Press Release ( EN/FR ) - The management of the ORPEA group, Europe’s largest multinational company providing elderly and other forms of care, continues to ignore public health measures put in place by the Fench government to protect citizens’ lives.
Oct. 23, 2020
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
EPSU, PSI and over 150 civil society organizations stand behind UN Special Rapporteur Léo Heller and denounce private water industry interference
A group of private water operators tried to block the discussion of the report on “The Privatisation of Water and Sanitation Services” of the United Nations (U.N.). 150 organisations including EPSU and PSI intervened to keep it on the agenda.
Oct. 23, 2020 The ETUC and Eurocadres - the European body representing managers and professionals - have launched a campaigned calling for EU legislation to tackle stress at work which they say is all the more important in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While increased stress was already a major concern for many trade unions, the impact of the pandemic has increased the urgency for action with workers worried about their jobs while those working from home facing new pressures that affect their mental health. Endstress.eu is the campaign website with all the key arguments for why action at European level is needed.
Oct. 23, 2020 With the European Commission expected to publish its draft directive on fair minimum wages on 28 October, the ETUC has put together a range of documents and press releases that cover a wide range of arguments in favour of legislation on minimum wages and collective bargaining. The ETUC argues that initiatives to boost pay and strengthen collective bargaining are essential as part of the response to the pandemic and that it is crucial not to repeat the mistakes following the last crisis when collective bargaining was undermined in some countries as part of austerity measures.
Oct. 23, 2020 Public services union younion joined with the GPA-djp and vida private services unions in a protest outside a meeting of the advisory council on early years education. Supported by the ÖGB confederation and Chamber of Labour, the unions expressed their disappointment that they weren't involved in the council which was set to make important recommendations that would affect the 61500 workers in the sector. The unions argue that the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of the sector and are calling for national quality standards, including staffing levels, to be introduced to end the fragmentation of the sector where rules can vary from region to region and municipality to municipality. They also want to see spending increased so that it reaches the EU average of 1% of GDP (economic output), up from the current 0.67%.
Oct. 23, 2020 Latest data indicate that average salaries in healthcare across the country for the first six months of 2020 were 9% higher than for the same period in 2019.The healthworkers' union says that special payments for working with COVID-19 patients has contributed to this bearing in mind that many healthworkers would not be on full pay because of sickness or isolation measures. However, the union has made it clear to the government that there have been problems with ensuring the extra payments apply to all hours worked and that any change to the payments system has to guarantee the COVID bonus for any additional hours, including for part-time workers.
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 Public services union Fagforbundet has warned that a dispute over pensions could end in strike action unless the Spekter employer organisation delivers a solution in upcoming mediation. The dispute covers workers in the culture sector, including orchestras, theatres and opera. A temporary pension arrangement involving defined contributions was agreed in 2016 in response to the final challenges facing the sector. The union now wants to negotiate a long-term solution that delivers a hybrid and gender-neutral pension scheme but Spekter has not come up with a proposal and has effectively abandoned the negotiations.
Oct. 22, 2020 The STAL local government union has organised a march and demonstration outside parliament for 23 October. The union wants the government to ensure that the 2021 budget includes funding for key measures on pay. The union has four main demands - a EUR 90 increase for all workers; implementation of an allowance for dangerous and arduous work; changes to the pay structure to abolish pay levels that fall below the national minimum wage; and reinstatement of compensation payments for accidents at work. The final point relates to compensation for permanent partial incapacity that was the victim of cuts imposed by the Troika after the last crisis. EPSU sent a message of solidarity.
Oct. 22, 2020 Public services union Fórsa has suspended industrial action by school secretaries planned to begin on 23 October. This was to be part of a long-running campaign to end a two-tier pay system that leaves most school secretaries earning just €12,500 a year, with irregular, short-term contracts that force them to sign on to receive benefits during the summer holidays and other school breaks. Following a commitment from the government the union has agreed to talks at the Workplace Relations Commission which will begin on 27 October.
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. 21, 2020 The FSC-CCOO public services federation is organising a series of two-hour strikes in state museums and theatres in October and November. The union is protesting against the fact that workers in the sector are not properly covered by the collective agreement for the state sector. In particular, the union wants to ensure professional status for these workers and reduce the extent of temporary contracts. The strikes will begin on 25 October and will take place on 10 different dates up to 24 November with specific dates for different institutions.
Oct. 21, 2020 The FNV, NU'91 and other health unions have welcomed the decision by the health minister to support their demands on personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and social care staff. The unions have been calling since March for workers to be able to decide when they need to use PPE and to have the appropriate equipment available. The unions had criticised the guidance from the RIVM public health institute which left discretion to employers and which, unions believed, had been drawn up with the scarcity of equipment in mind. The unions' approach puts this discretion in the hands of care workers and a statement to that effect has already been circulated by some employers in the care sector.