Nov. 17, 2017 The ssp/vpod public service union is mobilising again to defend the right to strike for care workers in the Fribourg region. The proposal for the ban is coming from right-wing MPs in the cantonal parliament despite the fact that the union had successfully negotiated with the state council to preserve care workers' right to strike (see epsucob@NEWS 15 and 17 in September). The union called for a big protest outside the Grand Council on 17 November.
Nov. 15, 2017 In the first of a series of three meetings over a thousand public service workers gathered in Košice to discuss pay in the public sector. The unions are calling for action on minimum salaries and a pay system that recognises workloads, levels of education and length of service of public service workers. Two further meetings are planned as part of this broad trade union consultation process - one in Banská Bystrica on 16 November and the final one in Bratislava on 23 November.
Nov. 15, 2017 In a press release confirming the implementation this month of a 10% pay increase for public service workers, the OSZSP health union underlines the role of the trade union in these successful negotiations. The increase this year means that hospital workers have seen an overall pay rise of 30% in the last four years while workers in social services have seen a 26% increase. Meanwhile, social workers and direct care workers have seen their pay rise by 47.5% over the same period. The union recognises that low pay is still a challenge in health and social services and is committed to win further pay increases.
Nov. 10, 2017 The SIPTU general union is pushing the government to increase funding to ensure that around 10000 care workers get the pay restoration that has been negotiated for workers directly employed in the public sector. At the time of austerity measures the government cutback on the grant going to so-called Section 39 providers and this had a direct impact on the disability and other care workers they employed. A three-year, public sector-wide agreement has been signed which will provide pay restoration for the majority of workers over the next three years. SIPTU is determined that these Section 39 workers shouldn't be left behind.
Nov. 10, 2017 A survey of staffing levels in nursing homes has revealed a wide variation in standards across Denmark. Commenting on the survey, public services union FOA says that it raises serious questions about both the quality of care and the pressure on workers, particularly those on the night shift, who in some areas may have responsibility for three times as many residents as their colleagues in other regions. The variation from best to worst is 12 residents per employee to 30 residents per employee. The union hopes that the comprehensive survey will help put pressure on municipalities to improve staffing levels.
Nov. 09, 2017 The FeSP-UGT and CCOO federations in the public sector have come together to launch a campaign to get the government to negotiate over employment in the public sector and to adjust the budget for 2018 to begin to tackle the staffing crisis. The unions point out that not only have 350000 public sector jobs been cut since 2010 but the problem is being compounded by an ageing workforce. In social security, for example, around 48% of staff are set to retire over the next 10 years. The unions also want to ensure implementation of the agreement signed earlier this year to reduce the number of temporary contracts across the public sector.
Nov. 09, 2017 Excessive workloads and unpredictable hours will feature prominently in the childcare sector negotiations that began on 8 November. With a slogan that "we're not jacks of all trades" the FNV trade union highlighted the problem that childcare workers were overburdened with cleaning, administrative and other tasks rather than child care itself. The union will be looking for restrictions on the extent to which employers can ask childcare workers to change their working time at short notice. The main pay claim will be for a 3.5% pay rise for the 80000 workers in the sector.
Oct. 30, 2017 The nine trade union federations in the public sector have agreed that the government has failed to propose an adequate response to their key demands on pay, purchasing power and sick pay. The unions met on 26 October to discuss the next steps and agreed to boycott the plenary meeting of the public service council due to take place on 6 November. Instead, they will organise a demonstration outside the finance ministry on that day.
Oct. 30, 2017 After a long and bitter strike, social and residential care workers - the vast majority women - have won a major victory and new three-year collective agreement covering employers in the Bizkaia/Vizcaya region of Northern Spain. The agreement will involve four pay increases staged from September 2017 to 2020, equivalent to an overall increase of 20%. The move to a 35-hour week will also mean a cut of 200 hours per year and involve the recruitment of more workers and so will improve the quality of care. There will also be improvements to compensation in the event of occupational accidents or disease.
Oct. 27, 2017 The FNV trade union has welcomed new data showing an increase of 56000 in the number of children benefitting from childcare places. The union says this good news has to be weighed against the main challenges facing the sector with many workers on precarious contracts, with variable hours and often facing high workloads. The union plans to raise the issues in the upcoming negotiations over a new collective agreement. The current agreement covers 80000 workers and expires in January. Negotiations are due to begin in November.
Oct. 27, 2017 EPSU has written to the Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister of Public Administration raising concerns about a proposed new public sector pay system. The letter was sent in support of the Trade Union of Health and Social Care that has raised concerns about the system and planned classification of jobs. These have been developed without the involvement of the trade unions and involve negative changes to the current salary structure and job classification system.
Oct. 27, 2017 Public service unions are maintaining their pressure on the government to lift the 1% pay cap that continues to be applied to most public service workers, with the exception of police and firefighters. Civil service union PCS has organised a day of action on 31 October, while UNISON is running a Pay Up Now campaign. The GMB union organised a rally at Westminster to highlight the situation of public service workers to MPs and the RCN nurses' union handed in a petition to the Prime Minister on 20 October.
Oct. 27, 2017 Leaders of the GÖD and younion public service unions have taken part in the first two round of negotiations over the pay increase for 2018. The unions are calling for an above-inflation increase that reflects the increased workload and performance of public service workers. The level of the increase will be negotiated in the framework of positive growth in the economy (2.8%) and an inflation rate of just under 1.9%.