Respect for trade union rights, collective bargaining and social dialogue part of our democratic values – say North East European constituency unions
The EPSU affiliates of North East Europe expressed their concerns about developments in the region in the online meeting of the North East European constituency on 3 March. They received information about the situation in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.
The OZZPiP nurses' and midwives' union looks set to declare disputes in different regions across the country in a process that could lead to a national strike. The union is angry that legislation on bonuses for work with COVID-19 patients has been amended and could see many nurses lose out if they work with COVID-19 patients but in hospitals that are not designated as COVID-19 facilities. Furthermore, the union is calling for allowances to go to all nurses and midwives that come into contact with COVID-19 patients and not just staff who are specifically assigned to care for these patients
In response to a new government development strategy, the OPZZ trade union confederation has emphasised the need to ensure decent pay in the public services and has expressed concern about government proposals to freeze public sector pay in 2021. OPZZ argues that current levels of pay fail to make the public sector attractive to new recruits and there are problems with fluctuating employment levels while workers face increasing responsibilities and workloads. The confederation underlines the link between quality services and quality employment and the important of effective tax, legal, health
EPSU has sent a letter to the prime minister protesting against the introduction of the so-called Shield Two law that allows for regulations to be passed to cut the jobs and pay and conditions of civil servants and other workers in public administration. Poland has not declared a state of emergency and yet the legislation was rushed through without the normal parliamentary procedure nor consultation with trade unions. Furthermore, parts of the Labour Code and legislation on collective redundancies will not apply if the regulations are implemented.
The NIPIP nurses' and midwives' union along with four other organisations representing health professionals has written to the government calling for guarantees that it will cover life insurance costs of health workers who fall ill or die as a result of contracting COVID-19. The organisations say that commitment should be the same as that already made to some hospital health employees. The NIPIP has also recognised the tremendous mental strain faced by many of its members and is providing psychiatric help for those who need it.
After three weeks the national strike by school staff has been suspended but the ZNP teachers' union is determined to maintain its campaign for more funding for education and better pay for teachers and other school workers. The union says that the first stage of the strike was a success in putting education at the centre of the national debate and highlighting the low levels of pay across the sector. While the union has secured a 10% pay increase it remains committed to higher pay as well as aiming for major reforms of the education system and getting a commitment to increased funding.
Teachers, childcare workers and school administrative and other staff began an all-out strike on 8 April following three weeks of negotiations with the government over pay. The negotiations also came after a three-year campaign of demonstrations and protests over low pay in the sector affecting both teachers and other school staff. With the government refusing to come up with a decent pay offer, support for strike action was very high, registering 80%-90% in some areas. The action comes at a time when other groups of public service workers are either taking strike action or pushing for higher
On 28 March 2019 EPSU participated, together with its representatives of the two national affiliates from Romania, Sanitas, and Croatia, HSSMS-MT, in the kick-off meeting of the joint HOSPEEM-EPSU project focusing on strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector that will run in 2019 and 2020.