A new agreement between unions, employers and the Flemish government has delivered a range of benefits for workers in various health and social services in the non-profit sector. Overall, there will be the equivalent of 3,716 new posts to help tackle high workloads. There will be a general 1.7% increase in wages but with some additional increases for those on the lowest pay rates and those will long service. In elderly care, the rehabilitation sector, psychiatric care homes and sheltered living initiatives, there will be a new pay structure from 1 July 2021, bringing pay rates in alignment
Working Time, Pay settlements
Negotiating and campaigning on working time
After pay, working time is core collective bargaining issue but is also an important area of employment regulated by national and European legislation. EPSU has been very active in defending and calling for proper implementation of the Working Time Directive and is involved in current debates on working time. The why and how of working time reduction is a guide produced for EPSU by the European Trade Union Institute and examines long-term trends in working time, the arguments for reducing it and examples of how this has been achieved.
A survey of the membership of the SEKO trade union in the energy sector reveals that the working environment has deteriorated in the years since deregulation. It found problems with, among other things, risks of working alone, stress and increasing overtime. The survey identified differences between those directly employed by energy companies and those working for construction companies where 54% believe that their work environment is negatively affected by the current procurement system, compared with 34% of those who are employed by a plant owner. Furthermore, in construction companies, 42%
Five firefighters are set to receive a total of almost half a million euros in compensation following a victory in a legal case on working time supported by their union, JHL. The city of Jyväskylä will have to pay the unpaid wages and the costs incurred by the union. The Labour Court ruled unanimously that the firefighters should have been paid in full for working time for periods on standby. In a system in force between January 2004 and the end of March 2016, the firefighters were required to arrive at the fire station within five minutes of the alarm being sounded. The court ruled that five
The collective agreement on pay and working time in emergencies is being applied across several regions in response to the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus. The agreement was negotiated across the public services in 2019 in response to what at the time were the demands placed on fire and rescue services by forest fires. It covers, among other things, the increase of regular working hours to a maximum of 48 hours per week and provides for additional payments with special emergency overtime permitted on top of regular working hours. The agreement also enables the hiring and lending of
The NSF nurses’ union has negotiated a new agreement with the NHO employers’ organisation that represents private sector providers. A key aim of the union has been to reduce the large differences between the conditions in NHO companies and conditions in other collective agreements. The NSF believes that the settlement for 2020 is a new step in the right direction. With effect from 1 October 2020 the new minimum wages for nurses is NOK 412000 (EUR 40500). There is a general increase of NOK 0.5 (EUR 0.05) an hour for everyone from 1 May 2020 and there will be local negotiations conducted in
PCS, the largest union in the civil service, has negotiated a three-year deal covering workers in the HMRC department (revenues and customs), the third largest section of the civil service with around 60000 workers. The deal includes an average 13% increase in pay over three years: with 3% paid in March 2021 and backdated to June 2020; a further 5% payable from June 2021; and a further 5% payable from June 2022. The pay award is significantly weighted towards providing major increases for the lowest paid. The agreement also allows for significant progression through the various pay ranges for
Members of the ver.di services union employed by the Red Cross have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a pay settlement agreed after arbitration. Workers will get a 1.5% increase as of 1 April 2021 with a minimum guarantee of EUR 50 per month. The increase in April 2022 will be 1.9% and trainees will get increases of EUR 40 in each year. Workers will also get a COVID bonus depending on their pay level – this ranges from EUR 225 to EUR 600. The agreement includes increases in allowances such as shift pay and measures for specific workers including paramedics, nurses and day-centre staff
The OSYE prison services union took six days of strike action at the end of February and beginning of March over key demands on safety and staffing. The union is particularly concerned about staff on long working hours and the massive backlog of rest days and holidays that are owed to workers who have done extra shifts to compensate for understaffing. EPSU sent a message of solidarity.
A new study of the impact of the pandemic in social care in eight countries reveals the problems faced by social care workers and the extent to which trade union action has helped to address issues around personal protective equipment (PPE), sick pay, working time and understaffing. There has been a shortage of PPE in all countries, but it was only in Sweden that a trade union had to take legal action for its members' right to use personal protective equipment. Increased overtime was a challenge in all countries but with split shifts being a particular problem in Sweden. The pandemic exposed
Services union ver.di and the BVAP social care employers’ organisation have signed a collective agreement for the first time covering eldercare. The agreement will set minimum standards for the sector with a 25% increase over three years taking minimum pay for trained nurses to EUR 3180 a month. There will be minimum pay rates for nursing assistants, those with one year’s training and qualified nurses beginning at EUR 12.30, EUR 13.10 and EUR 16.10 an hour respectively from 1 August 2021. This will then rise in three further stages on 1 January 2022, 1 January 2023 and 1 June 2023 to reach EUR
Public sector workers will be covered by two new three-year agreements running from 1 April to the end of March 2024. The agreements covering municipal and state sector workers both have an overall value of 6.75% of the pay bill over the three years but the amounts are distributed differently. In the municipal agreement there will be a 5.02% general increase but there will be additional amounts allocated to address low pay, equal pay, recruitment and organisational issues, taking the overall increase to 5.94%. In the state sector there will be a 4.42% pay rise over the three years, with
Staff working in medical general practices are set to get a 2% pay increase in a new agreement negotiated by the FNV and other trade unions. There will also be a structural 0.5% addition to the end-of-year bonus and a one-off increase of the same amount. There has also been an agreement on a homeworking allowance but no other significant provisions as the focus was on pay and for a short agreement (12 months to 31 December 2021), taking account of the difficult circumstances created by the pandemic. Meanwhile, central government workers are yet to get a pay offer from the employers who have
The Kommunal municipal workers’ union has negotiated a collective agreement with the Visita employers’ organisation representing companies in the hospitality sector. The agreement runs from 1 January 2021 to 31 August 2023 and provides for a salary increase of SEK 1303 (EUR 130) paid in two instalments in April 2021 and September 2022. This will mean a 6% increase on the monthly minimum wage for professional workers from SEK 21587 (EUR 2150) to SEK 22880 (EUR 2280). Additional allowances will be increased by 5.4% over the course of the agreement.
The Kommunal trade union has signed a new two-year agreement covering personal care assistants with the private care provider section of the Almega employers’ organisation. The agreement includes a 2.8% increase in the minimum wage from 1 February 2021 (to SEK 114.40 (EUR 11.30 an hour) and a further 2.3% on 1 July 2022 (to SEK 117.03 (EUR 11.56 an hour). However, pay rates in general will be set in local negotiations. The agreement sets the space for the negotiations but pay for individual workers will vary according to the local negotiations. The agreement includes several other provisions