Nov. 15, 2018
The European Pillar of Broken promises, Time for a Social Europe – One Year on - Slow Progress and disappointment
On the one year anniversary of the EU pillar of social rights, EPSU publishes an informative booklet and leaflet on information and consultation rights – “The European Pillar of Broken promises, Time for a Social Europe”.
Nov. 08, 2018 INMO, the nurses' and midwives' union, is balloting its members over strike action in protest at low pay and staffing shortages. If agreed, there will be 24-hour strike with proposals already to escalate this to two days of action in the following week if the government fails to respond. INMO says that for every four nursing vacancies there is only one application and that the health service is paying employment agencies EUR 10000 for every nurse or midwife they recruit. It underlines the importance of tackling this issue to ensure the safety of patients which is under threat as a result of the current staff shortages.
Nov. 08, 2018 The LVSADA health union is extremely concerned that the state budget for 2019 will not include promised funding to cover pay increases for health workers. The union has called for rises of around 20% as an essential step to try to stem the loss of workers to other sectors or to other countries. LVSADA believes that the outgoing government made the promise as an election ploy and is now saying it has no responsibility for the budget. Following elections in October negotiations are underway to form a new government.
Nov. 08, 2018 ADEDY, the public services confederation, has called a 24-hour strike for 14 November. It is calling on the government to negotiate over a gradual process of pay restoration. ADEDY says that civil servants have already seen pay cut by 40% and now tax rises and reductions in tax allowances will further reduce take home pay. It is calling for immediate pay rises and the restoration of the 13th and 14th month salaries as initial steps in this process. The strike demands also cover the urgent need to recruit additional permanent staff, for measures on skills and training rather than a new evaluation system, improvements to pensions and a stop to privatisation.
Nov. 08, 2018 Health unions in Bulgaria signed a new collective agreement on 8 November which includes substantial pay increases for workers across the sector. Compared to the pay rates set in the 2016 collective agreement, the minimum wage for nurses, midwives and laboratory technicians will increase by 22% from 900 lev (EUR 460) to 1100 lev (EUR 560) a month. The basic rate for doctors and pharmacists will increase by just under 30% from 1200 lev (EUR 615) to 1550 lev (EUR 790). Higher increases of up to 50% will be paid to medical specialists.
Nov. 08, 2018 The trade unions representing prison workers, including EPSU affiliates ACAIP-USO, FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT, are continuing their strike action over pay despite attempts by the prison service to get the action declared illegal. The unions reported massive support for the first two days of strike action on 25-26 October. Further action had already been planned for 10-13 November but the unions had to counter the legal challenge by the employers and so have agreed that the next four days of action will run from 17-20 November.
Nov. 08, 2018 Members of the FNV union in the ambulance service have restarted their work-to-rule industrial action. The action had been suspended to allow for further negotiations but the employers then broke off negotiations and withdrew an earlier pay offer. The FNV is calling for urgent action to address staffing shortages. It is aiming for a 7.5% pay increase in 2018 and 3.5% in 2019 which it says are needed to keep ambulance pay in line with other parts of the health service. The union says that employers should fund higher pay rather than spending money on recruiting agency workers to cover understaffing.
Nov. 02, 2018 The OSZSP health union took part in a tripartite meeting with the health minister and health employers last month with pay and staffing high on the agenda. The union is still seeking confirmation from the government that the 10% pay increase offered to health workers will be implemented from 1 January and that it will apply to all health workers. It warns that problems with the health service will arise if workers in some areas don't benefit from the same pay increase. The union has called for data on hospitals, patient numbers, staffing and average pay along with information on overtime hours and payments so that there can be a fully informed discussion about the extent of understaffing.