Work-life balance, Pay settlements
(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 FNV and NU'91 trade unions have negotiated a new collective agreement covering 80000 workers in the mental health care sector. The agreement runs from 1 March 2017 to 1 July 2019 and includes a 4% pay increase - 1.65% this year and 1.88% next year with an extra 0.25% coming in end-of-year bonuses. The agreement also includes measures to address problems of overwork and long working hours with a checklist to assess the health impact and sustainability of workers' rosters. There are also measures to improve the provision and scope of training.
(April 2017) Workers employed by a range of companies providing private and public services, including health and social care, are set to benefit from a new pay deal negotiated with the Spekter employers' organisation. There will be a basic increase of NOK 975 (EUR 110) a year with an additional NOK 2925 (EUR 320) for employees earning less than NOK 407265 (EUR 44820). In addition to these general increases there will be local pay rises that will be negotiated in the weeks up to the beginning of May.
(April 2017) Municipal workers' union Kommunal has negotiated a year's extension to the three-year agreement which it negotiated last year with the SKL local government employers' organisation. The agreement provided for additional increases for nursing assistants and nurses as part of a strategy to close the gender pay gap. The basic increases in each of the four years 2016-2019 are SEK 520 (EUR 54), 530 (EUR 55), 535 (EUR 55.5) and 540 (EUR 56) while in the first and second years nursing assistants get 1020 (EUR 105) and 710 (EUR 75) while the third year includes 685 (EUR 70) for nurses. The
(May 2017) Services union ver.di reports on two significant bargaining developments in the Sana healthcare company and in the non-profit care sector in the Saxony-Anhalt region. Sana's 10000 workers will get a 2.2% pay rise backdated to 1 January this year and a further 2.2% from 1 February 2018 along with several other improvements to pay and conditions, including two extra days off for ver.di members only. The new pay agreement in Saxony-Anhalt covers 4000 care workers employed by the regional welfare federation and is backdated to 2016 while providing pay increases until 2018. Ver.di sees
Public service unions bargaining for better pay across EuropeA pay rise for public service workers across Europe is the message that EPSU has sent out today – 23rd June – Public Services Day. Supported by the European Trade Union Confederation and in cooperation with the ETUCE teachers' federation, EPSU has highlighted some of the countries where public service workers continue to suffer from the effects of pay cuts and pay freezes.This special issue of EPSU's Collective Bargaining newsletter reports on some of the latest developments in pay negotiations and affiliates' campaigns, protests and
(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.
(April 2017) Services union ver.di has signed a key agreement in Bremen that covers around 3200 eldercare workers employed by several non-profit care providers. The union sees this is as a significant step towards better collective bargaining coverage in the sector and helps remove pay and conditions as a factor in competition. Meanwhile the union has also negotiated two new agreements in the health sector, one provides a 7,3% pay increase for 3900 workers at the University Hospital in Leipzig and the other is a 5.1% pay increase for the 24000 employees in 36 hospitals run by the Helios
(April 2017) Health sector trade unions have attacked the latest pay increase proposal from the government appointed body that recommends pay awards - the NHS Pay Review Body. This marks the sixth year running that health sector pay rises have fallen behind inflation and unions are warning of the impact on recruitment and retention of healthworkers.
(April 2017) All public service workers on less than €65000 a year benefit from higher pay scales as of 1 April. The €1000 increase has been brought forward and has been implemented as part of the restoration of pay cuts that were implemented from 2009. Next month a public service pay commission is due to report and then pay negotiations will begin which will include further steps to restore the pay cuts.
(April 2017) Trade unions have negotiated a one-hour cut to the working week without loss of pay. The standard working week will now be 42 hours although there is a prospect for a further cut to 41.5 hours in upcoming negotiations in the public sector. The initiative recognises that standard working hours are longer than most countries and action is needed to improve work-life balance.
(June 2017) Public sector workers get a 6% pay rise this year and the same again next year, if the current economic climate is maintained. This agreement was promoted by the KOZ confederation and picked up by the ETUC Pay Rise campaign which also reported on the push for a higher minimum wage in the country.