COVID-19, Local government
The SKVNS trade union has signed a new collective agreement in the municipal sector that will deliver a 5% pay increase, reimbursement of travel-to-work costs on public transport, 100% allowance for work on holidays and extra time off for parents. Meanwhile the SPGS firefighters’ union is planning a 48-hour strike on 30 June in protest at the government’s failure to engage in any proper social dialogue over a period of more than 14 months. The union wants to negotiate a collective agreement but also wants a guarantee that the government will also implement existing commitments.
The International Labour Conference has agreed a Global Call to Action outlining measures to create a human-centred recovery from the pandemic. Delegates from 181 countries representing governments, workers and employers adopted the call unanimously, prioritizing the creation of decent jobs for all and addresses the inequalities caused by the crisis. The agreement covers measures to be taken by national governments and their employer and trade union ‘social partners’, to achieve a job-rich recovery that substantially strengthens worker and social protections and supports sustainable
In February 2021, the European Commission launched a new strategy on adaptation to climate change as part of the European Green Deal. The objective is to make the European Union a climate-resilient society, fully adapted to climate change by 2050.
The UNIO trade union confederation whose members cover workers with higher education has been pushing for higher pay deals in three negotiations – national local government, Oslo municipality and public companies represented by the employers’ organisation, Spekter. The NSF nurses’ union is one of UNIO’s members involved in the strikes and negotiations and they are calling for higher pay for nurses to tackle major staff shortages. The government has stepped in to end strikes in local government and the Oslo municipality on the grounds, rejected by the trade unions, that the actions pose a
After lengthy negotiations, arbitration in the municipal sector has produced a deal supported by the trade unions. The overall package is worth 2.82%, slightly ahead of inflation and above the 2.7% in the industry sector which is normally seen as setting the pattern for pay bargaining. Pay increases range from NOK 10000 (EUR 980) a year to NOK 22000 (EUR 2150). There is a pot worth 1% that will be dealt with by local negotiations which will aim to contribute to retaining, developing and recruiting staff and acknowledging increased formal and informal competence development. It will also
Unions representing workers across municipalities and regions are negotiating with the SKR and Sobona employer organisations on changes to the crisis agreement. The aim is to ensure that the agreement is better adapted to longer crisis situations, based on experience from the pandemic. The crisis agreement can be activated temporarily by the employers in special crisis situations and means that regular working hours are increased at the same time as staff receive higher compensation. The agreement also allows for special emergency overtime and relocation of staff. It was drawn up with short
Trade unions representing workers in local government and non-teaching staff in schools and higher education have rejected the 1.5% pay offers made by employers across these sectors. In local government and schools unions were looking for a 10% pay rise to begin to restore the loss of purchasing power over more than 10 years of pay freezes and below-inflation increases. They also argue that the pay offer is an insult in view of the efforts made by workers during the pandemic. In higher education the unions had claimed a GBP 2500 (EUR 2900) annual increase and minimum hourly wage of GBP 10 (EUR
The Sanitas health union is calling on the government to offer permanent employment to the many medical and auxiliary workers who were taken on to help cope with the pandemic. These workers will see their contracts terminated once the end of the emergency is declared. The union argues that these workers have clearly demonstrated their skills and competences in helping to deal with the crisis with many facing high risks of infection and some even losing their lives to COVID. Sanitas also sees continuing staff shortages as another argument for offering these workers permanent employment.
Several unions representing workers in early years education came together on 5 May in a day of strike action and a demonstration in Brussels. Workers are angry about the impact of the pandemic on the sector and the failure of the authorities in the Wallonia and Brussels regions to address their concerns. The unions were also demanding a revaluation of pay in the sector and a range of other measures to deal with staffing issues, leave, contracts and increased public funding.