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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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Read the latest collective bargaining news


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 (...)

EPSU joins in protest against social dumping

(10 December 2013) A delegation from the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) joined a protest organized by several European Trade Union Federations against social dumping. The European Council was discussing the enforcement of posting Directive and we are opposing a bad compromise that will endanger workers rights across Europe. EPSU will continue to mobilise to ensure that free circulation does not become social dumping. The ETUC has issued a press declaration against (...)

Swedish unions welcome posted worker ruling

The European Committee on Social Rights, part of the Council of Europe human rights organisation, has ruled against the Swedish government on its posted worker legislation. The LO (blue collar) and TCO (white collar) trade union confederations are delighted by the decision. They brought the case in response to the Swedish government’s 2010 amendments to its posted worker legislation, introduced in response to the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) Laval ruling in 2007. In 2004, Swedish (...)

EPSU sends solidarity greetings to Greek workers in strike against austerity

(6 November 2013) The ADEDY public sector and GSEE private trade union confederations have called their members out on a 24-hour strike today in protest at the imposition of further austerity measures. EPSU sends it solidarity greetings to both confederations, their members, the workers taking action and all those who have been suffering the effects of the policies of the Troika - the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. The latest official figures (...)

EPSU supports the FBU’s defence of firefighters’ pension rights

(30 October 2013) EPSU sends solidarity greetings to the FBU firefighters’ union in the UK which is planning two short strikes on Friday 1st and Monday 4th November. The current dispute is over the increase in pension age for active firefighters from 55 to 60. The union took action on 25 September but then postponed the next planned stoppage for 19th October when it appeared that government and fire employers had shifted their position and acknowledged that firefighters faced losing their (...)

EPSU calls on UK’s higher education employers to pay decent wages and return to negotiations

(29 October 2013) EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Trade Unions, supports the strike called by Unison, UNITE and UCU. Thousands of support staff in UK’s higher education will take national strike action over pay on 31 October 2013. Workers are demanding that employers pay a decent wage after 5 years in which they have paid below cost of living pay increases leaving workers with a very real cut in wages of 13%. Work pressure has increased with more students in classes. And the (...)

Zero hours and the spread of precarious employment

Europe is experiencing a concerning increase of precarious work arrangements that already began in the 1990s and early 2000s with demands for more flexibility, the promise of job growth, and the reduction of unemployment. One particularly disturbing development is taking place in the UK where the number of so called zero-hour contracts has increased in recent years. Under these contracts workers are not guaranteed a minimum number of working hours making their income uncertain and subject (...)

EPSU’s evaluation of the European sector social dialogue

(September 2013) During 2012-13 EPSU, with the financial support of the European Commission, has undertaken an evaluation of the work of the European Sector Social Dialogue Committees in which it is involved - electricity, local and regional government, hospitals, gas and central government administrations. The evaluation was called for in a resolution to the 2009 Congress and carried out through a two-part questionnaire that was sent to all affiliates. The drafting of the questionnaire (...)

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