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
Low pay/minimum wages, Precarious employment
The Kommunal municipal workers’ union reports that local government workers will get significant new benefits from agreements signed with the SKR and Sobona employer organisations. There will be access to more skills support and student grants to improve professional development, a substantial increase in the occupational pension and greater security for fixed-term employees who will be entitled to transfer to a permanent contract after one year rather than 18 months. A new pension agreement will apply from 1 January 2023 and Kommunal estimates that an increase in the provision of 1.5% will
Five health unions (CCOO, SATSE, ELA, LAB and UGT) are continuing to work together in a long-running campaign to secure increased funding for primary care in the Basque region. Their latest initiative involves demonstrations at health centres right across the region on 22 December. The unions are calling for action on staffing with the creation of 1000 new posts, the transfer of thousands of temporary workers to permanent contracts and an end to excessive use of temporary hiring. The unions are also calling on other campaign groups to join the protests.
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
After a three-year legal dispute, the Fagforbundet public services union has secured a major victory when the Supreme Court's Appeals Committee refused to consider an appeal by the Stendi care company over its claim that 22 workers were self-employed and not employees. Now the 22 members of the union are set to get an average pay out of more than NOK 1 million (€100000) and the company faces further legal claims from another 50 workers. Fagforbundet general secretary and EPSU president Mette Nord said: "Our 22 members have fought a tough battle in three courts. They have been poorly treated
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
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
The public service federations of the CCOO confederation coordinated mobilisations across the country on 10 November to put pressure on the government to negotiate over pay and conditions and public spending. The federations are determined to ensure that the pay and benefits lost following the last crisis are restored. They estimate that public sector workers saw their purchasing power fall by 11%-18%, with only 4% restored so far. The unions regard the 0.9% pay increase imposed for 2021 and the 2% proposed for 2022 as totally inadequate. They also want to see action on jobs and serious
The KNSB trade union confederation has published 22 demands on a range of issues that would boost pay and welfare benefits and help address poverty and the impact of soaring energy costs. Bearing in mind the discussions at European level about a minimum wage that should be at least 50% of the average wage and 60% of the median wage, the KNSB is looking for the minimum wage to rise to €700 as soon as possible and to €764 by the beginning of 2022. The confederation is also calling for wage rises across the economy and specifically for public sector workers an increase of at least 12.5% in 2022.
The ITUC global trade union confederation has noted the significance of the recent award of the Nobel prize for economics to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens. Their key research in the 1990s demonstrated that higher minimum wages do not mean fewer jobs, providing a powerful counter-argument to the often heard claims of employers and many governments about the negative effects of minimum wages. The ITUC argues that this prize is a serious indictment of many economists in that it has taken some 30 years for the facts to be given prominence over a damaging and groundless idea. It added