The FBU firefighters’ union is the latest public service union to consider industrial action over pay. The union has rejected a 2% pay offer and is now consulting its membership over a possible national ballot on strike action. Workers in universities, including non-teaching staff, began strike action on 20 September, having rejected a 3% pay offer and calling for a pay rise to match inflation. In the health service, the RCN nursing union has postponed its historic ballot on industrial action to run from 6 October to 2 November while in central government the PCS’s ballot for industrial action
Firefighters, Prisons Services
Firefighters’ unions, including Fp-Cgil-Vvf and Fns-Cisl have called a national demonstration in Rome on 14 September with urgent demands on pay, staffing, equipment and safety. With services stretched to the limit to tackle the increasing number of forest fires, flood and other emergencies, the unions argue that the number of active firefighters needs to be increased from 33000 to 40000 and professional and technical staff from 2000 to 5000. They are also concerned about inadequate and out-of-date equipment which not only hampers their response to emergencies but exposes firefighters to
The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations representing forest firefighters say they will launch a campaign of strikes and protests unless the government and the autonomous regions deliver legislation that really protects the rights and conditions of this essential group of workers. The unions warn that action is needed urgently in the light of the surge in serious and large forest fires this summer. They argue that the legislation put forward on 25 August does not fully address the demands of the unions for homogenous working conditions covering training, salary structure
The FNV trade union is warning that government funding plans for prison services will have a major negative impact on staff and inmates. A recent report by consultants PwC says that an additional €398 million is needed to adequately finance services over the next 10 years. In response the government says it does not want to invest more than €170 million and so is effectively proposing a cut of €200 million. The FNV argues that the government approach will have serious implications for work pressure and safety. The union says that there have been staff shortages and high workloads for years
The three public service federations – Fp-Cgil, Cisl-Fp and Uil-Fpl – have negotiated a new collective agreement covering 430,000 workers in local government. Workers will see pay rise by 4%-5% with the higher increases for the lower paid. There are improvements to the system of career progression and changes to the salary table. There will be new rules on remote work and a strengthening of the industrial relations system, particularly with regard to local bargaining. There is a range of improvements to leave arrangements including better compensation (pay or time off) for those working on
The Publisind trade union federation organised a protest rally on 17 August outside the Ministry of Labour to highlight a range of issues relating to the pay and pensions of its members in prisons and police services. The union is angry that a key law on salaries has not been fully implemented and is calling for a 15% pay rise for prison and police staff. The union points out that its members were essential to the efforts to tackle the COVID pandemic with many staff working very long hours to try to maintain services in the face of staff shortages of around 25%.
The Secretary of State for the Environment has told the FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations that he will present a draft statute covering forest firefighters to parliament for approval. This has been a long-standing demand of the trade unions who want to see common national provisions covering the wage structure, professional classifications, training, job security and social protection. The unions argue that this will professionalise the sector, help stabilise jobs and contribute to a better coordination across the autonomous regions.
Forest fires and heat waves are hitting Europe hard – yet again. With record high temperatures and no rain, life and work for many people in Europe is reaching a point of no return, putting the health and - in certain cases - life of many at risk.
The FOA trade union is planning to open old cases related to firefighters and cancer, following the publication of new research that links at least two cancers to firefighting, with further limited evidence in relation to five other cancers. The union argues that there is now sufficient evidence that mesothelioma (linked to asbestos) and bladder cancer may have been triggered by working as a firefighter and should be added to the occupational disease list. FOA has been at the forefront of developing procedures to prevent firefighters from being exposed to the harmful substances that develop
Trade Union rights project - Defending and strengthening trade union rights across the public services
Many of our members face restrictions on the right to organise, negotiate and take strike action. In some countries the limitations or complete bans impact particularly on uniformed staff –
On International Firefighters’ Day, EPSU shares its solidarity with past firefighters who have died while serving our communities and who dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of us all; to their families, colleagues and comrades.