(January 2017) Employees at the Naturfidusen private childcare provider were not paid in December as the company went bankrupt. Public services union FOA also reported that another private care company had gone bankrupt taking the total to 36 since 2013. The union is concerned that increased pressure on municipalities to outsource these services will lead to more bankruptcies and more disruption and uncertainty for care workers.
Water, Early Childhood Education and Care
(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.
(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.
The European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water was the first ever ECI to collect nearly 2 million signatures. Its key demand to implement the human right to water and sanitation of the UN nto EU legislation has not moved forward though.
An EPSU delegation was warmly welcomed by the Slovenian Permanent Representative Janez Lenarčic and MEP Igor Soltes to celebrate Slovenian leadership in the campaign to have water recognised as a basic human right, on World Water Day, 22 March 2017.
(April 2017) The BDDSz childcare workers' trade union is supporting the ETUC's pay rise campaign. The union sees that many of the headline demands of the campaign - tackling low pay and the gender pay gap - fit with the union's priorities and it is encouraging members to show their support.
(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.