In the first of a series of three meetings over a thousand public service workers gathered in Košice to discuss pay in the public sector. The unions are calling for action on minimum salaries and a pay system that recognises workloads, levels of education and length of service of public service workers. Two further meetings are planned as part of this broad trade union consultation process - one in Banská Bystrica on 16 November and the final one in Bratislava on 23 November.
Public service workers call for changes to pay system
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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.
EPSU affiliates in the Czech Republic took part in the national rally organised by the CMKOS confederation calling for an end to cheap labour. The rally marked the latest stage in the campaign begun by CMKOS in 2015 and tying in perfectly with the ETUC pay rise campaign launched in February this year. The confederation says that pay across the country has risen by 10% over the past two years and it is calling for a further increase of 10% for 2018.
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.