Oct. 12, 2017 A new survey published by public services union Unison exposes the pressure faced by home care workers and their precarious working conditions.Three-quarters (75%) of care workers said they had too little time to provide proper care because they are too rushed, often because employers pressure them to fit in an excessive number of visits.The report also highlights the job insecurity faced by home care workers with more than half (52%) on zero hours contracts, and more than three in five (63%) not getting paid for the time it takes to travel between care visits.
Oct. 12, 2017 The CGSP/ACOD public service federation, part of the FGTB socialist confederation, organised a national strike on 10 October. The union was protesting against the austerity policies of the government, weakening of employment rights in the public sector, reduced pension entitlement and the increased threat of privatisation. The union is also objecting to plans to impose minimum service requirements when public service unions taken strike action. The union says that minimum service agreements are currently negotiated with public service employers and should not be unilaterally imposed by the government.
Oct. 12, 2017 The public services trade union, younion, collected 15000 signatures in a petition that it handed in to the parliament of the region of Lower Austria on 10 October. The petition calls for action to deal with the pay and working conditions of the 3000 childcare workers in the region. The union wants to see improvements to education and training in the sector as well as the development of a proper career structure. It is also calling for pay to be commensurate with the responsibilities and demands of the job. The union is expecting to be able to negotiate soon, although there is no offer on this yet from the regional government.
Oct. 12, 2017 Following a strategy meeting to discuss its key priorities, the FOA public services union has announced that it will be calling for a flat-rate pay increase in the forthcoming collective bargaining round. The union says this will be important in continuing to tackle low pay and close the gender pay gap. The FOA also wants action to improve training and education for unskilled workers. The union will be coordinating bargaining with 35 other trade unions and the first joint meeting with employers will be on 12 December.
Oct. 12, 2017 The JHL public services union says that it will aim for a flat-rate rather than a percentage pay rise in the upcoming bargaining round as a step towards closing the pay gap between the low and high paid. Another priority for the union is more control for workers over working time and shift work, seen as crucial to improve well-being at work. JHL will also be looking at initiatives to address the cut in holiday bonus in the public sector and action on zero-hours contracts.
Oct. 12, 2017 Responding to a government consultation the IMPACT public services union has called for a number of initiatives on on equal pay and gender equality, including requirements on employers to report on the gender pay gap and recognition of employers who take action to reduce gender equality. The union has submitted detailed proposals for action to address pay for non-teaching staff in education including pay reviews and job evaluation for a range of staff such as special needs assistants and administrative and library staff, the vast majority of whom are women.
Oct. 12, 2017 Members of the FNV union working at a care home in Lopik in the Utrecht region have won an important victory, securing additional night staff and security measures. The workers at the care home run by the AxionContinu company organised a petition and camped outside the company's head office in order to put pressure on management. The workers argued that it was unacceptable for only one person to be on night duty with responsibility for over 60 vulnerable residents. The union will now try to tackle other issues in the company and hopes that the commitment on staffing levels will be taken up in other care homes.
Oct. 11, 2017 Strike action and demonstrations in over 140 cities across the country were part of a successful day of action on 10 October organised by the nine public sector trade union organisations. Unions estmate that over 400000 joined the national protests involving workers right across the public services. The day of action was in protest at government plans to freeze pay again and to cut jobs. The unions are due to meet the public services minister, Gérald Darmanin, and they will then meet together on 23 October to discuss whether and when to take further action. A contingent with EPSU banners joined the national demonstration in Paris.
Sep. 26, 2017 Nine public sector trade union organisations have come together to organise a national day of action on 10 October in protest at government attacks on the pay, conditions and jobs of public service workers. The unions accuse President Macron of doing the opposite of what he proposed in his presidential election campaign. Far from increasing pay, his government is maintaining the pay freeze for public sector workers. There is also a threat to 120000 jobs across the public services and the re-introduction of a waiting day before claiming sick pay. The unions will organise demonstrations and strike action in order to reinforce their demands for proper negotiations on the day set by the public services minister for talks on pay.
Sep. 26, 2017 The Sanitas health trade union is asking members to sign up on its website if they support strike action over bonuses, pay and other issues. The union is reacting to Ministry of Health proposals that would impose a cap on bonuses and restrict bonuses for working conditions for technical and administrative staff. The union is also very concerned about proposals to shift social contributions from employers to employees that would effectively wipe out any agreed pay increases. Sanitas also wants action to ensure fair pay levels for different occupations.
Sep. 26, 2017 Protest action and a petition promoted by the vpod/ssp public services union and supported by other trade unions, political parties and civil society has led to a change to draft legislation in the Freibourg/Fribourg region that would have removed the right to strike for care workers (see epsucob@NEWS 15, 2017). The union said that the mobilisation of care staff had been important for the outcome and reinforces the importance of the right to strike in underpinning the unions' ability to negotiate effectively.
Sep. 26, 2017 The HK Kommunal municipal union has received plenty of input from members and activists as it prepares its claim for the upcoming negotiations. Over 7000 contributions with 20000 suggestions have been submitted to the union covering a wide range of pay and conditions. Some of the key issues highlighted by the union include the need to maintain competence funds that provide for education and training and the call for action to tackle stress. Time off to deal with care responsibilities is also a common demand, particularly from workers with caring responsibilities for older people. There are varied opinions on pay with some calling for a general wage increase for all while others see local pay deals as important.
Sep. 26, 2017 The JHL public sector union is preparing for the upcoming round of collective bargaining by surveying members and activists over the key elements for negotiation across the 60 agreements that it covers, most of which expire in January 2018. This time there will be not be a framework agreement negotiated with employers but the union will be in discussion with other members of the SAK confederation with a view to setting some common demands.
Sep. 26, 2017 Following votes across all the public sector unions, a majority (14), accounting for 80% by membership supported the new agreement on pay and conditions with three voting against. The three-year deal includes six pay increases (two targeted at the lower paid only) and will mean that the majority of public sector workers (73%) will see an overall increase of 7% by the end of the agreement. There is a range of other conditions that have been confirmed as part of the deal including the retention of outsourcing protections, the option to negotiate on returning to a shorter working week and provisions on work-life balance.
Sep. 25, 2017 The Health Workersù Union of Ukraine (HWUU) organised a major protest outside the national parliament on 19 September focusing on pay, healthcare funding and against the commercialisation of the health system. The union called on the government to respond to the labour dispute registered by the union last year and to deal with urgent issues around unpaid wages and failure to properly implement the agreed pay system. The union was also calling for increased funding for the sector and other initiatives to improve health provision. EPSU sent a message of solidarity.