Work-life balance, Pay settlements
(February 2017) After a five-year pay freeze (2010-2014), workers of the European Institutions are to get a 3.3 % net increase on their salaries, for 2016. Union Syndicale Fédérale, the main union in the sector, had negotiated a formula for annual salary increases procedure that takes inflation and the evolution of purchasing power of central government officials in the Member States as a basis. This has been in force for roughly 35 years, covering the roughly 70 000 officials, other servants, and pensioners of the EU Institutions.. As measure of austerity, this method was suspended for a 5
(February 2017) Workers employed by the Karbel municipal company in Karabağlart in the Izmir province in western Turkey took strike action at the end of January and won an improved pay offer from the employer. Wages will rise by 9% this year and there is an inflation-plus formula for the second year of the agreement. Other allowances will also increase. EPSU sent solidarity greetings underlining the workers' determination to assert their right to take action even during a period when the government has threatened to ban strikes.
(February 2017) Negotiators in the private manufacturing sector signed a new three-year deal last month. This is seen as a key agreement setting the pace for negotiations in other sectors. In the public services, the FOA union noted in particular the proposals for new funding and rights for workers for training as well as improved parental leave. FOA also underlines the flat-rate, two-crown (EUR 0.3) increase in the minimum hourly pay rates in each of the three years of the agreement. Which will take the minimum to DKK 117.65 (EUR 16.1) by 2019.
(February 2017) The vida and GPA-djp service unions have negotiated a new agreement covering 5000 workers employed by Diakonie Austria, the church-based care provider. The pay increase of 1.9% is ahead of the 0.9% average inflation rate recorded in 2016. In addition there are improvements to and protection of the rights of workers taking parental leave which the unions say will particularly benefit the significant number of part-time women workers with childcare needs.
(February 2017) The European Trade Union Confederation launched its "Europe needs a pay rise" campaign at a conference in Brussels on 14-15 February. A wide range of speakers underlined the need for workers' pay to catch up with productivity developments, arguing in particular that a sustainable economic recovery across Europe depended on a boost to workers' pay. The other key elements of the campaign highlighted at the conference was the need to close the pay gap between workers in Eastern and Western Europe and the continuing action required to tackle gender pay inequality.
(March 2017) A joint report from the Eurofound agency and the International Labour Organisations examines the advantages and disadvantages of telework and puts forward some policy proposals on key issues. The report points to positive effects such as a shortening of commuting time, greater working time autonomy, better work–life balance, and higher productivity. However, it also notes the risks of longer working hours, interference between work and personal life, and work intensification, leading to high levels of stress.
(March 2017) Around 20000 workers in the private electricity sector saw their pay increase by 1.55% from 1 February following a new pay deal negotiated by the GPA-djp and PRO-GE trade unions. The increase is above the 0.9% average inflation rate for 2016. Trainees will also get the increase. The agreement includes a commitement to contiinue discussions about pay and job content, working in difficult circumstances as well as shift work and arduous work at different phases of the working career.
(March 2017) Services union ver.di has negotiated a new two-year agreement with the AVEU employers' organisation covering over 100 small firms in the energy and waste sectors, employing around 19000 workers and some 1600 apprentices. The 2.5% pay increase is from 1 March and early next year there will be a lump sum payment of EUR 600. The increase is ahead of or in line with others in the industry, such as ENGIE (1.9% from January) and AVE Hessen (2% from February) and Energie Südwest (2.45% from February). The union highlights the increases for apprentices.
(March 2017) The three main confederations - CGIL, CISL and UIL - have negotiated a new labour agreement that covers employees of embassies, consulates, legations, cultural institutes and other international organisations in Italy. The agreement runs for three years (2017-2019) and includes a 3.6% pay increase as well as a new mandatory payment by employers to the FIS Fund which provides benefits in the case of losing a job or having a cut in hours.
(March 2017) The latest edition of the ETUI's collective bargaining newsletter includes several articles covering developments in the public services with news of a public sector pay deal in Cyprus, a strike of emergency service workers in the Czech Republic, disputes in Greece and Malta and further purges of public sector staff in Turkey.
(March 2017) The annual benchmarking report from the European Trade Union Institute provides an overview of latest developments in wages and collective bargaining. It notes a trend towards higher real wages, particularly in central and Eastern Europe, mainly as a result of low inflation. There has also been growth in minimum wages but most are still at a very low level. It also found that the decline in collective bargaining coverage continued and was very pronounced in southern and eastern European countries.
(March 2017) Public services union FOA has negotiated a new three-year agreement with employers covering around 10000 workers in the private eldercare sector. The deal includes a DKK 2.50 (EUR 0.33) increase on the hourly rate in each of the next three years. There are also provisions covering rights of employee representatives and skills development. The agreement is now out for approval by the membership.
(April 2017) The BSRB public services union is promoting an pilot project on shorter weekly working time. Four workplaces, including police, revenue and immigration services have been selected to participate to examine whether shortening the work week will bring mutual benefit to employees and the employer. The pilot will last one year from 1 April and the hours worked by employees will be reduced from 40 to 36 per week without wage cuts to come. The project will examine the impact on quality and efficiency and staff morale and well being.