Collective Bargaining, Health and Safety, Migration
On 5 July a group of 13 Romanian trade unionists arrived in Brussels after a four-day rolling protest from Bucharest over the low wages that force many of their fellow citizens to make similar journeys to find decent work. The “Caravan of Social Rights” stopped in Budapest, Vienna, Munich and Luxembourg along the way to stage protests outside Romanian embassies with the support of local trade unions. GDP per capita in Romania is now 72% of the EU average, but Romanian workers’ pay is just 28% of the EU average and the minimum wage is just €281 a month when the cost of living is €572 a month
The ROTAL state and local government employees’ union has signed an agreement with the ministry of finance on recommended principles for maintaining mental health in the work environment. The agreement recognises that a large proportion of civil servants are exposed to intellectual and psychological challenges in their daily work, and that maintaining mental health in the work environment is therefore a key occupational safety issue. The agreement will allow for a range of measures to be taken to mitigate psycho-social risk factors such as making work organization and the workplace suitable
As agreed during the last bargaining round in municipal services, a new collective agreement will apply from 1 September that will cover around 180000 health and social care staff employed by municipalities and joint municipal authorities. The Super and TEHY trade unions believe that in future the separate negotiations will enable them to address more effectively the needs of their members. The agreement – SOTE – takes over the provisions of the current KVTES municipal collective agreement and will run until February 2022. The change will also mean that staff in early years education will
On the 14 June 2021, the Council of the EU (EPSCO) endorsed a new report on Long Term Care (LTC) which was prepared by the European Commission (DG Employment) and the Social Protection Committee. The report was published during the COVID-19 pandemic which exacerbated the existing problems relating to the provision of quality care in Member States.
The ETUC joined the CCOO and UGT trade union confederations in a meeting with European Commission Vice-President Dombrovskis to ensure that Spain’s recovery plan would not be subject to austerity conditions. The government is proposing a labour reform that would reverse a 2012 law, which pushed down wages by ending sectoral collective bargaining in favour of weaker company level deals. In a newspaper interview which came in the middle of social dialogue between trade unions and employers on the issue, Dombrovskis appeared to oppose the reform. Following the meeting the ETUC felt reassured that
The Fórsa public services trade union has published a new report to support its call on the government to “harness the productive power of sectoral bargaining” which it argues will improve wage levels and pay equality. The report puts Ireland near the bottom of the scale on worker representation and participation in economic decision-making and argues that collective bargaining can deliver benefits to both workers and employers, while underpinning better outcomes for society and the economy as a whole. The report would contribute to the work of the high-level working group which is examining
Employment, social affairs and health ministers are due to meet at the EPSCO Council on 14 June to discuss the draft directive on minimum wages and have a policy debate on “New Challenges for Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining”. In the lead up to the meeting the ETUC has been urging national affiliates to approach their governments to underline some key messages. First, is the need for European and national institutions to be active and fulfil their obligations and engagement to ensure the respect of the right to collective bargaining. The ETUC argues that any discussion on the