Jun. 27, 2019 The health section of the CCOO confederation has made a major breakthrough by negotiating the first collective agreement covering researchers working for the biomedical research foundations of the Madrid health service. Around 1200 researchers will be covered by the agreement which will link their salaries to the pay structure of the Madrid health service. An important element of the agreement will be tackling the excessive use of temporary contracts. Up to 90% of the researchers are on temporary contracts and around a third of contracts are thought by the union to be illegal.
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. 30, 2019 An analysis by the GMB trade union reveals that care workers in the private sector are three times more likely to be on a zero hours contract than those in the public sector. It also finds that employees of private care companies are paid 17% less on average than their public sector counterparts and four in ten leave their job every year. Over 50% per cent of private carers have no relevant social care qualifications, compared with less than 20% in the public sector. The union highlights the underlying problem of underfunding of the sector, an issue which it says is becoming more acute as evidenced by the possible collapse of one of the country's biggest care providers, Four Seasons, which employs 20000 workers.
Apr. 16, 2019 The ETUC has published a report examining legal issues arising from new forms of employment. It hopes that it will make an important contribution to the debate around what action to take to provide protection for workers who fall outside the normal framework of labour and social legislation. The legal experts who compiled the report included a proposal for a new “personal work relation” that might help tackle these issues.
Mar. 28, 2019 Non-teaching staff at schools across the country took strike action on 21-22 March with support increasing on the second day and many schools closing. The unions are calling for action on low pay noting that with the recent increase in the minimum wage new workers are now often earning as much as staff with 20 years' service. The unions want to see a proper career structure put in place and measures to reduce precarious employment in order to recognise the contribution that these workers make to the education system.
Feb. 14, 2019 National strike action across the public sector took place on 14-15 February as unions pushed the government to end its austerity measures that have taken a toll on public service workers. Unions in the FESAP federation took action over the two days while the Frente Comum group of unions joined on 15th. The unions have some common demands, particularly the urgent need to end the pay freeze and provide a pay increase for all public service workers. Other demands covered career progression, training and action to tackle precarious employment. EPSU sent solidarity messages.
Feb. 14, 2019 The ETUC has welcomed elements of the latest version of the draft Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions but is disappointed that some hoped-for rights, such as a ban on zero-hours contracts, have not materialised. It notes the new rights in relation to training, probation, payment for cancelled shifts and working for more than one employer. The ETUC was also calling for the right for precarious workers to transfer to more secure forms of employment and is disappointed that workers on fewer than 12 hours a month will be excluded. EPSU reacted similarly but also underlined its concern that the Directive includes a loophole that would allow a broad range of public service workers to be denied certain rights.
Feb. 14, 2019 The Fagforbundet public service union is continuing to pursue legal action against the Aleris care company which it believes has major implications for labour rights in Norway. The company is being challenged over using self-employed workers that it calls "consultants" rather than directly employing care staff. The "consultants" have no employment rights and have been forced to work long hours of overtime, including up to 72 hours without a break, for fear of being denied work. They have no sickness or pension benefit or protection against dismissal. Aleris Care is now part of the Ambea group of companies which has renamed the operations Stendi.
Feb. 08, 2019
On 7 February, the European Parliament, European Commission and European Council (national governments) reached an agreement on the proposed Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive.
Jan. 29, 2019 The Frente Comum and FESAP federations of public service unions are planning national strike action on 15 February with FESAP unions also mobilising on the 14th. The unions have a broad range of demands on the government leading with the priority of ending the long-running pay freeze and tackling low pay. They also want government commitments on pensions, career progression and an end to precarious employment. The unions further underline the need to invest in quality public services rather than undermine them through privatisation.
Nov. 23, 2018 Industrial action across the public and private sectors forced the government to revise its proposal to make it easier to dismiss workers in small companies. Unions were angry not just about the change but also about the fact that the government hadn't consulted unions and employers over the proposal. Following the union action there were tripartite discussions and the draft law now has no minimum threshold for dismissal rights. While most unions accept the specific change, the TEHY health union is still concerned about the overall balance of the bill and the impact on sectors dominated by women.
Nov. 02, 2018 Public and private sector trade unions have suspended their industrial action in protest at planned changes to dismissal legislation following a commitment from the government to negotiate. The proposed changes would have made it easier to sack workers in small firms. Unions were objecting to the discriminatory provisions and to the failure to negotiate. The unions have only suspended the action and may restart it if the government doesn't undertake proper tripartite negotiations.
Oct. 31, 2018
Local and regional government workers across Europe and the globe provide essential public services which enable our cities and communities to prosper. Their working conditions, pay, and job security are closely interlinked with the quality and accessibility of services they provide – deficiencies in the former have a detrimental impact on the latter.
Oct. 25, 2018 The JHL public services union stepped up its industrial action against proposed changes in dismissal rights with a 48-hour strike by around 10000 members who work in cleaning, property maintenance and food service sectors and sports and culture services. The strike is part of widespread trade union industrial action against plans to reduce dismissal protection for workers in small companies. The unions argue that not only is the change unfair, creating two-tier labour law but also threatens to impact women workers more than men. Trade unions are also angry that the government is trying to change employment legislation without any negotiation or consultation with the union movement.