Low pay/minimum wages, Digitalisation
Getting to grips with digitalisation
Digitalisation has the potential to positively transform public services and the jobs of public service workers. Quicker and easier access to services and increased participation of citizens can be combined with better quality jobs as repetitive work is replaced with more fulfilling tasks. However, trade unions must be involved in the transformation process not just to ensure that workers have their fare share of the benefits of digitalisation but also to deal with the potential downside. This briefing, produced for EPSU's 2019 Congress, highlights some of the work done on this issue in recent years and sets out the current priorities.
The national minimum wage has increased from €9.60 an hour to €9.82 as of 1 January and there will be a further increase to €10.45 in July. Alongside this national rate there are several sector-specific minimum wage rates that provide for higher pay levels in sectors where collective bargaining coverage is relatively low. The waste sector minimum has been €10.45 since last October and this rate applies until September 2022. There are three rates in the care sector for care assistants, qualified staff and more specialist staff. These are currently €12.00, €12.50 and €15.00 respectively and will
The CCOO trade union has expressed its concern and disappointment that the agreement on telework that was negotiated last April may not take full effect until October rather than January as claimed by the public services minister. The union says that the Draft Royal Decree will require about two months for processing and publication and then three months for the administration to determine the criteria for the jobs that can be provided by telework. It estimates a further four more months for implementation in each department. The CCOO raises concerns about the implications for gender equality
The ETUC says that the proposed directive on platform work should deliver rights to platform workers, like paid holiday and sick pay, which have been standard for other workers for the best part of a century. The directive provides the possibility to ensure that platform workers get a secure contract and guaranteed wages rather than the fake self-employment with no protection, no pay between jobs or sick pay. The Directive can also ensure genuinely self-employed people are protected from subordination by platforms. The ETUC is concerned, however, that following heavy lobbying by the major
Many social care workers in Wales are set to get pay increases of around 11% following the decision of the Welsh government to guarantee an hourly rate of £9.90 (€13.15) from next April. The rate is the real living wage as calculated by independent research and is above the current national minimum wage of £8.91 (€11.85) per hour which many social care workers are paid. Public service unions UNISON and GMB welcomed the announcement as a first step in delivering better pay and conditions for care workers but both are call for further increases with the GMB setting a target of £15 (€17.65 ) an
In its continuing campaign to underline the importance of implementing a strong and effective directive on minimum wages, the ETUC has release figures showing that the gap in earnings between the richest and poorest Europeans grew in a majority of EU countries over the last decade. The ‘unequal Europe’ report produced by the ETUC and its ETUI research institute shows wage inequality increased in 14 member states between 2010 and 2019, most notably in Hungary, Spain and Belgium. The analysis suggests that trend is the result of a decrease in the share of workers covered by collective bargaining
A review of minimum wage developments by the Eurofound research agency found that rates were raised cautiously in most Member States from 2020 to 2021, with a median increase of 3%. Some Member States stuck to previously announced commitments (Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Portugal and Slovenia) while only a few decided to freeze the minimum wage into 2021, including Belgium, Estonia, Greece and Spain, as well as Cyprus for the occupational rates. There were few crisis-related adaptations of minimum wage regulations, confined to the postponement of procedures (Greece and Poland), the renunciation
Members of the FNV trade union are in the process of voting on whether to support the agreement covering the municipal sector that was negotiated last month. The agreement provides for a 1.5% pay increase from 1 December 2021 and a further increase of 2.4% from 1 April 2022. There will also be a €1200 lump sum paid, €900 of which is pensionable and €300 of which reflects a COVID bonus. Also the agreement commits municipalities to guarantee a €14 an hour minimum wage from 1 January 2022. There are several other elements to the agreement including a working-from-home allowance and measures
The European Parliament has voted to begin the three-way negotiations with the European Council and Commission on the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive on the basis of the report supported by the Parliament’s Employment Committee on 11 November. The ETUC has called on the European Council to agree its general approach (vote likely on 6 December) so that the negotiations can begin as soon as possible. It argues that urgent action is needed to support the 9.5 million people across Europe struggling to pay their energy and other bills. The ETUC has also reiterated its demand that the directive
At the 14 October NEA committee meeting, about 35 delegates representing central governments in 20 countries reviewed the state of play with the EC-backed negotiations of an EU social partner agreement on digitalisation.
An analysis by the ETUC shows that higher minimum wages across Europe could have a massive impact on the gender pay gap. The ETUC has been calling for a double threshold – 50% of the average wage/60% of the median wage – to be used in the directive on Adequate Minimum Wages. If this were in force then the gender pay gap would be cut by 25% in Romania, by 19% in Greece, by 12% in Poland, by 11% in Slovakia and by 10% in Spain and Luxembourg. The ETUC underlines that many women are trapped in underpaid and undervalued jobs and make up 76% of the 49 million care workers in the EU. The pay