The vida and GPA-djp trade unions have negotiated increases for minimum pay rates for workers in private childcare institutions that are not covered by collective agreements. Teachers and staff get a 1.95% while assistants will get a 2% increase. The unions are pleased that the increases are slightly above inflation and the trend in other agreements. Childminders will get a 2.5% rise and will now be entitled to an increase after every two years rather than three.
Gender pay gap, Low pay/minimum wages, Austria
21 October is marked as equal pay day in Austria where the gender pay gap is one of the biggest in Europe at 19.7%. This is based on a full-time woman worker getting an average of EUR 41785 compared to EUR 52033 for a man. This is the equivalent of women working for free for 72 days - hence setting the date as 21 October. Unions highlight the problems of part-time work and unpaid care as contributing to the problem. While 47% of women work part time only 11% of men do.
The GPA-djp and vida services unions have set out their list of demands in negotiations covering 100000 workers in the private healthcare sector. Along with a 6% pay rise (with minimum increase of EUR 150 to benefit the lower paid) the unions also want to see a reduction in hours to a standard 35-hour week without loss of pay and with additional jobs to maintain services. Other key demands include: avoiding split shifts, a sixth week of leave for all workers, earlier service to be taken into account, better pay for trainees and apprentices, part-time work for older workers and implementation
The GPA-djp private services union has underlined the need for action in the care sector to address the quality and quantity of services and the pay and conditions of care workers, three quarters of whom are women. With demand increasing, particularly as a result of the ageing population, the union wants to see the federal government take responsibility to introduce national standards of care to end the variation between the regions and to increase funding to the sector to help address low pay and the widespread use of part-time work.
After the sixth round of negotiations, the vida and GPA-djp service unions agreed a deal for 100000 workers in the private health and social care sector. There will be a 2.5% pay increase dated from 1 February but with a EUR 48 per month minimum increase. This will mean more than 3% for the lowest paid workers. There will also be specific provisions for care assistants, special care assistants and qualified nurses who will see additional increases ranging from EUR 10 to EUR 50 a month in both 2018 and 2019. Although the unions did not achieve a reduction in weekly working hours they said that
Private childcare workers saw a 3% increase in the sector minimum wage from 1 January. The increase was negotiated by the vida and GPA-djp service trade unions with the Federal Arbitration Office. The increase takes the lowest wage level above EUR 1500 for the first time, reaching EUR 1514. There is also a provision to ensure that special payments continue to be fully paid in cases of long-term sickness or accidents at work. The unions are pleased that this is a good deal for the 10000 workers in the sector, the vast majority of whom are women.
The GPA-djp and vida private service trade unions met with the private care employers' organisation (SWÖ) to highlight the major staffing challenge facing the sector and the urgent need for additional funding to cover better pay and conditions to increase recruitment to the sector. The unions underlined the impact of serious staff shortages that are leading to increased workloads, burnout and stress for many care workers. They want to see legally enforceable staffing levels, that set minimum standards both in terms of numbers of staff with the appropriate qualifications.
Around 30000 workers employed by the health institutions federation in Vienna will see their pay and conditions protected following an agreement that removes the threat of privatisation. The deal will also mean higher starting salaries for new workers and a minimum wage of EUR 1670 a month. The younion representing the health workers regards this as a positive example of social partnership and a valuable contribution to social justice.
(January 2017) The vida private services union is calling for a EUR 1500 minimum wage in collective agreements across the private sector. The union says that over 350000 workers are covered by collective agreements where the minimum wage is below EUR 1500, two thirds of these workers are women. The agreements include some in the private care and health service sectors. Once the EUR 1500 is reached then the next step will the the EUR 1700 target set by the OEGB trade union confederation.