Aug. 21, 2019 The Hizmet-Is public service union has been running a major campaign for the reinstatement of 97 workers sacked by the mayor of the Bolu municipality in North West Turkey. No reasons were given for the sackings and the workers have been protesting for over 110 days and even marched the 200 km to Ankara in protest. EPSU has sent a letter of protest to the mayor asking for the workers to be reinstated. See also the campaign involving Genel-Is, fighting for the rights of workers sacked by the Aliağa municipality, reported in the previous issue of the newsletter.
Aug. 21, 2019 Seven trade union organisations, including the CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA, representing 85% of all firefighters have been taking strike action to demand improvements in pay and for a significant increase in jobs. The joint actions began in June and are running until the end of August. The unions want to see the withdrawal of legislation on public service reform and a number of other measures to improve pay, health and safety, pensions and trade union rights. A key demand is an increase in recruitment on statutory conditions. There are 40000 professional firefighters. This is the same number as in 2009 but callouts have increased by 15% since then.
Aug. 08, 2019 Local government workers employed by the Aliağa Municipality in Izmir are being sacked without justification and the newly elected mayor is also forcing workers to resign from their union, Genel-İş, and to join another one. The number of dismissals reached 187 on July 24 and workers have been picketing since the 20 May, demanding reinstatement and respect for trade union rights and freedoms. Online support is being coordinated by the Labourstart campaigning organisation and promoted by EPSU and PSI.
Aug. 08, 2019 Nine trade unions organising in the public services - CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA, FSU, Solidaires, CFE-CGT, CFTC and FA-FP - have stated that they will continue to oppose the measures that are set to be implemented by the law on transforming the public sector that was voted through by the Senate on 23 July. The unions argue that the legislation will make it more difficult for them to protect workers' interests as it will weaken joint administrative committees and abolish committees dealing with health and safety and working conditions. They also warn that it will lead to more temporary employment and limit workers access to permanent contracts or civil service status. The unions are urging the government to engage in a proper process of social dialogue. The nine organisations are due to meet on 5 September to consider their next steps also in regard to pay and pensions.
Aug. 06, 2019 The Frente Comum group of public service unions has set out its key demands for negotiations next year, many of which focus on restoring pay and benefits cut as a result of austerity. The unions want a minimum wage of EUR 850 a month. They also want to see an unfreezing of career progression, reinstatement of cuts to overtime and other measures relating to annual leave, pensions, compensation for occupational accidents and diseases and action on precarious employment. A complete return to the 35-hour week for all public service workers also remains a central demand.
Jul. 25, 2019 The Frente Comum group of public service unions has criticised the government for failing to respect existing collective bargaining arrangements in the public sector. The government has put forward reforms to public sector pensions without going through the proper procedure for consultation. Instead of negotiating directly with public sector unions the government will use a social dialogue forum that includes private sector employers. The Frente Comum unions are concerned about the impact of the proposed pension reforms which could reduce rights for workers to retire from 60 with 40 years' service, for example.
Jul. 11, 2019 Trade unions are highly critical of the government for planned measures that could see a 50% cut in district state administrations which could mean the dismissal of 27000 workers by January 2020. The unions say that there has been absolutely no consultation over the proposals, no review of local government services and no information provided on any possible social plan, (re)training initiatives or early retirement arrangements. The unions point out that there are few appropriate private sector job opportunities for many of the skilled workers who could be made redundant.
Jul. 11, 2019 As reported by the newsletter in March, the municipal workers' union Kommunal has been negotiating a new agreement with the SKL employers' organisation to cover work during major emergencies. This initiative was taken following last summer's spate of forest fires. The agreement was finally signed at the end of June. It provides for an additional 120% of pay for each hour worked during the crisis and there is 150% for emergency overtime. There is a special procedure for determining what counts as a crisis. The agreement replaces the requirements of the Working Hours Act and will apply to all workers whether existing municipal employees or those taken on for the emergency.
Jul. 11, 2019 The Fagforbundet public service union reports that over a third of the country's municipalities have adopted a variety of measures to reduce the risk of social dumping. These include requirements to employ permanent employees, for pay and working conditions that correspond to the sector agreement in the industry and specific numbers of skilled workers and trainees. They also cover tax matters and the prohibition of cash payments, limits on the number of subcontractors, regular monitoring of contracts and the right of local authorities to audit the contractor and sub-contractors.
May. 28, 2019 The FOA public services union has warned the Vikapleje private eldercare company that it will face strike action from 15 June unless it ensures that its employees are paid in line with the municipal agreement. The company provides services for the Halsnæs municipality north west of Copenhagen and FOA has been trying for some time to negotiate an agreement with the company along the lines of those it has with many other private companies. The union estimates that Vikaplege is costing workers as much as DKK 90000 (EUR 12000) a year in lower pay and pension benefits.
May. 16, 2019 Local government union STAL and other unions in the public sector Frente Comum took part in a major national demonstration on 10 May as part of their long-running campaign to improve pay and working conditions in the public services and reverse the cuts imposed as part of austerity measures. Along with higher pay and better pensions, the unions want to see clear commitments to improve career progression and action on working time.