Collective Bargaining, Transparency & Corruption, Staffing levels, 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 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
Addressing public debt is an important issue for unions. The constituency started with a PSI seminar of this topic. Debt is not an issue in isolation and is linked to the changes that have happened in the global economy over the last 30 years. The way debt crises play out have devastating effects on
Health unions were due to meet the government on 23 August to continue negotiations over the current collective agreement and previously agreed pay increases. The unions are threatening strike action if there is not a positive outcome and confirmation that pay increases included in the current collective agreement will be honoured. Pay increases of 3% (in August) for health workers in general and 4% (in October) for staff with diagnostic responsibilities are part of the annex to the collective agreement in force until 31 October. However, the government said it wouldn't confirm the increases
On 28 March 2019 EPSU participated, together with its representatives of the two national affiliates from Romania, Sanitas, and Croatia, HSSMS-MT, in the kick-off meeting of the joint HOSPEEM-EPSU project focusing on strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector that will run in 2019 and 2020.