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
Migration, Low pay/minimum wages
Fighting for the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers
Migration has major implications for public services not least because of the significant contribution of migrant workers to the provision of public services in many European countries. Thousands of public service employees across Europe work in areas related to migrations and asylum-seeking. Unfortunately, the European and national response to asylum-seekers has often fallen pitifully short of what should be expected from one of the wealthiest regions in the world and EPSU has been arguing hard for a change of approach, criticising the European Union’s policies which continue to focus on tightening borders, pushing back refugees and outsourcing asylum duties to third countries. EPSU, along with PSI, has also been calling for an end to privatisation and increased public investment in the public services that are vital to ensure the safe and effective integration of migrants and asylum-seekers into society. This briefing, prepared for EPSU's 2019 Congress provides some background on EPSU's activities in this area.
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
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 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
An ETUC analysis shows that almost three million people low-paid workers across Europe can’t afford to heat their homes. The ETUC estimates that even before expected further increases in energy prices 15% of Europe’s working poor won’t be able to turn on the heating – equivalent to 2,713,578 people across Europe. The analysis also shows that the situation has deteriorated in 10 EU member states over the last decade. With the directive on adequate minimum wages now being discussed in the European Council and Parliament, the ETUC argues that energy price rises make strong EU action on wages even
Some public service federations will be joining their private sector colleagues in a national demonstration on 5 October calling for an increase in salaries and the minimum wage. The unions note that private company profits are surging along with dividends to shareholders while workers are facing higher prices, not least for energy. In the public sector, workers are facing another year of a freeze on the index that determines salary levels with the government again having to adjust the lowest salary levels just to ensure that they don’t fall below the minimum wage.