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Europe


Information and consultation rights for central government workers

29 January 2016

Millions of central government workers across Europe are now covered by a landmark agreement on information and consultation. The new agreement was signed in December by EPSU, leading the trade union side, and the EUPAE central government employers’ organisation in the European Social Dialogue Committee for Central Government Administrations. The two sides have called upon the Commission to transpose the agreement into a directive as quickly as possible. The agreement fills in a legal vacuum at EU level by providing minimum requirement for the employers to inform and consult trade unions on restructuring, health and safety, working time and work life balance policy. Read more at > EPSU

Patent Office workers protest against sackings

28 January 2016

Around 400 employees of the European Patent Office (EPO) in the Hague joined a march on 28 January to protest against the sacking of two employees and the demotion of a third, all trade union activists. The protest was called by the SUEPO trade union for EPO staff which argues that the employees have been targeted for their trade union activity and for challenging what they see as the dictatorial approach of the EPO’s boss, Benoit Battistelli. Read more at > EPSU (EN) And at > omroepwest news website (NL)

European Commission view of wages challenged

28 January 2016

Labour market researchers have criticised the European Commission’s narrow focus on competitiveness when analysing wage developments. Guy van Gyes from Leuven University in Belgium and Thorsten Schulten from the WSI trade union research institute in Germany argue that the Commission tends to ignore the structure of the real economy, the non-price factors and the loose relationship between wages and exports. They say that wage developments have the potential to counter deflationary price trends, stabilise and increase private demand, counter income inequality and push for inclusive productivity growth. The debate between the researchers and the Commission was organised by the ETUI at the beginning of January. Read more at > ETUI (EN)

Collective bargaining news across Europe

18 December 2015

The latest edition of the ETUI’s collective bargaining newsletter includes over 80 articles covering 34 countries across Europe. There are several articles relevant to EPSU sectors including culture workers (Bulgaria and Italy), health workers (Cyprus, Latvia, Malta and Slovakia), water and energy workers (Ireland and Italy) and public service workers in general (Croatia, Liechtenstein, Serbia and Slovenia). Read more at > ETUI (EN)

ILO publishes two reports on public sector bargaining

18 December 2015

The International Labour Organisation has published two new reports on collective bargaining in the public services. The first is a working paper that provides an overview of collective bargaining arrangements across the European Union. Information on all 28 countries is included and the ILO categorises 23 as having some form of bargaining while in five countries unilateral government decisions determine pay and conditions. The second report cites several collective agreements from around the world as examples of how to promote constructive approaches to labour relations. This report, available also in Spanish with further languages expected, highlights the various provisions of ILO Convention 151 on labour relations in public services and is a supplement to the Manual on Collective Bargaining and Dispute Resolution in the Pubic Service. Read more at > ILO (EN) And at > ILO (EN+ES) And at > ILO (EN+ES+FR+PT+GR+SR+RU+MK+UKR)

Commission launches consultation on work-life balance

26 November 2015

The European Commission has launched both public and social partner consultations on how to improve work-life balance and reduce obstacles to women’s participation in the labour market. These consultations follow the withdrawal of the Commission’s 2008 proposal to amend the 1992 Maternity Leave Directive. The consultation document gives an overview of the main challenges arising from work-life balance for parents and people with caring responsibilities; takes stock of the current EU-level legislation already existing in the area of work-life balance such as maternity leave, parental leave and part-time work; and invites the social partners to identify possible improvements to existing EU-level legislation. The deadline is 4 January 2016. Read more at > DG Employment (EN)

New survey on working time, job security and other conditions

25 November 2015

The Eurofound research agency has published initial findings from its latest survey of working conditions across Europe. While there are positive results in terms of health and safety awareness and job motivation there are large minorities of workers with major concerns. The proportion of workers worried about losing their job in the next six months is 16% - the same level as 2010. More than two in ive workers are dissatisfied about working time in their main paid job, with 28% wanting to work shorter hours, while involuntary part-time work means 13% want more hours. Read more at > Eurofound (EN)

Study highlights trend to narrower focus of collective bargaining

11 November 2015

A new report from the Eurofound research organisation, Collective Bargaining in Europe in the 21st Century, argues that recent trends show a tendency for a narrowing of the focus of collective bargaining on pay and away from a broader approach on working conditions and other issues like equality. The report also argues that the changes taking place are leading to greater differences across Europe and so making it more difficult to group countries together as reflecting particular model of collective bargaining. Read more at > Eurofound

Latest collective bargaining news

11 November 2015

The October issue of the European Trade Union Institute’s collective bargaining newsletter includes over 80 articles from more than 30 European countries. There are updates on public service developments in a number of countries, including France, Iceland, Italy, Latvia and the Netherlands. Read more at > ETUI

Trends in collective bargaining analysed

11 November 2015

The International Labour Organisation has published a briefing on collective bargaining covering 75 countries including many European nations. The report looks at long-term trends and some of the negative developments since the economic crisis. However, it also notes how levels of collective bargaining have held up in some countries partly as a result of an enabling legal environment based on measures to extend collective agreements, for example. Read more at < ILO (EN)

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