Public service unions have made a major breakthrough after three years of negotiations following the signing of a sector collective agreement covering workers in social services. Around 1000 social workers, social worker assistants and home care employees will see a range of improvements to pay and conditions, including a 4.3% rise in the minimum coefficient used to calculate salaries along with further increases for specific groups of workers. There are other measures to compensate workers covering for absent colleagues and for using private cars. The agreement will only apply to union members. The unions are pleased with the deal but say that there is still more work to do to further improve pay and conditions in the sector.