2018 January epsucob@NEWS 02
IN THIS ISSUE
- Slovenia: public sector strike
- Hungary: culture workers' pay petition
- France: unions take action in elder care
- Spain: home care unions protest
- Belgium, France, Spain: prison staff take action
- Netherlands: ambulance workers restart protests
- Austria: 3% pay increase for electricity workers
- Germany: large pay boost for waste workers
- Italy: federations call for progress with negotiations
- Greece: further protests over austerity and right to strike
- Malta: social workers take industrial action
- Russia: condemnation of dissolution of union organisation
- Europe: psycho-social risk guide in central government
- Europe: report warns of rise in poor quality jobs
Jan. 24, 2018 The KKDSZ culture worker's union delivered a petition with 3000 signatures to the ministry of culture on 22nd January calling for immediate negotiations on pay. The petition was the initiative of employees of the Fine Art Museum and was taken up by KKDSZ. Some workers in the sector have not had a pay rise for over 10 years and 80% of qualified staff have to survive on only EUR 580 a month (gross).
Jan. 24, 2018 Public service workers took strike action on 24 January calling for a pay rise. Pay was cut by 8% in 2012 and has been frozen since then despite growth in the economy, The unions are also calling for the single public sector pay structure to be maintained as a fair way of setting pay across the public services.The strike was supported by nearly 20 unions covering a broad range of workers including health and social services, defence, justice, fire services, education, research and other parts of government.
Jan. 24, 2018 The GPA-djp and PRO-GE energy unions have negotiated a new collective agreement covering around 20000 workers in the private energy sector. The 3% pay rise also covers apprentices and shift allowances while other allowances increase by 2.5%. The agreement includes several other provisions such as protection of special payments and holiday entitlement during paternity leave. The trade unions will also work with the employers to look at women's employment and representation in the sector. There will be working groups on other issues, including working time, and agreement to carry out audits of diversity issues.
Jan. 25, 2018 Services union ver.di has negotiated significant pay increases (18% in 2018 and 7.5% in 2019) for employees of the Alba Logistik waste company in Berlin. The hourly rates are now EUR 12.57 for a driver and EUR 10.74 for a waste worker, Apprentices will also see higher monthly payments with EUR 700 in their first year, rising to EUR 780 in 2019. The result was achieved after three rounds of negotiations and a warning strike last year. Ver.di also attributes the success to a high level of union organisation in the company.
Jan. 25, 2018 The care and welfare section of the FNV trade union will re-launch its protest campaign among ambulance workers following a failure to secure funding for extra pay. The protests were suspended in November (see epsucob@NEWS 21, November 2017) when a commitment was given to provide EUR 19.5m to deal with major staff shortages in the sector. The FNV says that EUR 13.5m of this should cover higher pay with a demand for EUR 1500 for each worker this year. This is needed to address the massive work overload and attract more workers to the sector where pay is lower than other parts of the health service. The employers have refused to make this commitment, instead retaining some of this funding to boost their finances.
Jan. 25, 2018 The ADEDY public services and GSEE private sector confederations organised a day of protest on 15 January against the latest austerity measures being voted on in Parliament as part of the package agreed with European lenders. The measures will mean further cuts to public service employment, cuts to pensions and tax allowances and restrictions on the right to strike.
Jan. 25, 2018 25th January will see the first of another series of partial work stoppages by home care workers in the Basque region in protest at poor pay and working conditions. The actions follow similar protests at the end of last year coordinated by the UGT, USO, ELA and LAB trade union organisations. The unions say that companies are not respecting the collective agreement and make no guarantees on hourly payments when they bid for contracts. The unions are also protesting against excessive flexibility and use of temporary contracts and the fact that workers haven't had a pay increase for five years. They will be taking their case to the Basque regional authority demanding measures to ensure quality employment and quality services in the sector.
Jan. 25, 2018 The International Trade Union Confederation, along with the KTR and FNPR national confederations, has denounced the decision of a St Petersburg court to dissolve the Interregional Trade Union Workers’ Association (ITUWA) on the grounds that it engaged in political activities.The ITUWA had supported truck drivers protesting against tax increases, and criticised the government’s socio-economic policies on its website.The ITUC said that this is a clear violation of freedom of association, guaranteed under ILO Convention 87, which Russia has ratified. The Confederation called on the Russian authorities to fulfil their responsibilities to protect this fundamental right, and to ensure that the deplorable decision is reversed.
Jan. 25, 2018 The European social partners in central government have worked together to produce the first guide to tackling psycho-social risks in the sector. Budget cuts, restructuring, intensification of work, digitalisation and violence at work have all contributed to increasing the pressures on central government workers. The guide proposes a range of measures and above all timely and effective information and consultation in order to address the problem. The guide, summary, background research and video are available in a range of languages.
Jan. 25, 2018 Unions organising in the elder care sector are mobilising for a day of action, including strikes, across the country. The unions are demanding increased funding for the sector in order to ensure the quality of service and for increased staffing. The union demands also include higher pay and improvements in other conditions such as career development, linking quality employment conditions with quality of services. The action is supported by all the major trade union organisations active in the sector.
Jan. 25, 2018 Social workers organised by the UHM Voice of the Workers trade union have been taking industrial action in support of negotiations for a new collective agreement. The action consists of a range of measures that affect non-emergency work across the service but it maybe stepped up if there is no progress in the negotiations. With many staff leaving the service, the union is looking for a deal to increase pay but also to provide continuing professional development.
Jan. 25, 2018 Prison staff unions in Belgium, France and Spain have been taking or are planning industrial action or demonstrations over staffing and pay. In France, the unions have raised concerns about prison overcrowding, violence against staff, the need for a significant increase in prison officer numbers and improvements to pay and conditions. After failing to get a satisfactory response from the justice ministry, the unions are calling for an extension of the action across the country. In Belgium, the issue is the failure of the government to adhere to a 2016 agreement on staffing levels and further action is planned over several dates in January and early February. Spanish unions are planning a national day of action on 24 February over staff shortages, pay and, in particular, major and unjustified differences in pay for the same job in different institutions.
Jan. 26, 2018 The public sector federations, FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL, have expressed their anger in delays to negotiations covering over a million workers in public health and local government. The unions argue that the basis for negotiations across the public sector were laid out in the framework agreement of November 2016 and there is no justification for not moving forward quickly with the sector-level negotiations. The three federations are planning a mobilisation for 5 February to put pressure on the government and employers.
Jan. 26, 2018 The 2018 edition of the World Employment and Social Outlook from the International Labour Organisation has a generally positive analysis of unemployment trends in Europe but underlines the often poor quality of jobs being created which has also partly contributed to constraining wages. The report says that since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, a large share of the jobs created, especially in the Euro Area, have been part-time jobs, and workers have often taken them involuntarily, owing to the lack of full-time employment opportunities.