May. 26, 2017 (May 2017) The Sanitas health union says it will continue to campaign and mobilise in order to ensure that new legislation creates pay equity for all workers in the health and social services sectors. In its latest form the legislation fails to take account of a series of amendments submitted by the union. Sanitas says the process of consultation appears to have been for show only. The union will consider what further action to take should the legislation fail to incorporate the key changes on pay.
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 FNV and NU'91 trade unions have negotiated a new collective agreement covering 80000 workers in the mental health care sector. The agreement runs from 1 March 2017 to 1 July 2019 and includes a 4% pay increase - 1.65% this year and 1.88% next year with an extra 0.25% coming in end-of-year bonuses. The agreement also includes measures to address problems of overwork and long working hours with a checklist to assess the health impact and sustainability of workers' rosters. There are also measures to improve the provision and scope of training.
May. 25, 2017 (May 2017) The OSZSP heath and social care union has called on the government to take immediate steps to increase pay for social care workers. The union argues that these workers are very badly paid for the responsible and demanding job they do. This is resulting in a recruitment crisis in the sector. The union wants to see the agreement to cut the two lowest pay rates on the social care pay scales implemented and for care workers to be covered by the health care salary structure.
May. 25, 2017 (May 2017) Trade unions representing childcare workers in the private sector have negotiated a new pay agreement which is in line with the municipal sector. Overall worth about 2.4% the agreement includes a 2% increase on minimum rates taking the lowest pay rate to NOK 295900 a year (around EUR 31650). The agreement covers over 26000 workers in more than 1700 workplaces. Meanwhile a strike over pensions in the Akasia group of kindergartens went into its fourth week at the end of May with more workers joining the strike. Equality of pension provision for men and women is a key demand.
May. 23, 2017
(23 May 2017) This year’s Country Specific Recommendations represent another missed opportunity to give the European economy a boost w
May. 12, 2017 (May 2017) Trade union reps from subsidiaries of the social care multinational Orpea came together in Brussels on 4-5 May to discuss common problems and how to improve coordination and potentially initiate moves to setting up a European works council. Participants debated the pressure of increased workloads and the role of profit-seeking multinationals in providing social care.
May. 11, 2017 (May 2017) The vpod public services union has highlighted the problem of gender pay inequality across occupations, noting that lower pay in occupations dominated by women, like care, cannot be justified on a gender-neutral basis and that they are the result of specific historical developments. The union cites new research from Essen University in Germany and argues that legislation that currently requires action by employers with over 50 employees should be amended to provide for an evaluation of occupational groups.
May. 11, 2017
Workers in the French social services multinational, Orpea, recently came together in Brussels, in order to better coordinate their struggles for better pay and conditions.
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. 11, 2017 (May 2017) The four unions that organise care workers in the public (GÖD and younion) and private (vida and GPA-djp) sectors have come together to organise a national demonstration on 12 May. The key demands of the protest are for better funding for care and action to deal with the excessive workloads, stress and long working hours of many care workers. The unions want to see action to tackle staff shortages and national legislation on staffing levels.
May. 11, 2017 (May 2017) Services union ver.di reports on two significant bargaining developments in the Sana healthcare company and in the non-profit care sector in the Saxony-Anhalt region. Sana's 10000 workers will get a 2.2% pay rise backdated to 1 January this year and a further 2.2% from 1 February 2018 along with several other improvements to pay and conditions, including two extra days off for ver.di members only. The new pay agreement in Saxony-Anhalt covers 4000 care workers employed by the regional welfare federation and is backdated to 2016 while providing pay increases until 2018. Ver.di sees this as a significant marker for the non-profit sector.
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.
May. 09, 2017 (May 2017) The OSZSP health and social services union has launched a campaign to improve pay in the social services sector under the slogan "end cheap labour". The union has already had a meeting with the government where it highlighted staff shortages, excessive workloads and very low pay with some on as little as CZK 12000 a month (EUR 450). The union stresses that staff shortages are set to become more urgent as workers in the sector retire and there is increased demand from an older population.