (average EUR 85) a month and provisions covering leave and training. But the agreement is seen as a first step in future negotiations that will aim to compensate workers for the freeze on pay and conditions over the past 10 years.
Mar. 09, 2018 Public service unions are planning two major days of action over the next two weeks. On 15 March 10 trade unions in the eldercare sector, supported by users and families as well as an association of managers, will take their second day of strike action following the widely supported action on 30 January. They are calling for more funding for the sector and improved pay and career development for workers. On 22 March a group of seven unions have called a day of action in protest at government plans to cut 120000 civil service posts and to call for a pay rise for public service workers.
Mar. 09, 2018 The European Commission has informed the social partners in central government administrations that it will not propose their information and consultation agreement to the European Council for implementation as a Directive. This is a major blow to the trade unions and employers in the sector who signed the agreement in December 2015 specifically with a view to having it implemented as a Directive and to fill a gap in existing information and consultation legislation at European level.
Mar. 09, 2018 A new report commissioned by EPSU provides an update of trends in the gender pay gap in the public services between 2010 and 2016. While the overall gender pay gap was only 0.3 percentage points lower across the whole economy and 1.6 percentage points lower in the business sector at the end of the period, it fell by 1.9 percentage points in education, 2.2 percentage points in health and social work and 2.3 percentage points in public administration. The overall pay gap was 14.9% across the whole economy in 2016 compared to 10.7% in education, 17.9% in health and social work and 9.4% in public administration.
Mar. 09, 2018 An analysis by the ETUC reveals the impact of the declining wage share across Europe.If the proportion of GDP made up by wages were the same as in the early 1990s working people in the EU would have earned an extra €1764 in 2017 alone! The proportion of GDP made up by wages has been in decline since the mid-1970s. Wages made up 72% of EU GDP in 1975, and in 2017 made up less than 63%.
Mar. 09, 2018 The ETUC has called for swift adoption of the draft directive on work-life balance as a key measure that will make a real difference to women's pay and employment prospects. According to the ETUC the Directive would strengthen rights in many member states. For example paid paternity leave of 10 days would be new in Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Croatia, and Slovakia, while four months' paid and non-transferable parental leave would improve rights in Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. Measures on carers' lave and the right to request flexible working arrangements would also provide new benefits for many workers.