May. 26, 2017 (May 2017) The public sector federations of the CCOO and UGT unions are planning a series of actions in protest at the government's failure to engage in a proper process of collective bargaining in the state administration. The unions want to see a number of major issues addressed including the loss of purchasing power of public employees, the threat to services from job cuts and privatisation and the restoration of other rights reduced as a result of austerity measures. The first action is planned for 1 June with a demonstration outside the directorate of public service.
May. 25, 2017 (May 2017) The ADEDY public sector confederation expressed its thanks to the thousands of workers who joined the general strike and rallies on 17 May. The strike was to express opposition to further austrity measures being put forward as part of the bail-out package being negotiated between the government and the European creditors and International Monetary Fund. The strike was jointly called by the GSEE private sector confederation and supported by the International Trade Union Confederation.
May. 25, 2017 (May 2017) The UNISON public services union warns of a recruitment crisis in public services if public sector pay restraint is continued. UNISON quotes a new report from the independent Insitute of Fiscal Studies which say that if public sector pay continues to fall compared to pay in the private sector, the public sector will struggle to recruit and retain the workers it needs to deliver public services, and the quality of those services will therefore be at risk.
May. 25, 2017 (May 2017) The STAL local government union is calling for an immediate pay increase of 4% (minimum EUR 50) to address the loss of purchasing power of local government workers. The union says that pay levels remain lower than they were in 2010. The union has a number of other demands in including unfreezing career progression. Meanwhile the FNSTFPS civil service federation called a national strike on 26 May with similar demands including a guarantee that all workers in the public service have a right to the 35-hour week.
May. 25, 2017 (May 2017) Public service trade unions have had a series of meetings with the new minister of public accounts, Gérald Darminin, with some already unhappy that his remit is not broad responsibility for the public services. The unions have a number of major concerns including the need for a pay rise, particularly for the lowest paid occupations and rejection of the plans to cut 120000 civil service posts. Pensions and other working conditions were also raised in the meetings with the minister indicating that joint meetings with the unions would take place later in the year.
May. 12, 2017 (May 2017) Trade unions representing prison workers across Europe met in Brussels on 10 May to discuss a range of issues relating to continuing austerity, collective bargaining and trade union rights. Key issues that emerged during the meeting included the increase in violence against prison staff, problems of understaffing and developing issues around digitalisation and, in some countries, radicalisation of inmates. The meeting was part of a two-year project run by EPSU with the next meeting in December focusing on childcare workers.
May. 11, 2017 (May 2017) Public sector trade unions want to see a swift move to negotiations following publication of the advisory report of the Public Services Pay Commission. The report focuses on average pay developments in the public and private sector and notes the extent to which public sector pay is on average lower than before the crisis. Public sector unions want to make significant progress towards recovering the lost purchasing power of many of their members since 2008.
Apr. 05, 2017 (April 2017) All public service workers on less than €65000 a year benefit from higher pay scales as of 1 April. The €1000 increase has been brought forward and has been implemented as part of the restoration of pay cuts that were implemented from 2009. Next month a public service pay commission is due to report and then pay negotiations will begin which will include further steps to restore the pay cuts.
Apr. 05, 2017 (April 2017) The KTAMS civil service union in Cyprus organised strike action in the Turkish News Agency at the end of March over the denial of promotion to certain Agency employees. This is an issue that the union has taken up with the government which has prevented the Agency management from carrying out the promotions.
Apr. 04, 2017 (April 2017) Public sector trade union federations have signed an historic agreement with the government that will see a massive reduction in precarious employment across the public sector. The deal means that over 300000 workers currently on some form of fixed-term employment will have the chance to move onto a permanent contract over the next three years. This is the result of the first major negotiations with the government since 2010. The unions underlined that they are still looking for an agreement on pay increases over the coming years that will compensate for the 15% loss of purchasing power.
Apr. 03, 2017 (April 2017) The BSRB public services union is promoting an pilot project on shorter weekly working time. Four workplaces, including police, revenue and immigration services have been selected to participate to examine whether shortening the work week will bring mutual benefit to employees and the employer. The pilot will last one year from 1 April and the hours worked by employees will be reduced from 40 to 36 per week without wage cuts to come. The project will examine the impact on quality and efficiency and staff morale and well being.
Mar. 17, 2017 (March 2017) The public sector federations in the CCOO and UGT confederations, along with the CSIF union organisation, have presented their key negotiating demands to the minister of finance and public service. The unions are underlining the important of re-establishing a proper process of social dialogue and are focusing on three central demands - the recuperation of lost purchasing power and negotiation of pay increases, an increase in employment and measures to reduce temporary employment and a restoration of other conditions lost as a result of austerity.
Mar. 17, 2017 (March 2017) The latest government budget has been criticised by the TUC confederation and public service trade unions for offering nothing to public service workers who have seen their pay frozen or falling in real terms over the past 10 years. The PCS civil service union is organising a day of protest on 31 March and is calling for a 5% pay increase or £1200 a year (€1380) whichever is greater.
Mar. 17, 2017 (March 2017) The three main confederations - CGIL, CISL and UIL - have negotiated a new labour agreement that covers employees of embassies, consulates, legations, cultural institutes and other international organisations in Italy. The agreement runs for three years (2017-2019) and includes a 3.6% pay increase as well as a new mandatory payment by employers to the FIS Fund which provides benefits in the case of losing a job or having a cut in hours.