The vida and GPA-djp private service unions will be coordinating further warning strikes on 26 and 27 February to put pressure on the employers in the negotiations covering 125000 workers in private health and social care. This follows the sixth round of bargaining which ended again without a concrete proposal from the employers. The unions are determined to press on with their central demand of a 35-hour week while maintaining pay and with an appropriate increase in staffing.
Further warning strikes in private health sector
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Feb. 20, 2018 The vida and GPA-djp services unions organised warning strikes involving over 40000 workers in more than 140 private health and social care institutions on 15 and 16 February. The strikes were called in order to put pressure on the employers to come up with an improved offer in the current negotiations over a new collective agreement that covers around 100000 workers in the sector. The unions want a recognition of the increasing workloads faced by many workers, with an appropriate pay increase and a cut in working time to 35 hours a week (see also last issue of epsucob@NEWS 03, 2018).
Feb. 13, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private services unions are coordinating strike action in 150 workplaces across 75 private health and social care organisations in the lead up to the next round of bargaining on 18 February that covers around 100000 workers. The employers have so far increased their pay offer from 2.37% to 2.5% and then to 2.8%/3.0% but the unions argue this still undervalues health and social care workers. They are also angry that the employers won't discuss the unions' call for a guarantee of reduced weekly working time or more annual leave without a cut in pay, with targets of a 35-hour week and 30 days' holiday. The union argue this is essential to help towards proper rest time for the thousands of stressed and overworked employees in the sector.
Feb. 28, 2019 Public service unions report very high levels of support for the national strike action on 14-15 February. All sectors of the public services were affected and this gives strength to the unions' claims to end the 10-year pay freeze and to address a wide range of other issues including career progression. Meanwhile, in relation to a separate action the SEP nurses' union has condemned the government for using its power of civil requisition to end a strike. The union argues that this is an excessive measure that undermines the right of healthworkers to take action and will, in any case, do nothing to resolve the dispute. Information on the right to strike in Portugal is now available in the new EPSU-ETUI series of country factsheets.