2019 December EPSU Collective Bargaining News 23
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Romania: Health union achieves major victory with sector collective agreement
- Ukraine: Nuclear energy union set up for lengthy protest
- Bulgaria: Protest over sick leave and social workers strike over pay
- France: Massive mobilisation against planned pension reforms
- UK: Health unions take action on pay and staffing
- Austria: Health unions target 35-hour week
- Netherlands: Pay rise in care sector confirmed
- Italy: Negotiations in private health sector continue
- Sweden: Local government unions negotiate new agreement on skills and training
- Denmark: New research underlines need for structural change for equal pay
- Spain: Unions push for better pay and conditions in health and care
- Europe: Strike data across the European Union
- Europe: New report on scope of collective bargaining in public administrations
Dec. 02, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private service unions have submitted their main collective bargaining claim to the employers for the health and social care sector that covers 125000 workers. The unions' key demand is for a 35-hour week with no loss of pay. They see this as essential for making the sector more attractive to boost recruitment, tackle staffing shortages and address the excessive workloads and stress that are rife in the sector. The unions also point out that part-time workers will benefit with an effective pay increase of 8.6% as their current hourly rate is based on a 38-hour week and the hourly rate will increase with a move to a calculation based on 35 hours.
Dec. 02, 2019 Workers in the nursing home and home care sector are covered by a new collective agreement running from 1 July 2019 to 31 August 2021. There will be a 3.5% pay rise by 1 June 2020 followed by a 3.0% increase on 1 July 2021. An increase in the end-of-year bonus has been brought forward and workers will get a full 13th month salary this year. The agreement also includes a commitment to have 90% of all employees in the sector on permanent contracts. There are other measures to allow workers to exchange pay for more time off and special measures for more time off in the lead up to retirement. The Ministry of Social Affairs will be asked to make the agreement generally binding for the sector and so covering employers that are not members of the employers' organisation that negotiated the agreement.
Dec. 04, 2019 The Sanitas health trade union has managed to negotiate a collective agreement in the sector despite the strict representative rules that make it extremely difficult to negotiate sector deals in Romania. The agreement confirms many of the rights the union has won over the years and ensures that they apply uniformly across the country. Among the most important elements are holiday entitlement (21-30 days depending on length of service), the role of the trade union in personnel policy, collective redundancies and disciplinary procedures and measures to support nurses' further education and training.
Dec. 04, 2019 Health and social care trade unions are campaigning for better pay and conditions for hundreds of thousands of works in the dependent care sector and national health service. Around 3000 trade unionists protested outside the Ministry of Health on 30 November as part of the campaign by the CCOO-Sanidad union to secure major changes to the health service pay system. On 2 December the FeSP-UGT federation sent key demands to all the autonomous regions calling on them to intervene with the companies that are blocking measures to improve pay, reduce precarious work and tackle excessive workloads in the dependent care sector.
Dec. 05, 2019 The Atomprofspilka nuclear energy union organised a major demonstration outside the office of the Cabinet of Ministers on 4 December in protest at the failure of the government to address union demands for information about the strategy for the industry. The union is concerned about recent developments including the cancellation of projects that are creating doubts about jobs and the future development of the sector. Protests have also taken place in other key cities and camps set up where nuclear workers stay in tents when not at work to demonstrate their determination to get a reaction to their protests.
Dec. 05, 2019 Members of four health unions in Northern Ireland - UNISON, RCN, NIPSA and Unite - have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action, including strike action, to force the government to address pay inequality which leaves them the worst paid health employees in the UK. The unions also want urgent action to tackle staff shortages and to ensure safe and effective staffing levels.EPSU sent messages of solidarity. The unions are involved in a range of different actions but are planning a coordinated strike on 18 December.
Dec. 05, 2019 Public service unions joined the national protest on 27 November calling for action to defend and improve sickness absence rules. Under the slogan "sick workers are not criminals" the Podkrepa confederation called for workers to be covered by sick pay from the first day of absence and for a range of other measures on sick leave and working time. Meanwhile on the same day social workers from the administrative services union in Podkrepa took an hour's strike action calling for a 40% pay increase.
Dec. 06, 2019 After a 12-year wait the three unions in private health care - FP CGIL, CISL FP and UIL FPL - are making some progress in negotiating a new collective agreement with the employer organisations - AIOP and ARIS. Meetings at the end of November and beginning of December addressed issues related to weekly rest periods, training leave, disciplinary procedures and criteria for transferring workers to other jobs. Further meetings are planned for 10, 17 and 18 December with a focus on job classification, where there have been major changes over the long period since the last agreement was negotiated.
Dec. 06, 2019 The ETUI has published data on strike activity across Europe, including an interactive strike map that provides details on total number of days not worked per 1000 workers. Information on each country also includes the frequency of strikes and total number of workers involved. Detailed information on the right to strike was published earlier this year by EPSU in country factsheets that were coordinated for EPSU by the ETUI.
Dec. 06, 2019 Local government unions have negotiated a new agreement with the SKR and Sobona employer organisations that will deliver greater employment security for workers. The agreement will take effect on 1 May 2020 and will mean early identification of workers impacted by restructuring and who need training to help assist in gaining new skills and adapting to new jobs. The unions see this as key to avoiding lay-offs and essential for the rapid changes that are taking place in the labour market. Fixed-term workers will be covered by the agreement as will those off sick or going through rehabilitation.
Dec. 06, 2019 A new report by VIVE, the Danish Centre for Social Science Research, provides further confirmation that pay inequality is a major structural problem facing the public services and particularly the care and social service sectors. The research shows that average wages in a sector fall as the proportion of women workers rises and that an annual average salary of DKK 30000 in a sector dominated by men falls to DKK 24150 in a sector dominated by women. Public services unions FOA, BUPL, SL and the cartel of health unions managed to negotiate a specific fund to tackle pay inequality in the 2018 negotiations but they are looking for much more significant funding from the government in the lead up to the next negotiations in 2021.
Dec. 06, 2019 Trade unions in many sectors took strike action and joined protests across the country on 5 December against proposals to reform the pensions system. There is widespread concern that the reforms will lead to later retirement to get decent pensions or retirement on lower benefits. Workers in the transport and education sectors are particularly concerned but the actions, including an 800,000-strong demonstration in Paris attracted wide support. Further action took place on 6 December and is planned for the coming weeks.
Dec. 06, 2019 The International Labour Organisation has produced a new report that examines the scope of collective bargaining in public administration. Along with specific country examples, including Denmark and Spain, from Europe, the report looks at recent developments and the extent to which collective bargaining covers issues such as information and consultation, dispute resolution measures, facilities for trade unions, gender equality and decent work. As one of the conclusions the report notes that fewer and fewer governments are excluding pay from collective bargaining.