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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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Minimum wages in Russia and Central Asia

Legal minimum wages play a very important role in countries in Eastern Europe and particularly Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. EPSU affiliates in the region are active with other unions not just in pushing for increases in the rates but in debates about the content of the basket of goods on which living wage calculations are based. EPSU’s affiliates in the region meet in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 3-5 March 2015 and in her report for the meeting, EPSU’s regional officer, Olga (...)

EPSU and ILO training centre launch new project

Representatives of EPSU affiliates from 17 countries in Central and Eastern Europe took part in the launch workshop of a new project on Decent Work for Workers’ in Public Services. This is an International Labour Organisation (ILO) and European Commission backed project, implemented in partnership with EPSU. The launch meeting took place in Brussels on 11-12 February and discussed the main themes of the four workshops and final conference that would take place during 2015. The participants (...)

Solidarity with trade unions facing hearing over May Day March in Turkish Court

(Brussels, 6 February 2015) The leaders of the Turkish union confederations KESK and DISK were summoned for a public hearing in the Court of Istanbul, 6 February 2015. Together with representatives of the professional associations TTB and TTMOB they were accused of terrorist actions for calling workers to celebrate 1 May 2014 on Taksim Square. Lami Ozgen (KESK President), Kani Beko (DISK President and leader of Genel-Is) and Mrs. Arzu Cerkezoglu (DISK General Secretary) The call to (...)

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 (...)

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