Workers at Roscommon Council in the west of Ireland, members of the Fórsa trade union, have begun a series of strikes in order to win back their rights to flexileave. The right is seen as important, particularly for working parents and is being denied to Roscommon workers despite it being a right enjoyed across local government, endorsed in the national agreement and supported by a ruling of the Labour Court. The local government workers have taken two days of strike action and organised a protest march. They will continue to strike every Tuesday and Thursday. EPSU and other union organisations have sent messages of support.
Municipal workers plan series of strikes over flexible working
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In the run-up to negotiating a new collective agreement covering 80000 workers in the childcare sector, the FNV trade union has published the results of a survey that reveal excessive flexibility in working hours and too many fixed-term contracts as major issues for childcare workers. The union argues that many workers have so few set hours that they can be called on at short notice to work additional hours, creating uncertainty and stress. With the increasing demand for workers in the sector the FNV argues that these issues need to be addressed if more qualified workers are to be recruited.
Research by the ETUC reveals that parents in seven EU member states will benefit from new rights as a result of the work-life balance directive that was adopted by the European Council in June. However, this will depend on national governments properly implementing the legislation over the next three years. Fathers in Italy, Croatia and Slovakia are set to receive paid paternity leave around the birth of a child for the first time ever while the directive should at least double the length of paid paternity leave in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania.