(January 2017) There was strong support for a health workers' strike on 20 January with unions calling for action on pay, career development and the application of the 35-hour week for all public service workers. On 3 February non-teaching staff in schools and kindergartens plan a 24-hour strike with demands to tackle precarious employment, to increase recruitment and create a proper career structure.
(January 2017) White-collar union Vision has set out its main bargaining demands in its negotiations with the KFS organisation for local enterprises. The union wants to see competitive salaries and action to improve well-being at work. It also wants employees to be on permanent contracts with employers providing objective justifications for any use of fixed-term contracts of agency staff. Longer paid holidays, individual working time accounts and shorter hours for workers in establishment requiring 24-hour cover are also among the demands.
(May 2017) A new report from the ETUI research institute explodes the myth that deregulation of employment protection legislation creates either economic growth or an increase in jobs. The report examines evidence from 10 countries (Spain, Italy, Estonia, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, France, Denmark, and the UK) and shows that the main impact in these measures has been the spread of precarious employment conditions.
(May 2017) The STAL local government union has called on the government to allow local authorities to take immediate action to tackle precarious employment in the sector. The union says that an ordinance aimed at the state sector doesn't go far enough and that local authorities should be allowed to take the initiative now to reduce various forms of temporary work and provide permanent contracts to workers who are doing permanent tasks but have been appointed on short-term contracts.
(July 2017) The three public service federations - FP CGIL, CISL FP and UIL FPL - organised a joint mobilisation on 3rd July outside the offices of the Ministry of Labour to call for action over the future of employment centres across the country. The unions are calling for guarantees for the workers in these centres in terms of jobs and wages as well as proper investment in the provision of employment services to citizens. Around 8000 permanent staff and 2000 temporary workers are affected by the uncertainty facing the centres.
(March 2017) The waste and environment section of the FNV trade union highlights the findings of a recent report that found more than a third of workers (34%) in the waste sector working on precarious contracts. The union stresses in particular that this raises serious safety issues. There are problems of ensuring that agency workers, for example, get all the appropriate protective clothing and appropriate training. The union also argues, as in a recent case, that precarious workers are more likely to be involved in workplace accidents, often taking too many risks in trying to show they are
(March 2017 ) The vpod public services union has a special network set up four years ago campaigning for better protection for migrant care workers. The union argues that the federal government is well aware of the level of exploitation of this group of workers but has failed to take any measures to regulate this area of work. Recent press reports have highlighted the situation facing care workers and the lack of legal protection.
(April 2017) Public sector trade union federations have signed an historic agreement with the government that will see a massive reduction in precarious employment across the public sector. The deal means that over 300000 workers currently on some form of fixed-term employment will have the chance to move onto a permanent contract over the next three years. This is the result of the first major negotiations with the government since 2010. The unions underlined that they are still looking for an agreement on pay increases over the coming years that will compensate for the 15% loss of purchasing
(April 2017) The FNV union has criticised municipalities for making excessive use of temporary contracts and says it will make this a priority issue in upcoming negotiations. The union reports that four out of five temporary workers wants a permanent contract while over half say they are not paid the same as permanent workers doing the same job. Around 60% also say they don't get the same training opportunities.
(April 2017) Beginning this month the municipal services union Kommunal will be investigating the employment and working conditions of cleaners, looking at their employment status, working hours as well as health and safety problems. The union will carry out a survey as well as making workplace visits to talk to workers and assess how they are affected by what are often seen as the main problems facing the sector - the impact of privatisation, lack of control over work - but also good examples where workers do have more control over working time and other working conditions.
(June 2017) A new report from the CBS statistics office highlights three key trends in the labour market reflecting greater inequality and less security. Overall the percentage of workers on permanent contracts has fallen from 71% to 61% while the labour market is becoming more divided between low-paid, low-skilled jobs and high-paid work, with few jobs in the middle. The report also found more young people and those with basic education are stuck in low-paid jobs with little autonomy or security.
(June 2017) The IPSO trade union that organises staff at the European Central Bank (ECB) mobilised staff for a demonstration on 7 June in protest at the ECB's long-term use of temporary contracts for staff doing permanent work. IPSO has been pushing for some time now for the Bank to end this practice where some workers have been employed for over five years, in some cases over 10 years, on renewed contracts. In the latest action IPSO also raised objections to the ECB's plans to outsource some services, starting with IT. EPSU sent a message of support.