Nov. 07, 2019 The three main trade unions in local government - UNISON, GMB and Unite - came together to lobby employers in advance of negotiations on pay. The unions' pay claim is for an increase of 10% and a minimum pay rate of £10 an hour (€11.60). They are also calling for a two hour reduction in the working week (with no loss of pay), one extra day of annual leave and the ending of the freeze on allowances. The unions argue that local government workers have seen a 22% cut in pay in real terms over the last 10 years.
Oct. 24, 2019 The vpod public service workers has called on the federal government to deliver nationwide, binding rules on pay and working time for home care workers. It argues that non-binding, cantonal (regional) agreements are not effective enough, particularly on key issues of working and rest time. Vpod also says that the proposed hourly minimum wage of CHF 19.20 (EUR 17.40) doesn't guarantee a decent income and that a monthly minimum of CHF 4000 (EUR 3630) with a 13th month is necessary.
Oct. 24, 2019 Health and social care unions from all three trade union confederations took strike action on 24 October to put pressure on the employers to resolve issues in the non-profit sector negotiations. Trade unions are particularly concerned to resolve problems around stability and predictability of working hours and contracts, right to annual leave, action to tackle burn-out and training. The unions say that most private hospitals were affected with action also taking place in the social care sector.
Oct. 24, 2019 The JHL public services union says that it will aim to negotiate pay increases for lower paid workers that are higher than those in industry as a step towards reducing the pay gap between the sectors. It says this is essential to tackle low pay in sectors dominated by women. It also wants the 24 hours of extra unpaid work introduced in the Competitiveness Pact to be paid or cut while measures on carers' and paternity leave will also feature in the next bargaining round. The union carried out a survey of 8000 members to help it plan its priorities and gauge support for industrial action.
Oct. 22, 2019 Public service union ver.di has undertaken a major survey covering over 210000 workers in the public sector and just under 18000 in private and non-profit health and social care. The survey found that 92% of workers thought it important to have a choice between more pay and fewer hours and 57% would actually swap a pay increase for an hours cut. Overall of those wanting shorter hours, 45% wanted to work fewer days while 30% wanted a working time account to allow for more holidays or the option to retire earlier. The union will consult further in the lead up to next year's public sector negotiations.
Oct. 09, 2019 The BSRB public service union has called for government mediation in its dispute with local authority employers. In the current negotiations the BSRB has focused on a reduction of the working week to 35 hours with no loss of pay. The employers, however, want to stick to a 40-hour week with the possibility of shorter hours negotiated at workplace level on the basis of concessions in relation to breaks and other benefits.
Oct. 09, 2019 The latest biennial report from the Eurofound research agency finds that there have not been any significant developments in working time across Europe. The average working week remains at 38 hours. Public administration is one of the specific sectors analysed where weekly hours averaged 37.6 in both 2018 and 2017. The report noted some specific sector developments with particularly negative legislation passed in Hungary affecting public administration allowing for longer hours and more flexibility. More positive agreements were noted in Estonia (health) and Greece (local government and waste).
Sep. 27, 2019 Unions in the UK and Ireland are both making moves towards a four-day week campaign with the TUC's initiative in the UK gaining momentum with support from the Labour Party. The TUC's conference last year put a four-day week on the agenda and last week's Labour Party conference set out the 10-year objective of a 32-hour week without loss of pay. Meanwhile public services union Forsa was the first Irish union to back a new coalition of businesses, environmental and other campaigning organisations to support a Four Day Week Ireland campaign for working time reduction.
Sep. 18, 2019
In view of the question from Mrs Sander (2019/2806 (RSP)) that is tabled for discussion in the European Parliament on Thursday 19 September 2019, EPSU stresses that the working time directive and subsequent case law must apply to all firefighters in France, whether they have professional or volunteer status.
Sep. 13, 2019 The vpod public services union has taken further action in its campaign to get the time health workers need to change clothes counted as working time. The union has submitted a whole series of complaints to the regional labour inspectorate in Zürich about the USZ hospital. These cover a range of issues around staffing and working time but the changing time is key. The issue has also been taken up by the hospital's staffing committee.
Sep. 12, 2019 A survey of hospital workers by the FNV health union reveals that more than four out of five think their wages and callout and standby allowances are too low and nearly three in four are thinking of leaving the health service. Again, more than four out of five see understaffing as a key issue. The FNV and NU'91 unions want to put pressure on the hospital employers to get a good collective agreement for the 200000 workers in the sector. They want a 5% pay increase and a range of other measures including on working time and rest breaks. Both unions are staging actions, including working to rule, in a series of hospitals across the country.
Sep. 12, 2019 The FSC-CCOO public service federation exposed social security fraud at the ambulance company, Ambulancia Tenorio, and this has now been officially confirmed following an investigation by the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate of Badajoz. Tenorio employs over 1000 workers and provides services mainly in the Extremadura region. The company has been found guilty of underpaying salaries, social security contributions and overtime. The company has to pay 505 workers EUR 1.4m and must pay back EUR 400000 to the social security system. This comes shortly after Tenorio was found to have infringed rules on hiring and working time - also exposed by the FSC-CCOO.
Aug. 22, 2019 Hospital workers have begun a series of protest actions to put pressure on the NVZ employers' organisation in difficult negotiations over a new collective agreement that covers 200000 workers. So far workers in hospitals in Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Assen and Eindhoven have taken part and the actions are set to spread. Meanwhile, workers at the Evean health and care company have won improvements in working time, notably guaranteed paid breaks and an eight-hour limit to the working day that are seen as important measures to help tackle overwork, stress and poor work-life balance.
Aug. 21, 2019 Three unions - Fagforbundet, NSF and Delta - with a combined total membership of 560000, are joining forces to address the continuing problem of part-time work in health and social care. The unions say that around two-thirds of workers in the sector, employed mainly by municipalities - are on part-time contracts. This is a problem for many workers, making it difficult to make ends meet. The unions argue that the problem has been recognised at national level and some municipalities have taken action but they say the government needs to ensure that municipalities have the funding so that they can offer workers full-time contracts.
Aug. 07, 2019 The vpod/ssp public services union has been campaigning since last September for hospital workers who need to change into and out of their uniforms to have this changing time recognised as working time. In the latest development, the management of the Limmattal hospital in Zürich has refused to recognise changing time as such but has guaranteed one of two 15-minute break periods that it had not previously endorsed. In the meantime the vpod is busy using legal means to challenge other hospitals for unpaid wages for changing time.