(January 2017) Following action last month, the CGT, FAFPT and FO unions have called for another day of action demanding improved pay and conditions for pre-school workers. The unions met with representatives of the ministry for public administration who expressed sympathy for the case put by the trade unions but failed to come up with concrete proposals.The unions point out that working time and other working conditions vary considerably across the country and the needs of this group of workers has been ignored by employers both locally and nationally.
(January 2017) Employees at the Naturfidusen private childcare provider were not paid in December as the company went bankrupt. Public services union FOA also reported that another private care company had gone bankrupt taking the total to 36 since 2013. The union is concerned that increased pressure on municipalities to outsource these services will lead to more bankruptcies and more disruption and uncertainty for care workers.
(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 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.
(December 2016) The FOA public services union has launched a campaign to highlight a 100 years of unfair pay, focusing on undervalued jobs which are dominated by women. The union cites a new report, 'Gender segregation and wage differentials between women and men in the private and public sectors', which shows the extent of the pay gap between traditionally "male" jobs and traditionally "female" jobs. The union wants to see radical change and appreciation of the skills, commitment and effort required to do many jobs in the care sector.
(December 2016) Public services union Fagforbundet reports that from 1 January 2017 Oslo City Council will take over the running of care homes previously run by the Norlandia company. Since the contract for the homes was outsourced workers' pay has fallen behind comparable rates in the public sector. The return to municipal control means care workers will see pay rises of 40000-50000 NOK per year (EUR 4430-5530).
(December 2016) The minimum wage for childcare assistants in private sector institutions will increase by 2.3% from 1 January 2017, reports the vida services union. This will take the minimum monthly wage to EUR 1469, a further step towards the union target of EUR 1500. The rate was negotiated with the federal administration and will apply to around 5300 workers across the country.
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.
(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.
(May 2017) Trade unions representing childcare workers in the private sector have negotiated a new pay agreement which is in line with the municipal sector. Overall worth about 2.4% the agreement includes a 2% increase on minimum rates taking the lowest pay rate to NOK 295900 a year (around EUR 31650). The agreement covers over 26000 workers in more than 1700 workplaces. Meanwhile a strike over pensions in the Akasia group of kindergartens went into its fourth week at the end of May with more workers joining the strike. Equality of pension provision for men and women is a key demand.
(May 2017) The OSZSP heath and social care union has called on the government to take immediate steps to increase pay for social care workers. The union argues that these workers are very badly paid for the responsible and demanding job they do. This is resulting in a recruitment crisis in the sector. The union wants to see the agreement to cut the two lowest pay rates on the social care pay scales implemented and for care workers to be covered by the health care salary structure.