Nov. 06, 2019 Public service unions younion and GÖD have taken part in the first two rounds of bargaining in the annual pay negotiations. The key data for the negotiations were agreed as an inflation rate of 1.7% and economic growth of 1.5%-1.7%. The unions are looking for a clear increase in purchasing power for all public sector workers along with recognition of the staffing situation with concerns around workers facing heavy workloads and precarious employment conditions. The employers made no pay offer in the second bargaining round on 5 November. The next negotiations take place on 15 November.
Oct. 24, 2019 21 October is marked as equal pay day in Austria where the gender pay gap is one of the biggest in Europe at 19.7%. This is based on a full-time woman worker getting an average of EUR 41785 compared to EUR 52033 for a man. This is the equivalent of women working for free for 72 days - hence setting the date as 21 October. Unions highlight the problems of part-time work and unpaid care as contributing to the problem. While 47% of women work part time only 11% of men do.
Oct. 09, 2019 From 1 October the 100000 workers covered by the private health and social care agreement are entitled to a flexibility bonus if they agree to stand in for a colleague at short notice . They will get a EUR 20 bonus for the shift (if only three days' notice) and EUR 10 for further days. The arrangement was part of the 2019 collective agreement negotiated by the vida and GPA-djp private service unions. The unions see this as an important initiative, recognising the high level of workloads, extent of sickness and staff shortages that often need to be addressed with additional shifts.
Sep. 26, 2019 The vida private services union has reported with concern a violent incident between patients at an addition clinic in Vienna. The union says it was shocking that at the time there was only one member of staff on the night shift responsible for 45 patients. Vida wants immediate action to ensure no member of staff works alone and calls for support for its new campaign, "More of us, better for everyone." The campaign calls for 20% more staff in hospitals and national, legal minimum staffing levels along with measures to boost education and training.
Sep. 13, 2019 The vida public services union is joining up with the Chamber of Labour to launch a campaign to highlight the urgent need to increase staffing in hospitals. Various actions are planned as part of the "More of us. Better for All" campaign which will highlight the pressures on workers from understaffing. The main demands are for a 20% increase in hospital staffing with urgent action needed in acute care; introducing a national, binding basis for establishing staffing levels; and measures related to education and training to make health occupations more attractive to younger workers.
Aug. 23, 2019 The GPA-djp private services union has strongly attacked the VKKJ organisation that provides care to disabled children for using an injunction to try to prevent its works councils from organising any kind of strike or protest to secure improvements in pay and conditions. The VKKJ has not signed up to the social services sector agreement and the works councils had successfully campaigned to bring pay at the organisation in line with that agreement but that's when VKKJ took the legal step. The union has offered to go to mediation but the employer has rejected this. The GPA-djp will strongly defend the case and the right to take action.
Jul. 25, 2019 The vida services union says that urgent action is needed to tackle overwork among midwives. There is a problem of understaffed delivery rooms and increased demands on midwives such as administrative work. The union has taken up the issue in particular at the St.Josef hospital in Vienna where it will be negotiating with management following a meeting of midwives organised by the union. The negotiations will discuss staffing, working time and questions of pay that the union says are crucial to improve recruitment to the job.
Jul. 11, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private service trade unions have negotiated a new agreement covering around 600 medical and health emergency staff. Workers in the Vienna region will get a 3.2% increase backdated to 1 February while increases will be set according to the appropriate arrangements in other regions and backdated to 1 January. After five years' service all workers will get an additional day of paid holidays. There is also an increase in the cleaning allowance and a child allowance of at least EUR 15 for each child from 2020.
May. 10, 2019 The GPA-djp and vida private sector unions are launching a campaign to end the discrimination against care workers. Current legislation provides for an extra two hours' compensation for night work. However, many employers in the care sector fail to apply this to all care workers by exploiting a loophole in the legislation that specifies that the relevant care has to be provided in care wards. The unions argue that this is completely outdated and that the law needs changing to reflect currently reality. The unions are seeking 500 signatures to launch a citizens' initiative that, once formally accepted, will appear on the national parliament's website and around which the unions will campaign.
Mar. 27, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private service unions have called for workplace meetings to take place in all Red Cross establishments on 29 March. This is a reaction to the employers' decision to call off the next bargaining round on 22 March and delay negotiations to mid-April. The employer has so far rejected the main demands from the union for unified, national collective provisions to ensure a five-day week for all, better shift arrangements, additional payments for night and Sunday work and more holidays. The unions are also concerned that in some regions employees don't get paid breaks or allowances for children. The 8500 Red Cross employees work in rescue services, blood collection, homes for the elderly, care homes and childcare.
Mar. 15, 2019 The public services union younion has secured an additional EUR 39 million on the paybill of 17000 workers employed by health institutions in Vienna. This comes on top of the general pay rise for public sector workers. Care assistants, qualified care workers and senior care staff in employment before 1 January 2018 will see an increase on basic pay and will have a new pay structure. There will also be pay supplements for midwives, various technical occupations and assistant doctors, again employed before 1 January 2018. The details of the changes are still be worked out but will be backdated to 1 January 2019. Younion argues that this is a just reward for the extra responsibilities taken on by these workers and their commitment to deliver healthcare 365 days a year.
Feb. 27, 2019 Services unions vida and GPA-djp are pleased with the pay and working time package they have negotiated in the private health and care sector that covers 100000 workers. After five bargaining rounds, the employers agreed to a 3.2% pay increase and a series of measures on working time. These include an extra day of holiday after two years' service, additional payments for covering shifts, part-time work for older workers, recognising that time taken to change clothes at work is working time, new rules on split shifts and more certainty with planning rotas. There will also be an extra EUR 100 a month for trainees and extra benefits for specific employees, including childcare workers.
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.
Jan. 29, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private services unions are frustrated that they are not making progress in negotiations covering over 120000 health and social care workers. In the private health sector the employers' pay offer of 2.37% has been rejected as inadequate and the unions organised a day of action on 29 January with protests in three main cities - Vienna, Linz and Graz. Meanwhile negotiations in the non-profit care sector involving the Cartias (catholic) and Diakonie (protestant) employer organsiations are also blocked. The unions say they have had enough of positive words about the value and importance of the contribution of workers in the sector and it is time for action to reward them with the pay and conditions they deserve and in line with the levels of pay for jobs of similar skills in the public and industrial sectors.