(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.
(March 2017) A new report, produced jointly by the European Commission and the International Labour Organisation, shows that European countries with coordinated bargaining systems have managed to prevent the growth of inequalities on the labour market. At the same time the erosion of collective bargaining in other EU member states has led to more low-paid jobs or increasing inequality among the workforce. The report also looks at a range of other inequalities such as in working time, training etc.
Joint EPSU-HOSPEEM Project “Promoting effective recruitment and retention policies for health workers in the EU by ensuring access to CPD and healthy and safe workplaces supportive of patient safety and quality care” (01.02.2017-31.01.2019)
(June 2017) Public services union ver.di has called on the minister for youth and families to launch a major national initiative to extend and improve training for childcare workers. The union argues that this is needed to ensure that enough well-trained staff are available to cope with the planned increase of 100000 kindergarten places. The union also wants to see national action in relation to staffing levels to address the problem that the availability and quality of early years education can vary significantly from region to region.
(June 2017) The vpod public services union has called for an end to internships in childcare and additional funding to ensure a proper provision of training in the sector. The union argues that many employers exploit the intern system to keep staff costs down while there is evidence that many workers who start on internships as a step towards a proper traineeship are disappointed as too few training places are available. While some authorities and employers have tried to regulate internships, vpod argues that they should be abolished completely.
On 19 and 20 June 2017, HOSPEEM and EPSU organised the conference “Working together, learning together – Switching to the learning mode” in Amsterdam to deepen their thematic work on continuing professional development (CPD) and life-long learning (LLL).
Younion, representing municipal workers in Austria has launched a petition calling for support for childcare workers in the Lower Austria region. The union highlights the significant increase in responsibilities and workloads for these workers and the key demands being put forward are: improvements in the quality and quantity of education; more opportunities for training and further education; creation of a clear career path; and pay in line with the demands of the job. EPSU has also collected together news of other recent initiatives by childcare unions.
After lengthy negotations, services union ver.di has endorsed a new agreement with the Uniper energy company that it will put to its members over the coming weeks. Key elements of the deal are commitments to no compulsory redundancies and to an early retirement scheme, seen by ver.di as important for the company's coal-powered operations that will face restructuring. This part of the agreement will run to 2022 while the long-term pay deal will run to 2024. The union prevented the company from cutting bonuses like Christmas pay but performance pay will be ended. In 2018 workers will get a lump
The Care and Welfare section of the FNV trade union has called on the government and employers to commit to urgent action to tackle understaffing and overwork in the ambulance service. The union says that increasing demand and lack of staff is creating an untenable situation and making it impossible for the service to meet its performance targets. FNV says the sector needs more permanent staff, accelerated training and adjustments to salaries so that they are in line with other collective agreements in the health sector. If there is no concrete response by 1 October the union will decide on
Following a strategy meeting to discuss its key priorities, the FOA public services union has announced that it will be calling for a flat-rate pay increase in the forthcoming collective bargaining round. The union says this will be important in continuing to tackle low pay and close the gender pay gap. The FOA also wants action to improve training and education for unskilled workers. The union will be coordinating bargaining with 35 other trade unions and the first joint meeting with employers will be on 12 December.
The public services trade union, younion, collected 15000 signatures in a petition that it handed in to the parliament of the region of Lower Austria on 10 October. The petition calls for action to deal with the pay and working conditions of the 3000 childcare workers in the region. The union wants to see improvements to education and training in the sector as well as the development of a proper career structure. It is also calling for pay to be commensurate with the responsibilities and demands of the job. The union is expecting to be able to negotiate soon, although there is no offer on this
The meeting primarily dealt with EPSU's current and future priority issues and with the topics "safe and adequate staffing levels", "prevention and reduction of musculoskeletal disorders and psycho-social risks and stress", "continuing professional development" and "regulated professions".
A planned series of protests by the FNV trade union was suspended earlier this month following an initial commitment from the government to additional funding for the ambulance service. The union had set 15 November as the first day of action in a campaign to highlight the issue of serious staff shortages which had led to 20 of the 24 regional services failing to meet performance targets. The campaign has been suspended until 15 January on the basis of the health minister's proposal for an extra EUR 10 million a year for training and recruitment and a one-off investment of EUR 5.7 million to
Unions report a high level of support - 70%-80% in some areas - for the strike by doctors and health managers on 12 December. The action involved many organisations in the sector including FP-CGIL, UIL-FPL and CISL Medici. The strike was called in support of negotiations to renew doctors' contracts after eight years without any bargaining. But the unions are also raising issues around precarious work and training for young doctors as well as the issue of funding. The unions are criticising the government for failing to increase health funding as a percentage of GDP.