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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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EPSU-ILO Decent Work Project: report on workshop in Bratislava

Twenty-five trade union representatives from EPSU affiliates in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic and Ukraine met in Bratislava on 21-23 April to discuss collective bargaining, the right to strike, International Labour Organisations (ILO) conventions and gender equality. The main points to highlight from the two and a half day seminar include: While social dialogue and collective bargaining are in a relatively healthy state in the Czech and Slovak Republics, trade (...)

EPSU supports demand unions for more democracy in European Central Bank and EU

(17 March 2015) On the occasion of the inauguration of the new head office of the European Central Bank, trade unions are demanding more democracy and an end to austerity that is hurting people and workers across the EU. We need alternatives and a public investment plan on a scale that will start to address the situation of the 24 million unemployed and the many more millions in poverty. Thousands of citizens from across Europe will demonstrate with action group Blockupy to show their (...)

A new start for Social Dialogue

(10 March 2015) There is no social market economy without social dialogue. This was one of the main conclusions from the EC conference held on 5 March to strengthen social dialogue and to reinvigorate the role of the social partners in EU and national policy-making. For EPSU and the trade unions this role must not be confined to improving competitiveness and delivering on structural reforms. Engagement of social partners at all levels in an ambitious public investment plan for jobs, growth (...)

European Patent Office Management places itself outside of European legal order

(2 March 2015) Management of the European Patent Office stated that they would not respect the verdict of a Dutch court arguing immunity from the European legal order. This is not acceptable and EPSU has written to management in support of the unions demands. Relations between the unions in the European Patent Office (represented by SUEPO, an affiliate of EPSU affiliated union USF) have not been well for sometime as management of EPO is blocking access of the union to negotiations, does (...)

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 (...)

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