More than 150,000 healthcare workers have been infected by the COVID-19 virus according to data from just eight countries – Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine. This suggests that, on a conservative estimate, a total figure for Europe will be well above 200,000.
Jul. 03, 2020
Jul. 01, 2020 The vida trade union has criticised employers in private health institutions for unilaterally postponing negotiations until September. The union argues that this leaves workers paying the price and that rather than COVID-19 being used as an excuse for suspending negotiations it should be a good reason for a quick settlement to compensate for inflation and with an increased allowance for dangerous work. There have been actions around the country on the issue and the union will be looking for workers to put more pressure on employers to resume negotiations.
Jul. 01, 2020 The FOA trade union is gearing up for the public sector pay negotiations over a new collective agreement to follow the current agreement that expires in March 2021. There had been some discussion about postponing the negotiations but they will now go ahead with unions expecting tough bargaining conditions. Public sector wage increases are linked to developments in the private sector and so there will be some constraints but unions are determined to secure pay rises for their members and the FOA is stressing again the need to support low paid workers who have been less advantaged by pay increases that are normally set at percentages rather than as flat-rate amounts. The union is hoping that as lock-down restrictions continue to relaxed, union members will be able to meet from the autumn to discuss the main bargaining demands.
Jul. 01, 2020 Health and social care trade unions have reinforced their demands for a major boost to pay and conditions, jobs and training in the health and social care sectors in response to the offer of a EUR 300 bonus to some health care staff. The bonus would be in the form of a voucher for spending in the retail and catering other specific sectors. However, it would only go to services directly funded by the federal government and so many care sector workers would miss out. Unions are also critical that it is tax and social contribution-free. Health and care trade unions have a series of key demands that they have been pushing for some time that will require substantial increased funding for the sector.
Jul. 01, 2020
EPSU calls on the European Parliament to investigate the tragic effects of COVID-19 on the care sector
Today EPSU together with the European Disability Forum and the Age Platform Europe will formally call on the European Parliament to launch an investigation to assess the failures of authorities in addressing and managing the crisis in the long-term care sector during COVID-19.
Jul. 01, 2020 Trade unions organising in the health and social care sectors took to the streets again on 30 June as part of their long-running campaign to secure increased public funding, more jobs and better pay and conditions for workers in both public and private sectors, improved training, an end to closures of facilities. A further day of action is planned for 14 July. EPSU sent a message of solidarity.
Jun. 30, 2020 The FNV trade union reports that all care staff will get a bonus of EUR 1000 net in recognition of their work in coping with the COVID-19 virus. The payment will go to a very broad range of those involved in care across nursing homes, hospitals, ambulance services, disability and rehabilitation services, community and youth care and mental health. Nurses, care workers, cleaners and support staff will all get the payment. The union says that it hopes this will set the scene for negotiations in the autumn to deliver better terms and conditions for care workers and help address staff shortages. Meanwhile, there has been no progress yet with negotiations in central government where the collective agreement expires on 1 July. The next round of bargaining takes place on 6 July.
Jun. 18, 2020 The health workers' union has raised serious concerns about the failure to ensure that medical workers get the appropriate compensation for the fight against COVID-19. The union has also had many reports from around the country about abuse of health workers' rights and argues that local institutions are failing to properly negotiate and consult with worker representatives. The union wants to see a much broader range of health workers who face risks of COVID-19 infection getting special payments and also appropriate support in terms of sickness insurance and provisions for recovery and rehabilitation.
Jun. 18, 2020 18 June saw the beginning of a series of actions by health workers to give more visibility to their campaign to secure increased funding for the sector and their claims for more jobs and better pay and conditions. Physical actions in Brussels and Charleroi were combined with online photo and video actions, highlighting the key demands and the work done in the fight against COVID-19. There was also a guarded welcome for progress on additional funding for the sector with progress in the parliamentary process of approving additional funding of EUR 402 million which would include funding for 5000 additional jobs. However, unions calculate that around EUR 650m is needed for a new salary structure covering both public and private sectors and EUR 200m to improve working conditions.
Jun. 18, 2020 Health and social care workers took part in over 250 demonstrations across the country on 16 June in a major mobilisation by trade unions and campaigning groups. An estimated 80000 joined the main protest in Paris. Although partly in reaction to the COVID-19 crisis, the mobilisation is part of a long-running campaign by trade unions to secure increased health funding, better pay and conditions for workers, increased staffing and a block on closures and privatisation.
Jun. 18, 2020 The ADEDY public sector confederation called for a three-hour work stoppage on 16 June in support of action organised by the POEDIN and OENGE health unions. There was main demand for higher public spending on health with specific calls to address the 40000 vacancies in the sector, for permanent status for the 16000 workers on temporary contracts who have often been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, for higher pay - salaries start at only EUR 650 a month - and improvements in a range of allowances related to risk of infection, night work and holiday pay.
Jun. 17, 2020 The FeSP-UGT public service federation has sent a number of key demands to the public service ministry for a new agreement covering public sector workers. The union wants action on improving employment conditions and reducing precarious employment but also has a number of specific proposals on telework, noting that the estimated impact of COVID-19 has been an increase from 26,000 to more than 450,000 public employees doing telework. Among the key demands are action to balance security and flexibility with increased productivity; voluntary nature of telework; equality of rights with other workers; privacy, confidentiality, risk prevention, training and information; health and safety; working time and consultation. Meanwhile, the FSC-CCOO federation has denounced the fact that, more than a year after the entry into force of agreement covering 40000 workers in state administration, the government is refusing to increase salaries and the payment of accumulated pay arrears amounting to some 35 million euros. There is also a failure to establish new professional classification system. The union has called for an immediate confirmation of funding for the pay increase and says it will consider protests and mobilisation after crisis if this is not addressed.
Jun. 15, 2020 Trade unions in the public sector have written to the government, parliament and public sector employers to call for more staff, better pay and conditions and support for quality services - a new direction for the public sector rather than the austerity measures that are already being hinted at. Meanwhile, as hospitals gradually return to normal, the FNV has underlined the importance of ensuring that the collective agreement is properly applied in terms of working time, on-call, rest time and annual leave. The union has also a negotiated a pay deal in social employment services where workers will get 3.2% over two years.