Transparency & Corruption, Social Dialogue, Health, Croatia, Armenia
Respect for trade union rights, collective bargaining and social dialogue part of our democratic values – say North East European constituency unions
The EPSU affiliates of North East Europe expressed their concerns about developments in the region in the online meeting of the North East European constituency on 3 March. They received information about the situation in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.
The HSSMS-MT nurses’ and technicians’ trade union is supporting over 1000 of its members in legal claims to secure compensation for underpaid overtime. The issue dates back to 2016 since when overtime pay rates for many workers failed to take account of certain allowances. The union has invited the health ministry to negotiate over the issue and to avoid the time and cost of the legal process but the court cases continue. It is estimated that the total amount of underpaid overtime is HRK 614 million, around EUR 80 million.
Public sector workers will get a 4% pay rise in January 2021 along with a HRK 1500 (EUR 200) Christmas bonus. This was confirmed in negotiations in November and reflects a success for the trade unions in the face of an attempt by the government back in the summer to freeze public sector pay. SDLSN (HR)
After four rounds of negotiations it was agreed that two pay rises of 2% foreseen for this year would be postponed and paid in January 2021. The existing collective agreement provided for the pay increases along with increases in other allowances and the Christmas bonus and the government had initially wanted to freeze all pay and allowances. However, the postponement was agreed and other allowances will be increased while the Christmas bonus will be negotiated later in the year.
HOSPEEM-EPSU Third Regional Workshop in Central Europe, 11 September 2020, Zagreb, Croatia - POSTPONED - Spring 2021
HOSPEEM and EPSU Third Regional Workshop - capacity building of national social partners in the hospital/health care sector in Croatia, Czechia, Slovakia and Slovenia - POSTPONED - Spring 2021
Unions representing public service workers have made clear that they do not accept the government’s proposal to suspend this year’s pay increases, along with Christmas and other bonuses. Two pay increases are due to be paid this year, both of 2% in June and October. EPSU issued a statement supporting the unions’ position and criticising the government for pushing for a pay freeze for workers on the frontline of the fight against the pandemic.
The HSSMS-MT nursing union has joined with other nursing organisations in submitting a series of demands on the government to address the urgent problem of understaffing resulting from emigration and retirement. The joint document highlights the increased pressure that the health service faces and the failure of recent governments to provide solutions. The unions and associations want to see proper recognition of qualifications and responsibilities in the job and pay structure and recruitment of more staff. They are also calling for clear plan to address training and education needs.
Health unions have managed to ensure that the government will honour the current collective agreement that commited it to pay increases of 3% and 4% this year. The unions were forced to organise a high-profile national campaign - "5 to midnight" - when the government indicated it would not implement the increases. The campaign highlighted the state of the health service, understaffing and overwork and the need to recognise health workers' commitment. The unions are now looking forward to the start of the next pay negotiations and will continue their campaign on the need to invest in the health
Health unions have been continuing demonstrations across the country to put pressure on the government to honour previously agreed pay increases. The current sector collective agreement included pay increases of 3% on 1 August and 4% on 1 October. The government said it would not to pay the increases but following negotiations with the unions it now looks possible that a 7% increase will be confirmed. A meeting between unions and the government was due on 13 September with the unions threatening strike action if there was no agreement.