2017 May epsucob@NEWS 09
(May 2017) The revised labour code has been a major issue of debate in Lithuania for the last three years. The ETUI research organisation has just published a an update on this and other labour market, industral relations and pensions developments in the country. This is part of the ETUI's Reform Watch website covering all EU Member States.
(May 2017) The Sanitas health union says it will continue to campaign and mobilise in order to ensure that new legislation creates pay equity for all workers in the health and social services sectors. In its latest form the legislation fails to take account of a series of amendments submitted by the union. Sanitas says the process of consultation appears to have been for show only. The union will consider what further action to take should the legislation fail to incorporate the key changes on pay.
(May 2017) Labour and gender equality issues featured at the recent G20 meeting in Germany. The G20 brings together the 19 leading industrial nations (including France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey and the UK) and the European Union. The group recognised that: "minimum wage legislation and collective bargaining in particular can set income floors to reduce income inequality, eliminate poverty wages and achieve sustainable wage growth". Trade union and women's organisations also came together to urge G20 leaders to take action on equality in employment and decent work for women.
(May 2017) The public sector federations of the CCOO and UGT unions are planning a series of actions in protest at the government's failure to engage in a proper process of collective bargaining in the state administration. The unions want to see a number of major issues addressed including the loss of purchasing power of public employees, the threat to services from job cuts and privatisation and the restoration of other rights reduced as a result of austerity measures. The first action is planned for 1 June with a demonstration outside the directorate of public service.
(May 2017) The FOA public services union has called on MPs to reject the continuing demand on local government and health to deliver a 2% productivity increase each year. Effectively in force since 2003, it means that workers in the sector deliver 49% more services with the same staff. The union argues that there is a limit to what can be done and that services cannot be permanently streamlined without posing a threat to quality. The union points out that while health workers have been delivering a 2.4% productivity increase each year the private sector has managed only 1%.
(May 2017) The ADEDY public sector confederation expressed its thanks to the thousands of workers who joined the general strike and rallies on 17 May. The strike was to express opposition to further austrity measures being put forward as part of the bail-out package being negotiated between the government and the European creditors and International Monetary Fund. The strike was jointly called by the GSEE private sector confederation and supported by the International Trade Union Confederation.
(May 2017) The FNV and NU'91 trade unions have negotiated a new collective agreement covering 80000 workers in the mental health care sector. The agreement runs from 1 March 2017 to 1 July 2019 and includes a 4% pay increase - 1.65% this year and 1.88% next year with an extra 0.25% coming in end-of-year bonuses. The agreement also includes measures to address problems of overwork and long working hours with a checklist to assess the health impact and sustainability of workers' rosters. There are also measures to improve the provision and scope of training.
(May 2017) The UNISON public services union warns of a recruitment crisis in public services if public sector pay restraint is continued. UNISON quotes a new report from the independent Insitute of Fiscal Studies which say that if public sector pay continues to fall compared to pay in the private sector, the public sector will struggle to recruit and retain the workers it needs to deliver public services, and the quality of those services will therefore be at risk.
(May 2017) The STAL local government union is calling for an immediate pay increase of 4% (minimum EUR 50) to address the loss of purchasing power of local government workers. The union says that pay levels remain lower than they were in 2010. The union has a number of other demands in including unfreezing career progression. Meanwhile the FNSTFPS civil service federation called a national strike on 26 May with similar demands including a guarantee that all workers in the public service have a right to the 35-hour week.
(May 2017) Trade unions are showing their support for a legislative initiative on gender pay information that is going through the Senate.The Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2017, if made into law, would require organisations with more than 50 employees to publish regular wage surveys aimed at measuring their internal gender pay gaps.Unions believe that this will be a signifcant boost to the campaign to reduce the gender pay gap.
(May 2017) The OSZSP heath and social care union has called on the government to take immediate steps to increase pay for social care workers. The union argues that these workers are very badly paid for the responsible and demanding job they do. This is resulting in a recruitment crisis in the sector. The union wants to see the agreement to cut the two lowest pay rates on the social care pay scales implemented and for care workers to be covered by the health care salary structure.
(May 2017) The three public service federations (FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL) organised a day of action on 23 May to highlight the problem of underfunding of provincial and city councils. The unions argue that indiscriminate cuts have to end and that inadequate funding poses a threat to workers' wages as well the delivery of essential services and maintenance of roads and schools. Workers were mobilised across the country on the day.
(May 2017) Public service trade unions have had a series of meetings with the new minister of public accounts, Gérald Darminin, with some already unhappy that his remit is not broad responsibility for the public services. The unions have a number of major concerns including the need for a pay rise, particularly for the lowest paid occupations and rejection of the plans to cut 120000 civil service posts. Pensions and other working conditions were also raised in the meetings with the minister indicating that joint meetings with the unions would take place later in the year.
(May 2017) Trade unions representing childcare workers in the private sector have negotiated a new pay agreement which is in line with the municipal sector. Overall worth about 2.4% the agreement includes a 2% increase on minimum rates taking the lowest pay rate to NOK 295900 a year (around EUR 31650). The agreement covers over 26000 workers in more than 1700 workplaces. Meanwhile a strike over pensions in the Akasia group of kindergartens went into its fourth week at the end of May with more workers joining the strike. Equality of pension provision for men and women is a key demand.
(May 2017) Two members of ver.di with the support of their union and the DGB confederation have won an important ruling in the European Court of Justice that protects the link between their pay and conditions and the public sector collective agreement. The two hospital employees were part of a transfer to a private company in 1997 but were then transferred again when the Asklepios company won the contract. Asklepios refused to maintain the link with the public sector collective agreement arguing that it was not party to the original negotiations. The European Court decided in favour of the