Health and Safety
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
After many years of campaigning by public service unions, the government finally included provisions in the 2021 budget to ensure that public employers could pay an allowance for work that is arduous, risky or poses a threat to health. However, any decision on paying the allowance is left to local level and so unions are approaching local authorities to negotiate over the allowance. The STAL local government union is currently focusing its efforts in the Portalegre district in the east of the country where several parish councils and a municipality have already agreed on the payment. STAL is
In February of 2020 EPSU, UNISON and SIPTU presented a seminar for Health Care Assistants which took place in London, UK. The aims of the seminar were to: Reflect on what are the most urgent priorities in the different member states on Healthcare assistants from a trade union prospective; Facilitate