Aug. 16, 2017 The IMPACT and SIPTU trade unions are working hard to push childcare up the political agenda. IMPACT has just submitted a call for a major increase in childcare funding with an extra €125 million this year and €625 million over the next five years. The union wants to see the introduction of an agreed salary scale as an important contribution to the professionalisation of the sector. SIPTU is putting across similar demands in its Big Start campaign.
Aug. 15, 2017 Younion, representing municipal workers in Austria has launched a petition calling for support for childcare workers in the Lower Austria region. The union highlights the significant increase in responsibilities and workloads for these workers and the key demands being put forward are: improvements in the quality and quantity of education; more opportunities for training and further education; creation of a clear career path; and pay in line with the demands of the job. EPSU has also collected together news of other recent initiatives by childcare unions.
Aug. 15, 2017 In two different initiatives care workers at the Kwadrant Group in Friesland and HWW Care in the Hague have taken action to get their employers to address problems around high workloads, sickness absence and quality of care. The Kwadrant workers have organised a tour of the company's workplaces to highlight the issues in advance of a meeting with management on 24 August. Meanwhile, some workers at HWW have taken strike action in protest at the company's plans to cuts jobs and take on temporary and self-employed workers. HWW workers, some with 20 or 30 years of experience are angry that the employer doesn't recognise this and wants staff retrained while even claiming some are incapable of being trained.
Aug. 02, 2017 Public services union IMPACT and general union SIPTU have welcomed a new parliamentary report that reveals the problems of low pay and poor working conditions in the early years sector. The unions are calling for increased investment and funding for the sector and action to tackle low pay with the need to set pay rates that recognise the responsibilities and qualifications of childcare workers, 98% of whom are women.
Aug. 02, 2017 The FOA public services union has called on the government to recognise the need for multi-billion kronor funding to make a real difference to pay in jobs dominated by women. The union points out that the last time that an attempt was made to tackle the problem was in the 2007 three-year agreement but in the end the extra funding to close the pay gap was spread too thinly across the public sector. The FOA wants to see extra funding earmarked for low paid jobs dominated by women and also changes to equality legislation.
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) A new report from the BKK business health insurance federation reveals the extent to which stress and overwork are having a negative impact on employees in the health and care sectors. With a shortfall of over 160000 workers in the sector, many employees are under a lot of pressure, working long hours and missing breaks. Workers in the sector take an average of 24 days' sick leave a year compared to 16 for workers across all sectors. Services union ver.di underlined the need for minimum staffing levels and for higher collective bargaining coverage in the sector.
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
Several public authorities in the North of Sweden have offered elderly people the right to refuse their caregivers on the basis of their skin colour or of their immigrant background.
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.