Oct. 23, 2020 22 October saw public services union ver.di involved in two major negotiations. The third round of bargaining covering municipal and federal employees was underway with ver.di underlining the importance of a decent settlement in recognition of the work carried out by public service workers during the current pandemic. The union expects the employers to continue to stress the problems facing public finance and to push for a long-term deal with small pay increases. Ver.di mobilised through warning strikes and online action in the lead up to the negotiations. Meanwhile, negotiations covering 50000 employees of the German Red Cross got underway with ver.di calling for a 5.5% increase in a 12-month agreement with a minimum increase of EUR 150 a month. The union wants additional payments for emergency service staff and care workers and a 35% bonus for anyone working with COVID-19 patients. Verdi is also calling for an end to the practice of working additional hours with no extra pay.
Oct. 23, 2020 The OSZSP health union reports that it has secured a commitment from the government for a 10% pay increase for health and social care workers. However, in discussions with the health ministry the union had to intervene on the state budget to ensure that funding was available to hospitals to cover the pay increase. In contrast, the government is arguing that its changes to income tax rules will increase take-home pay for workers and so it is planning to freeze pay for other public service workers and is even using the change to argue for pay freezes in the private sector.
Oct. 22, 2020 The public service federations Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp and Uil Pa are set to mobilise their members in central government in response to a government decree issued on 19 October which undermines the role of the trade unions in collective bargaining and in dealing with issues such as on smart working and innovation in public services. The unions argue that the decree fails to address the impact of years of underinvestment in central government in relation to technological and organisational innovation as well as training. It will mean a increased management discretion and a reduced role for trade unions The federations are particularly concerned about the timing of the decree which comes just before negotiations are about to start over the next three-year agreement covering central government workers.
Oct. 06, 2020 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have criticised the government for failing to address major problems of recruitment and promotion in the state administration. They say that around 43000 jobs – nearly 20% of the total – have been cut over the last 10 years and the situation now poses a threat to service delivery including in some key COVID-19-related work. The unions want to see the appointment of 20000 employees, promotion for around 14000 and permanent status for around 5000 temporary workers. There has been a severe delay in appointing or promoting people who have been through the selection process. The unions argue it is also unacceptable to resort to outsourcing to deliver the services that should be provided by directly employed workers.
Sep. 25, 2020 The three main trade unions - CGSP/ACOD, ACV/CSC and SLFP/VSOA - organised a 48-hour national strike from 6am on 24 September in protest at proposals to relax the rules on prisoner visits. The unions are extremely concerned that the proposed changes come at a time of increasing infection and pose a serious threat to staff and inmates.
Sep. 24, 2020 The nine state sector unions in the OFR/S,P,O bargaining council have set out their main priorities for the upcoming bargaining round. Underlining the need to maintain a skilled workforce in the public sector the unions want to see pay follow developments in the private sector. They are also calling for greater working time flexibility to suit employees rather than the needs of employers. With the increase in telework as a result of the pandemic, the unions are calling for a joint review of telework rules. They are also raising issues in relation to employment security and health and well-being.
Sep. 24, 2020 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have signed a new agreement on telework covering 2.5 million public sector employees. The agreement includes basic principles that telework arrangements should be voluntary and reversible and subject to key provisions relating to health and safety, equality, transparency and objectivity. The agreement protects employee rights as well as guaranteeing services for citizens. Other important elements include a right to disconnect, data protection and the right to privacy. The unions have called for negotiations at various levels of government to follow quickly to ensure implementation of the new agreement.
Sep. 23, 2020 Service union ver.di has launched warning strikes across federal and local government to put pressure on the employers following the second round of bargaining. The union reports that the two-day meeting was a waste of time with no offer from the employers and no real appreciation or recognition of the work done by public sector employees. The employers have indicated that they will come up with an offer before the next round of negotiations which are due on 22-23 October. However, ver.di is not expecting much as on one key issue - equalisation of working time between Eastern and Western Germany - the employers have already suggested that this won't happen before 2025. Ver.di describes this as a real slap in the face for workers in the East
Sep. 09, 2020 In anticipation of annual pay negotiations, the GÖD public service union has written to the government calling for sustained, real increases in pay and allowances for all public sector workers. The union argues that public employees have faced increasingly difficult working conditions as they have responded to the pandemic and its knock-on effects on employment and the economy by maintaining quality public services. The union points out the importance of public services to support Austria as a successful international economy and that a pay rise for the public sector would make an important contribution to domestic demand and economic recovery. The current pay agreement runs until the end of December this year and the GÖD wants a prompt start to the negotiations to ensure that pay increases apply from 1 January 2021.
Sep. 09, 2020 Public services union ver.di reports that the first exchange with employers in the negotiations covering 2.3 million federal and municipal workers was a disappointment. The union has set out a series of key demands with the main one being a 4.8% pay rise with a minimum increase of EUR 150 a month. While the employers responded with some positive words about the efforts of public service workers during the pandemic they didn't come up with a pay offer. In fact, they underlined the challenges facing public finances and called for a long-term deal rather than the 12-month agreement demanded by ver.di. The union has launched a photo petition to support the negotiations, the next round of which takes place on 19-20 September.
Aug. 27, 2020
Expert webinar on EPSU case vs the European Commission (T310/18), on social dialogue and social partner agreements
The Universities of Louvain and Brussels are organising a webinar on a ground-breaking European legal case in which EPSU is involved and which will determine the future of the European level social dialogue 16 September.