A new report from the Eurofound research agency, based on the European Working Conditions Survey, reveals key factors influencing health and well-being at work. While regulations on working time are important in restricting excessive hours, the report warns that work intensity and flexibility also need to be addressed. It also says that working arrangements are an important element and that more job control can help improve well-being along with the basic factors that demonstrate a recognition of a worker's skills and commitment, including pay, career prospects and job security.
Information & consultation, Quality employment, Europe
The ETUC has produced a new leaflet on the rights of the 22 million workers in the EU (10% of the total) who are self-employed and have no employees. The ETUC points out that they often have fewer rights than employees. For instance, in some countries they have no right to join a trade union and to benefit from union protection and support. This brochure looks at why self-employed workers need better rights, what unions are doing about this and what the priorities are for the future?
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has published two reports on collective bargaining and social dialogue. A working paper on social dialogue in public services was published to mark the 40th anniversary of ILO Convention 151 on labour relations in the public services. It covers three of the European social dialogue committees in which EPSU is involved along with examples of how social dialogue works in Italy, Denmark and the Czech and Slovak Republics. The ILO's report on extension of collective agreements provides evidence on the important role that this process can play in reducing
EPSU has launched a legal case against the European Commission and is now waiting for the first formal response. EPSU has taken the case because the Commission refused to submit to the European Council the information and consultation agreement signed in the Central Government Administrations social dialogue in December 2015. Despite signing the European Pillar of Social Rights and making positive statements about social dialogue, the Commission has failed to act to provide important rights to 9.8 million central government workers that are already enjoyed in the private sector. The complaint
EPSU is organising a conference on 6-7 June in Brussels that will explore a number of collective bargaining issues. Part of the conference will focus on quality employment and will discuss in particular research on quality employment in two sectors - prisons and childcare. Other sessions will debate new research commissioned by EPSU. This includes an updated analysis comparing pay trends in the public and private sectors; union action to tackle low pay in sectors dominated by women and the impact of digitalisation in home care and public employment services. There will also be a panel debating
On 6-7 June, EPSU is holding a second conference in Brussels in the context of its current project on quality employment and quality public services. Along with special sessions looking at the prisons and childcare sectors there will also be debates on pay trends in the public sector compared to the private sector; low pay in sectors dominated by women; young workers and quality employment; a panel on developments in collective bargaining and some initial research findings on the impact of digitalisation on the home care and public employment services.
The European Commission has informed the social partners in central government administrations that it will not propose their information and consultation agreement to the European Council for implementation as a Directive. This is a major blow to the trade unions and employers in the sector who signed the agreement in December 2015 specifically with a view to having it implemented as a Directive and to fill a gap in existing information and consultation legislation at European level.
A new report from the European Trade Union Institute shows what aspects of work improved or deteriorated over the last decade. It updates the Institute's European Job Quality Index which covers a broad range of work and employment characteristics, including wages, non-wage aspects of employment and work organisation, and collective interest representation. The results indicate a decline in non-wage job quality over the past decade and sluggish real wage growth in the years following the crisis.
The ETUC has made a number of specific proposals for revision of the Written Statement Directive. The ETUC says that the legislation should cover as many workers as possible, including the growing number of self-employed and gig economy workers. It should provide information before the start of the employment relationship and extend the information requirements, on pay and working time and other issues. The ETUC also wants to see a right to adequate remuneration and guaranteed hours (putting an end to zero-hour type contracts) and ensure online platforms do not avoid or evade their
(June 2017) The IPSO trade union that organises staff at the European Central Bank (ECB) mobilised staff for a demonstration on 7 June in protest at the ECB's long-term use of temporary contracts for staff doing permanent work. IPSO has been pushing for some time now for the Bank to end this practice where some workers have been employed for over five years, in some cases over 10 years, on renewed contracts. In the latest action IPSO also raised objections to the ECB's plans to outsource some services, starting with IT. EPSU sent a message of support.
(May 2017) The revised labour code has been a major issue of debate in Lithuania for the last three years. The ETUI research organisation has just published a an update on this and other labour market, industral relations and pensions developments in the country. This is part of the ETUI's Reform Watch website covering all EU Member States.
(May 2017) Trade unions representing prison workers across Europe met in Brussels on 10 May to discuss a range of issues relating to continuing austerity, collective bargaining and trade union rights. Key issues that emerged during the meeting included the increase in violence against prison staff, problems of understaffing and developing issues around digitalisation and, in some countries, radicalisation of inmates. The meeting was part of a two-year project run by EPSU with the next meeting in December focusing on childcare workers.