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Collective Bargaining

Collective Bargaining – negotiating the best deal at every level

A core activity of trade unions is negotiating, on behalf of members, with employers. EPSU’s affiliates concentrate on good pay levels for public service workers at the workplace, the sector and national level. Good working conditions are just as important.

In collective bargaining, EPSU has two main tasks; firstly to contribute to the improvement of pay and working conditions for all public service workers in Europe, and secondly to act as a European information point so that EPSU affiliates are aware of trends and developments in public service negotiations.

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Comparing public and private sector pay

Public sector pay, and in particular the claimed public sector pay premium, have been an issue for the European institutions for some time, and this was enshrined in the Euro-Plus Pact in 2011 which called on governments to “ensure that wages settlements in the public sector support the competitiveness efforts in the private sector (bearing in mind the important signalling effect of public sector wage).” EPSU asked Torsten Müller of the European Trade Union Institute and Thorsten Schulten of (...)

Lively debates at collective bargaining conference

Over 80 participants from 20 countries took part in EPSU’s social dialogue and collective bargaining conference in Brussels on 13 and 14 January. A key theme of the conference was the impact of economic governance and this was highlighted in presentations by Ronald Janssen of the ETUC and Fernando de la Rocha of the 1er Mayo Foundation in Spain. Researchers from the Labour Research Department in the UK, the ETUI in Brussels and the WSI institute in Germany provided analyses of developments (...)

Labourstart campaign to support sacked workers Istanbul Hospital - please sign

(9 January 2015) Close to 100 workers were sacked by management of the University Hospital of Maltepe (Istanbul) 6 December. They organised themselves in an union, demanded decent pay and conditions and subsequently were dismissed. The workers have been on the picked line and several demonstrations have taken place since. EPSU has also written to management of the Hospital but it believes it can contract-out the work as it sees fit. The workers are members of Dev-Saglik-Is, an affiliate of (...)

EPSU sends further solidarity greetings to Portuguese nurses

(20 November 2014) EPSU sends greetings to the Portuguese nurses involved in the latest strike action called by the SEP trade union. The action tomorrow (21 November) follows a very well supported strike on 14 November, part of a long-running campaign by the union dating back to September (see EPSU message of support in September 2014). EPSU congratulates the union not only on being able to mobilise very high levels of support for the action but also doing so in the face of attempts by the (...)

EPSU sends solidarity to prison officers

(24 October 2014) Prison staff take industrial action over health service pay EPSU sends solidarity greetings to the prison officers who are taking action today in support of an improved pay offer across the health service. The workers are members of the POA, the trade union for prison, correctional and secure psychiatric staff, employed at three High Secure Psychiatric Hospitals. They voted overwhelmingly (78%) to support the action following the government’s decision not to honour the (...)

More Secure Employment and Decent Jobs
Stop precarious work in Europe!

(3 October 2014) Joint statement of the European trade union federations (ETUFs) for the 7th October 2014, decent work day. On 7th October 2014, the World Day for Decent Work, European trade unions from all over Europe will take action for a European economy which must be based on decent jobs, not on precariousness. Men and women must be able to earn their living by working, without having to end up in precarious and/or badly paid jobs. Quality jobs with decent wages and decent working (...)

EPSU supports nurses in two-day strike over jobs and funding

(25 September 2014) EPSU sends it congratulations to the SEP nurses’ union on the very high level of support (87.7%) for the first day of its two-day strike. The union is taking action over cuts in public funding that have had a major impact on jobs and the availability of services. The number of nurses is less than three years ago and waiting lists are on the increase. The SEP is calling for increased funding and the recruitment of more nurses, arguing strongly that health spending should (...)

ETUC sends strong message on wages to employment ministers

(2 May 2014) The ETUC used the first day of the EPSCO informal employment ministers’ meeting in Athens on 29 April to challenge the EU institutions’ obsession with wage flexibility and warn of the risks of deflation. A number of the key elements of the ETUC’s arguments are also set out in the latest EPSU briefing on austerity and the alternatives: The fairy tale of structural reforms. The ETUC’s submission to the EPSCO council, A different course for Europe: wages and collective bargaining as (...)

Parliament and Council deal to end social dumping is disappointing says ETUC

(10 March 2014) The negotiators of the European Parliament and the EU governments confirmed an agreement that leaves many posted workers without improved protection against exploitation by employers. It does not stop social dumping. The recognition that governments need to combat bogus self-employment is positive but far from adequate to meet the extent of the problem. For the ETUC press release: ETUC posting of (...)

Europe’s Cheap Labour Bonanza

The free movement of citizens is one of the fundamental principles of the European Union, however it has created a number of challenges for the trade union movement. While the ability to move freely opens opportunities for many European workers to better their lives, it also opens the door for labour rights abuses. Migrant and posted workers are particularly vulnerable to abuses and exploitation, yet economic pressures in their home countries compel many to put up with the often (...)

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