EPSU has today sent a letter to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Minister for Human Resources, Miklós Kásler, to protest over government plans to change the legal status of culture workers – those working in museums, libraries, archives and public cultural institutes.
Three trade unions (CGT, FP-CGIL and PCS) representing workers in cultural services in France, Italy and the UK have come together to highlight the urgent need for action to support the sector and tackle poor pay and employment conditions. They argue that the sector has been particularly hard hit by measures to tackle the pandemic and these have been intensified because of the extent of outsourcing and precarious employment. The unions are calling for a strengthening of public culture services, decent and secure employment conditions and action to stop privatisation and outsourcing. CGT (EN
On the National Day of Hungarian Culture, Hungarian workers in the cultural sector demand better pay!
EPSU affiliates KKDSZ are holding a demonstration to protest the unacceptable low level of pay across the culture sector and the lack of any pay increase for their members for over 10 years.
The government has confirmed the pay increase for public sector workers that was negotiated in September. There will be a flat rate CZK 1500 (EUR 59) increase per year, meaning on average a 7% increase. However, the government has also confirmed that it will abolish the pay table for lower paid staff. These include non-teaching staff in regional education, culture staff, secondary professions in social services and non-medical professions in hospitals. These will be transferred to another pay system meaning a additional increase of 3.5%. The increases take effect in January.
The KKDSZ culture workers' union has launched a petition highlighting low pay in the sector and plans to hand it to the minister of human resources on 22 January, the national day of culture. The union will highlight the contradiction of government claims that national culture is important while failing to increase pay for museum, library and other culture workers for over 10 years or engage in proper collective bargaining. The union is planning a number of events in Budapest and other cities. EPSU send a message of solidarity.
EPSU has sent letters to the prime minister and leaders of political groups in parliament protesting at legislation that will remove public service status from over 20000 workers in libraries, museums, archives, culture centres, theatres and orchestras. This is a group of workers that is mainly low paid and whose pay has been frozen for over 10 years. The additional employment protection of public service status is one of their few main benefits. The government is using its emergency to push through the change at breakneck speed without the usual parliamentary process or consultation with
The FSC-CCOO public services federation is organising a series of two-hour strikes in state museums and theatres in October and November. The union is protesting against the fact that workers in the sector are not properly covered by the collective agreement for the state sector. In particular, the union wants to ensure professional status for these workers and reduce the extent of temporary contracts. The strikes will begin on 25 October and will take place on 10 different dates up to 24 November with specific dates for different institutions.
Public services union Fagforbundet has warned that a dispute over pensions could end in strike action unless the Spekter employer organisation delivers a solution in upcoming mediation. The dispute covers workers in the culture sector, including orchestras, theatres and opera. A temporary pension arrangement involving defined contributions was agreed in 2016 in response to the final challenges facing the sector. The union now wants to negotiate a long-term solution that delivers a hybrid and gender-neutral pension scheme but Spekter has not come up with a proposal and has effectively abandoned