(August 2016) Following their national action at the end of July (see last issue of epsucob@NEWS), nurses in the SEP trade union have been involved in a series of strikes at different hospitals around the country. Strikes at Barlavento Algarvio, Faro hospital and other institutions took place in the first half of the month and more are to follow with a five-day action planned at Tondela-Viseu in central Portugal. Read more at SEP (PT).
Nurses maintain strike action over 35-hour week
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The SEP nurses' union reported 71% support for the start of its national day of strike action on 28 June. The action is the latest step in the union's campaign to ensure that all nurses benefit from the return to the 35-hour week promised to public service workers. The SEP is angry that the Ministry of Health has not only failed to recruit the required number of nurses to ensure that the 35-hour limit can be met but is proposing that new workers be employed on fixed-term contracts.
The STAL local government union has organised a week of action around the country calling for implementation of the agreements it has signed with municipalities to retain the 35-hour working week. As part of austerity measures introduced last year the government imposed a 40-hour week in public administration but trade unions, including STAL and SINTAP, have managed to negotiate locally to keep the 35-hour week. The protests are to ensure that the agreements are implemented in the face of the refusal of the state administration to recognise the agreements. SINTAP has meanwhile met with the
(July 2016) Public sector workers have won back their right to a 35-hour week. Legislation came into effect earlier this month reversing the increase to 40 hours a week pushed through as part of a range of austerity measures in 2013. Most workers benefit immediately although implementation in some cases may be delayed to ensure continuity of service. Public sector unions have been waging a high-profile campaign against the five-hour increase, negotiating hundreds of local agreements across the public sector to retain the 35-hour week. Read more at CGTP (PT) and UGT (PT).