The SGB trade union confederation and the vpod public services union have called for a general wage increase of between 1.5% and 2.0%. But the vpod also highlights the need to address the fall in real pay in the public services as well as the importance of ensuring higher pay for jobs dominated by women. Meanwhile the federal court has thrown out a challenge to a proposed minimum wage in the Neuenberg Canton, opening the way to implementation of an hourly minimum of CHFr 20 (€17.50).
Equality, Information & consultation
After the recent success of public service union UNISON in getting the courts to end the government's policy to charge workers for the right to take employment tribunal cases, UNISON and the PCS civil service union have celebrated two further court victories. UNISON's second success came in another landmark case that will effectively require employers to consult over workplace restructuring such as redundancies. The PCS victory was in a judicial review of government cuts to the civil service pension scheme which the government now has to withdraw.
A new report from the health federation of the CCOO confederation covering the period 2012-2016 confirms the union's concerns over a widening gender pay and employment gap in the health sector. The report finds that women tend to have more precarious contracts with many on temporary contracts while they make up the vast majority of part-time workers and both of these contribute to the persistent gender pay gap. The union wants to see equality plans produced in any health institutions that don't yet have them and existing plans updated. Along with the CCOO, the UGT trade union has called on the
Proposals to reform the labour code were published owin 31 August with some initial negative reactions from the trade unions. A common response was that the raft of reforms was being put forward before there had been a proper evaluation of the changes that have been implemented in the last four years. Unions expressed concern about rebalancing of the relationship between sector and company-level bargaining and changes to compensation in cases of redundancy. In small companies (less than 50 employees) it will be possible for employers to negotiate with non-trade union representatives and in
A group of 14 trade unions, including the FOA public services union, the BUPL and SL childcare and social worker unions and the cartel of health unions, has written to the government calling on it to take action to address the persistent gender pay gap. The unions identify the problem as one of labour market structure, with female-dominated work, particularly in health and social services, undervalued and paid less than occupations and sectors dominated by men. The unions argue that at the current pace it will take over 110 years to achieve equal pay. They say that, because this is a
The European Trade Union Institute has published an updated analysis of the treatment of social issues in the European Semester - the process of economic policy coordination. This reveals, for example, the extent to which the country-specific recommendations address the question of collective bargaining, with the European institutions calling for reforms in many countries, with the accent on decentralisation of bargaining despite the lack of evidence that this produces any economic benefits.
Unions at the Veolia water company have announced strike action in protest at the company's latest plans for restructuring, the fourth in three years. The unions are angry that a further 572 jobs are due to go by 2019 after 2000 have already been cut since 2014. They are particularly concerned that this time the company has not ruled out compulsory redundancies which the unions say would be the first for the sector. The unions say the cuts aren't justified in terms of the company's economic performance and they want the company to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and begin a
Public procurement, digitalization, young workers, equality on the agenda of EPSU committee on Local Government
A first reflection on the themes and priorities for EPSU’s upcoming Congress in May 2019 was one of the items on the agenda of the local and regional government committee meeting on 19 September in Brussels.
Responding to a government consultation the IMPACT public services union has called for a number of initiatives on on equal pay and gender equality, including requirements on employers to report on the gender pay gap and recognition of employers who take action to reduce gender equality. The union has submitted detailed proposals for action to address pay for non-teaching staff in education including pay reviews and job evaluation for a range of staff such as special needs assistants and administrative and library staff, the vast majority of whom are women.
The JHL public services union says that it will aim for a flat-rate rather than a percentage pay rise in the upcoming bargaining round as a step towards closing the pay gap between the low and high paid. Another priority for the union is more control for workers over working time and shift work, seen as crucial to improve well-being at work. JHL will also be looking at initiatives to address the cut in holiday bonus in the public sector and action on zero-hours contracts.
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.