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.
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) The three public service federations (FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL) organised a day of action on 23 May to highlight the problem of underfunding of provincial and city councils. The unions argue that indiscriminate cuts have to end and that inadequate funding poses a threat to workers' wages as well the delivery of essential services and maintenance of roads and schools. Workers were mobilised across the country on the day.
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) The STAL local government union has called on the government to allow local authorities to take immediate action to tackle precarious employment in the sector. The union says that an ordinance aimed at the state sector doesn't go far enough and that local authorities should be allowed to take the initiative now to reduce various forms of temporary work and provide permanent contracts to workers who are doing permanent tasks but have been appointed on short-term contracts.
May. 11, 2017
Launch of EPSU-CEMR Video - Digitalisation seen through the eyes of citizens is a great improvement in their relationship with local and regional governments
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.
May. 10, 2017 (May 2017) Around 200 workers and the 1100 people they provide care for are the latest victims of private care company bankruptices. The collapse of Hjemmehjælpen Aarhus, the largest private care company in Aarhus, Denmark's second city, is the third private care company bankruptcy in May and the 41st since 2013 when a new tendering system was introduced. The FOA public service union is calling for a change to the system with requirements to monitor professional and management skills, company finances and to protect working conditions.
Apr. 28, 2017
EPSU’s Firefighters Network met in Brussels today on this International Workers’ Memorial Day.
Apr. 14, 2017 (April 2017) Municipal workers' union Kommunal has negotiated a year's extension to the three-year agreement which it negotiated last year with the SKL local government employers' organisation. The agreement provided for additional increases for nursing assistants and nurses as part of a strategy to close the gender pay gap. The basic increases in each of the four years 2016-2019 are SEK 520 (EUR 54), 530 (EUR 55), 535 (EUR 55.5) and 540 (EUR 56) while in the first and second years nursing assistants get 1020 (EUR 105) and 710 (EUR 75) while the third year includes 685 (EUR 70) for nurses. The fourth year provides for an additional 0.3% on top of the SEK 540.
Apr. 05, 2017 (April 2017) Beginning this month the municipal services union Kommunal will be investigating the employment and working conditions of cleaners, looking at their employment status, working hours as well as health and safety problems. The union will carry out a survey as well as making workplace visits to talk to workers and assess how they are affected by what are often seen as the main problems facing the sector - the impact of privatisation, lack of control over work - but also good examples where workers do have more control over working time and other working conditions.
Apr. 05, 2017 (April 2017) The FNV union has criticised municipalities for making excessive use of temporary contracts and says it will make this a priority issue in upcoming negotiations. The union reports that four out of five temporary workers wants a permanent contract while over half say they are not paid the same as permanent workers doing the same job. Around 60% also say they don't get the same training opportunities.
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.