(December 2016) The public sector federations of CGIL, CSIL and UIL have welcomed the first steps towards re-establishing collective bargaining in the public sector after a seven-year freeze. The federations are looking to negotiate on more issues and ensure proper recognition of the skills and professionalism of public sector workers. Job security will also be an issue with action to deal with the spread of temporary contracts. Catching up with lost purchasing power will also be a priority with an EUR 80 increase set for the first three-year period 2016-2018.
Public sector negotiations finally underway
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The three main public service trade unions in the health sector - Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp and Uil Fpl - took part in the first round of negotiations with the ARAN employers' organisation over renewing the collective agreement covering 550000 healthworkers. As well as ensuring that the basic pay agreement provides for the average €85 a month increase foreseen across the public sector, the unions are particularly concerned to address issues around work organisation and working time. They also emphasise that after eight years without any negotiations, there have been many changes in the sector in terms
Negotiations have begun over changes to the public sector pensions scheme. The Fagforbundet trade union is particularly concerned about addressing gender equality issues and for pensions to take account of the arduousness of many jobs in health and social care which are dominated by women. The demands of many of these jobs often mean that workers cannot stay at work until normal pension age and so there have to be suitable arrangements for early retirement. The union also wants to see improvements in the rules covering the combination of work and retirement.