Jan. 08, 2020 The vpod/ssp public services has welcomed two initiatives on working time agreed with the BSH health and social care employers' organisation in the Graubünden/Grisons region. The BSH has agreed to the demand for time taken to change into and out of work clothes to be recorded as working time. This is a key demand in a national campaign being run by the union. Ten minutes a day is allocated to changing clothes but this may be adjusted depending on the outcome of a legal case in the Zürich region. The vpod/ssp also welcomes the decision of BSH to recommend a minimum of 25 days' annual leave to its member organisations, a move which the union sees as important in helping the sector address staff shortages.
Jan. 06, 2020 Seven care workers, supported by the Fagforbundet public services union, have won a significant court case that rules they were wrongly classified as self-employed and so were denied the rights of employees. The workers took the case against the Baos private care company and their claim covers the wide range of benefits and rights that they should have been entitled to under the Work Environment Act. These cover paid holidays, overtime pay, working time, sick pay, pensions and other issues. The ruling means the company will have to pay the seven workers around NOK 5.5m (EUR 560000) to compensate for the lost rights. The union sees this as an important ruling for the private care sector where the practice of categorising workers as "self-employed" has become widespread.
Jan. 06, 2020 Both the ver.di service union and the BVAP employers' organisation report making good progress in their negotiations on a first-ever sector agreement covering eldercare providers. The two sides have also confirmed that they will apply to the labour ministry to have the agreement extended to cover all providers in the sector even if they are not party to the negotiations. The next round of negotiations will take place on 4-5 February. In the meantime the two sides report specific progress on a separate agreement covering trainees that will ensure pay will eventually match that for trainees in the healthcare sector.
Jan. 06, 2020 A telephone hotline set up by the FNV public services union in early November was used by over 500 people, many of whom revealed disturbing information on the situation facing trainees in the care sector. There was evidence of trainees used effectively as full-time employees to cover for holidays and sickness, being required to carry out tasks on their own for which they had not been fully trained and having responsibility for other trainees and temporary workers. There were also indications of inadequate supervision and supervisors lacking time to provide adequate support. The FNV has provided information to the SBB organisation that monitors the performance of companies providing training in the sector.
Dec. 19, 2019 The Kommunal municipal and health services union has set out some of the main demands that it will pursue in the upcoming collective bargaining with municipal employers. The union will aim for a 3% general pay rise with an extra 0.5% to be used at local level for specific groups of vocationally trained workers in health, child and other care. It wants vocationally trained temporary workers to be offered a permanent contract after 12 months and is calling for a number of measures on working time. Among a range of demands, Kommunal wants to ensure full-time work is the norm and argues that the employer should pay extra if it wants workers to do split shifts. It is demanding an extra day's leave for all workers and a 32-hour working week for night workers.
Dec. 19, 2019 The FOA public services union has around 5000 members who work in the private sector mainly for companies providing social care. There are four key themes in its plans for the first round of bargaining that will start in the New Year. With the economy improving the union sees clear space for a good general wage increase. It also wants workers to have more scope to choose what element of their salary they take as pay, pension contribution or holiday entitlement. FOA will also be looking for measures to improve work-life balance and guarantees that its members will have access to union representatives.
Dec. 18, 2019 The public service federations of the CCOO confederation have called on the acting government to guarantee that the 2% pay increase, agreed as part of a three-year pay deal, will be paid on 1 January 2020 to all three million public sector workers. Formally a new government has yet to be confirmed and the acting public service minister is claiming that the increase cannot be confirmed but that it could be paid and backdated later in 2020. The union argues that the increase can be paid on the basis of a royal decree and say this needs to be done urgently as part of the union demands to win back rights cut or reduced during austerity.
Dec. 18, 2019 Health and social care unions were again joined by hospital campaigning groups in a major national mobilisation on 17 December, following earlier days of strikes and protests in October and November (see EPSU CB News No.22, November and No.19, October). The campaign is highlighting the catastrophic situation in many health institutions as a result of underfunding. The key demands include increased funding and recruitment, a general increase in salaries and an immediate block on closures of health facilities. The protests combined with the continuing mobilisation against planned pension reforms.
Dec. 05, 2019 Public service unions joined the national protest on 27 November calling for action to defend and improve sickness absence rules. Under the slogan "sick workers are not criminals" the Podkrepa confederation called for workers to be covered by sick pay from the first day of absence and for a range of other measures on sick leave and working time. Meanwhile on the same day social workers from the administrative services union in Podkrepa took an hour's strike action calling for a 40% pay increase.
Dec. 04, 2019 Health and social care trade unions are campaigning for better pay and conditions for hundreds of thousands of works in the dependent care sector and national health service. Around 3000 trade unionists protested outside the Ministry of Health on 30 November as part of the campaign by the CCOO-Sanidad union to secure major changes to the health service pay system. On 2 December the FeSP-UGT federation sent key demands to all the autonomous regions calling on them to intervene with the companies that are blocking measures to improve pay, reduce precarious work and tackle excessive workloads in the dependent care sector.
Dec. 04, 2019 The Sanitas health trade union has managed to negotiate a collective agreement in the sector despite the strict representative rules that make it extremely difficult to negotiate sector deals in Romania. The agreement confirms many of the rights the union has won over the years and ensures that they apply uniformly across the country. Among the most important elements are holiday entitlement (21-30 days depending on length of service), the role of the trade union in personnel policy, collective redundancies and disciplinary procedures and measures to support nurses' further education and training.
Dec. 02, 2019 Workers in the nursing home and home care sector are covered by a new collective agreement running from 1 July 2019 to 31 August 2021. There will be a 3.5% pay rise by 1 June 2020 followed by a 3.0% increase on 1 July 2021. An increase in the end-of-year bonus has been brought forward and workers will get a full 13th month salary this year. The agreement also includes a commitment to have 90% of all employees in the sector on permanent contracts. There are other measures to allow workers to exchange pay for more time off and special measures for more time off in the lead up to retirement. The Ministry of Social Affairs will be asked to make the agreement generally binding for the sector and so covering employers that are not members of the employers' organisation that negotiated the agreement.
Dec. 02, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private service unions have submitted their main collective bargaining claim to the employers for the health and social care sector that covers 125000 workers. The unions' key demand is for a 35-hour week with no loss of pay. They see this as essential for making the sector more attractive to boost recruitment, tackle staffing shortages and address the excessive workloads and stress that are rife in the sector. The unions also point out that part-time workers will benefit with an effective pay increase of 8.6% as their current hourly rate is based on a 38-hour week and the hourly rate will increase with a move to a calculation based on 35 hours.
Nov. 22, 2019 The FSS-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service unions mobilised members working in care across the country on 7 November to put pressure on the employers to agree to a EUR 1000 minimum monthly wage for the sector (14 payments). Demonstrations took place outside several of the regional headquarters of the CEOE employers' organisation. The unions are demanding urgent action to improve pay for the overwhelmingly female workforce that faces challenging working conditions with significant risks of musculo-skeletal and psycho-social disorders. The next action is planned for 14 December.
Nov. 21, 2019 Both public services union UNISON and the RCN nursing union have voted for strike action in Northern Ireland over low pay and staffing levels. Members of both unions voted 92% in favour of strike action. The RCN’s action short of a strike will begin on 3 December building up to a strike on the 18th while UNISON will start its campaign on 25 November, also leading up to a strike on the 18th. The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance is currently balloting its members on action, again over low pay, and the result will be announced on 25 November.