Health and Safety
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 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.
Jul. 25, 2019 The unions UGT-FICA and FSC-CCOO are both very positive about negotiating a new four year agreement with the AGA employers' organisation in the water sector. The agreement will run until 2022 and covers around 20000 workers. There will be a 3% pay increase in each year but there is also an opening clause if inflation exceeds this figure. Working time is reduced by eight hours with annual total of 1744 from 2020. There is a wide range of other measures relating to health and safety, work-life balance, equality and digitalisation among others.
Jul. 24, 2019 There have been two important developments covering health workers. The first is a new collective agreement after 10 years covering around 130000 doctors and managers in the national health service. The new agreement includes the EUR 200 a month increase enjoyed by public service workers in general but there are additional benefits for young doctors and additional payments linked to length of service. On-call night payments will increase from EUR 50 to EUR 100 (EUR 120 for emergency workers). There will be a joint initiative on well-being and measures to tackle violence against staff. In a separate development, public service unions have negotiated to ensure that 3000 health researchers on precarious contracts are covered by the main public health collective agreement.
Jul. 11, 2019 The ETUC has call on the next European Commission to introduce a legislative instrument that recognises this increased risk to workers of increasing temperatures and provides a framework for protecting workers. The ETUC argues that weather conditions do not respect national borders and so European action is required. Other parts of the world have legislation but Europe has no binding law on safe maximum working temperatures. The ETUC says that currently maximum (and minimum) permissible working temperatures vary widely across different Member States and across sectors and companies.
Jun. 27, 2019 On the final day of its centenary conference the International Labour Organisation agreed a new Convention, the first since 2011, against violence and harassment at work. The Convention defines “violence and harassment” as behaviours, practices or threats “that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm.” The Convention covers anyone at the workplace including interns and volunteers and has a broad definition of what constitutes the workplace. There is an accompanying Recommendation which sets out how the Convention should be implemented.
Apr. 30, 2019
This article summarises the main topics addressed at the meeting as well as the major decisions taken at the 50th edition of the EPSU Standing Committee "Health and Social Services" (SC HSS) on 27 February.
Apr. 12, 2019
On 28 March 2019 EPSU participated, together with its representatives of the two national affiliates from Romania, Sanitas, and Croatia, HSSMS-MT, in the kick-off meeting of the joint HOSPEEM-EPSU project focusing on strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector that will run in 2019 and 2020.
Mar. 27, 2019 Prison unions, ACAIP, FeSP-UGT and FSC-CCOO, organised lunchtime protests outside every prison service establishment on 20 March. They were reacting to the knife attack on a member of staff at the Soto del Real prison in Madrid. The unions argue that prison service management is failing to take adequate action to tackle increasing violence across the service, noting that the prison service has been condemned by the Central Labour Inspectorate for failing to properly apply occupational health legislation.
Mar. 18, 2019
On 7 March 2019 EPSU participated in a roundtable of more than 40 participants in the European Parliament on the prevention of exposure to hazardous drugs in the healthcare sector in Europe.
Mar. 15, 2019
On 4 March 2019, DG SANTE had invited to a first meeting of a "Coalition for Vaccination" in order “to bring together European associations of healthcare workers as well as relevant students' associations in the field, to commit to delivering accurate information to the public.