Jul. 07, 2017 (July 2017) Firefighters are set to benefit from a new wage and pension arrangements that will see their net income protected with pension coverage to ensure there is no gap between retirement and getting the state pension. The new arrangements recognise the risks associated with the job and compensate for changes implemented in the state pensions system. Firefighters also keep their right to retire at 59. This agreement covers around 2600 firefighters in post before 2006. A deal covering all other firefighters will now be negotiated.
Jul. 07, 2017 (July 2017) The POE-OTA local government workers' union, supported by the ADEDY public sector confederation, took strike action on 29 June in protest at a threat to 10000 jobs. The unions say that the Interior Ministry plans to cut 10000 contract workers' jobs as part of a package of cuts agreed in the latest negotiations with European lenders. The unions are calling for permanent jobs to be offered to all contract workers.
Jul. 06, 2017 (July 2017) Over the past few months, the white-collar union Vision has negotiated 12 collective agreements with the KFS employers' organisation covering municipal companies in different sectors such as care, museums and property services. The agreements are similar and run to 2020. They don't have specific wage increases but individual workers negotiate their pay based on a number of factors including their responsibilities and the performance of the company. As guidance, Vision is looking at increases of 2.2% this year and next and 2.3% in 2019. The agreements also include new provisions on health and rehabilitation.
Jul. 06, 2017 (July 2017) Seventeen health sector unions have come together to condemn the government's decision to impose the 1% pay gap for another year. Meanwhile, the firefighters' union has rejected a pay offer of 2% this year and 3% in 2018, saying that it fails to take account of the increasing workloads facing firefighters and workers at the Bank of England could go on strike for the first time in over 50 years unless the employer comes up with a better pay offer by the end of the month.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) The vpod public services union has called for an end to internships in childcare and additional funding to ensure a proper provision of training in the sector. The union argues that many employers exploit the intern system to keep staff costs down while there is evidence that many workers who start on internships as a step towards a proper traineeship are disappointed as too few training places are available. While some authorities and employers have tried to regulate internships, vpod argues that they should be abolished completely.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) The Kommunal municipal services union has signed five agreements with municipal companies represented by the KFS employers' organisation. The agreements cover care, consultancies, real estate and business and museums and archaeological activities. They follow the main trend of a 6.5% pay increase spread over three years with the care agreement including additional increases for nurses, as did the main municipal agreement.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) The HK Kommunal municipal union is organising a conference in September that will provide library workers with a chance to discuss the developing trends in the sector and the changing demands and expectations on libraries. An important focus of the conference will be on personal and professional development and career opportunities.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) Public sector workers get a 6% pay rise this year and the same again next year, if the current economic climate is maintained. This agreement was promoted by the KOZ confederation and picked up by the ETUC Pay Rise campaign which also reported on the push for a higher minimum wage in the country.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) The three main public serivce federations, FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL, have welcomed proposals to increase funding for provincial and city authorities following their protests last month. However, they say that it falls well short of what is needed to invest in infrastructure, schools and cover salary increases. For 2017 alone estimates put the funding shortfall at over EUR 600m when the government has increase provisions to only EUR 170 million. The unions say they will continue to mobilise and campaign for the increased funding.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) Details are emerging of the latest stage in negotiations between public sector unions and the government as they begin to unwind the austerity pay arrangements that saw pay cut and frozen and workers paying a pensions levy. The latest proposals are for a three-year deal running from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020. There will be several pay increases over the period plus changes to the salary thresholds for the pensions levy. If agreed the deal would mean, for example, that a worker on EUR 30000 or less would be 7.4% better off by 2020.
Jun. 08, 2017 (June 2017) Public services union ver.di has called on the minister for youth and families to launch a major national initiative to extend and improve training for childcare workers. The union argues that this is needed to ensure that enough well-trained staff are available to cope with the planned increase of 100000 kindergarten places. The union also wants to see national action in relation to staffing levels to address the problem that the availability and quality of early years education can vary significantly from region to region.
May. 25, 2017 (May 2017) The FOA public services union has called on MPs to reject the continuing demand on local government and health to deliver a 2% productivity increase each year. Effectively in force since 2003, it means that workers in the sector deliver 49% more services with the same staff. The union argues that there is a limit to what can be done and that services cannot be permanently streamlined without posing a threat to quality. The union points out that while health workers have been delivering a 2.4% productivity increase each year the private sector has managed only 1%.
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.