(January 2017) There was strong support for a health workers' strike on 20 January with unions calling for action on pay, career development and the application of the 35-hour week for all public service workers. On 3 February non-teaching staff in schools and kindergartens plan a 24-hour strike with demands to tackle precarious employment, to increase recruitment and create a proper career structure.
Work-life balance, Health
(January 2017) Public services JHL has drawn attention to the evidence showing the benefits of improved well-being at work. The union cites research estimating that sickness absence, accidents at work and occupational diseases cost the economy cost the economy EUR 2 billion a month. Effective measures to deal with these will reduce these costs and boost productivity. The union argues that this is particularly important at a time when health and social service staff are already facing excessive workloads and now also have to deal with a major restructuring of the sector.
(January 2017) The SIPTU services union is balloting health workers in selected hospitals over industrial action. The union is unhappy that important provisions in the main public sector agreements, particularly job evaluation, have been applied to nurses in emergency departments but not to other workers. The union said that it opted for the ballot for action after 15 months of negotiations had failed to deliver any progress. The result of the ballot is due on 13 February.
(January 2017) The FP CGIL public services federation has analysed employment data to show the impact of job cuts and recruitment freezes. It estimates that there are some 237000 fewer public sector jobs than in 2007 while the health service has seen a fall of 50000 jobs since 2009. The recruitment freeze has also contributed to an ageing workforce with average ages across the public sector over 50 and rising. The union wants to see these issues addressed in collective bargaining with an urgent need to recruit young workers and for action on staffing levels in the health service.The CISL FP
(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.
(January 2017) White-collar union Vision has set out its main bargaining demands in its negotiations with the KFS organisation for local enterprises. The union wants to see competitive salaries and action to improve well-being at work. It also wants employees to be on permanent contracts with employers providing objective justifications for any use of fixed-term contracts of agency staff. Longer paid holidays, individual working time accounts and shorter hours for workers in establishment requiring 24-hour cover are also among the demands.
(January 2017) Services union ver.di coordinated a warning strike in all 21 hospitals in the Saarland region as part of a campaign to negotiate agreements with the hospital employers to deal with overwork and understaffing. The union will be meeting with employers in February to discuss the situation but has warned that further action will follow if the employers refuse to get involved in meaningful negotiations. A major demonstration is planned for International Women's Day on 8 March.
Health care and social services are not for trading! EPSU asks MEPs to support the ENVI Opinion on CETA
As trade unions representing health and social services workers (from both the public and private sectors) in about 40 countries across Europe and in 25 of the 28 EU MS, we ask you to support the Opinion.
The research “Financing health care: False Profits and the Public Good', by Jane Lethbridge of Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), University of Greenwich was commissioned by PSI and released
(January 2017) Health services union ver.di has submitted a claim for a 6% pay increase with a minimum of EUR 150 for the 10000 workers employed by the Sana group of clinics. The private company runs 20 clinics that are covered by the company collective agreement. Ver.di argues that workers have helped the company achieve a signfiicant rise in profits and so should have their fair share.
(January 2017) The health federations of the CCOO and UGT unions are calling on the government to provide permanent contracts to thousands of temporary workers and fill vacant posts across the health service. These are among several demands that the unions want to negotiate with the health minister over the coming year along with ending the replacement rate that prevents all vacancies being filled and returning to the 35-hour week.
(January 2017) The International Trade Union Confederation is committed to support its affiliate the CNTUK confederation in the face of the courts' decision to withdraw registration of the confederation and two of its affiliates in the health and social services sector. The authorities have also taken action against the general secrerary and seized confederation documents. The ITUC had previously written to the President complaining of the government's failure to comply with ILO Convention 87 in relation to the CNTUK.