The IMPACT and SIPTU trade unions are working hard to push childcare up the political agenda. IMPACT has just submitted a call for a major increase in childcare funding with an extra €125 million this year and €625 million over the next five years. The union wants to see the introduction of an agreed salary scale as an important contribution to the professionalisation of the sector. SIPTU is putting across similar demands in its Big Start campaign.
Call for boost to childcare funding and better pay for workers
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The health workers' union has called for increased funding for the sector to deal with the major problem of healthworkers' pay. The union reports that an analysis of wage developments in the first half of 2017 found that average pay for doctors and other medical staff actually fell in seven Russian regions while in contrast wages in industry increased. The wide range of salaries across the country is exacerbating staff shortages and the union highlights the fact that in many institutions the pay bill is the first to be cut in order to fund other areas of health spending.
A new report from the ETUC, as part of its Pay Rise campaign, shows that minimum wage rates across Europe need to rise significantly just to reach an official measure of low pay (60% of the national median wage as used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Minimum wages in Estonia, Czech Republic and Spain need some of the largest increases to reach the low pay threshold - 46%, 51% and 62% respectively. The ETUC argues that national governments need to sit down with trade unions and employers to discuss how to reach the target.
The UNISON trade union has secured upgrading and back pay for 60 healthcare assistants employed in accident and emergency services at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust in North East England. This is part of the union’s national campaign to secure the appropriate grading for workers on band two of the national pay scale, but who have been undertaking clinical duties falling under band three. In this case the workers are set to receive around £3,000 (€3.500 in back pay). Managers at the Trust have also agreed to enter negotiations with UNISON in the new year aimed at re