2018 November epsucob@NEWS 21
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Bulgaria: Major pay boost for health workers
- Latvia: Health union warns of government failure to fund wage increases
- Ireland: Nurses and midwives to vote on strike action over pay
- Germany: Union negotiates another workload and staffing agreement
- Spain: Prison unions continue strike action despite legal challenge
- Italy: Unions launch major campaign on collective bargaining and public services
- Greece: Public service federation calls 24-hour strike
- Czech Republic: Health unions discusses pay and staffing in tripartite committee
- Netherlands: Ambulance workers restart industrial action
- Finland: Unions suspend industrial action over dismissal law changes
- Portugal: High level of support for national strike
- UK: Negotiations resume following equal pay strike
- Norway: Union reveals public-private pay gap in care sector
- Austria: Union calls for national care standards and action on pay
Nov. 01, 2018 Ver.di, the main trade union in the health sector, is close to securing an agreement on staffing and workloads with Augsburg hospital in Bavaria. As the institution is set to become a university hospital from 1 January next year, the agreement has to be confirmed by the state health minister. Ver.di members at the hospital have voted 93% in favour of industrial action and so the union says it is ready to take action if the agreement is rejected. Similar to other agreements negotiated recently in hospitals in North Rhine Westphalia and Saarland, the Augsburg deal will mean additional jobs - 100 full-time posts by 2020 - and will introduce staffing guidelines, management processes for dealing with understaffing, compensatory days off and improvements to the quality of training.
Nov. 02, 2018 Trade unions reported a high level of support for the national one-day strike in public administration and other public services on 26 October. The unions are determined to continue their campaign to end the pay freeze that various governments have imposed since 2009 and to unfreeze career progression. In the meantime, there has been further action in the health service, with workers in technical diagnostic and therapeutic services involved in a 24-hour strike on 29 October over the pay structure, pay increase, career development and working time.
Nov. 02, 2018 The solidly supported two-day strike by around 8000 local government workers in Glasgow was successful in getting the council back to the negotiating table. The strike was over the council's failure to deal with longstanding demands for equal pay for a wide range of low-paid women workers in care, catering, cleaning, school support and other services. The strike on 23-24 October was called by the GMB and UNISON trade unions and UNISON now reports that initial talks with the council have been positive and constructive. EPSU, PSI and many affiliates sent messages of support.
Nov. 02, 2018 The Fagforbundet public service union has revealed figures showing that care workers in the private sector in Oslo are between EUR 7000 and EUR 8700 worse off than those in the public sector. A starting salary for a graduate care worker in the public sector is NOK 367000 (EUR 38500), NOK 84000 more than the same worker in the private sector. Those on minimum wages in the sector are EUR 7000 better off if employed by the municipality. Fagforbundet also says that private sector workers are more likely to face heavier workloads as a result of understaffing. Fourteen of the 40 care homes in Oslo are currently run by the private sector although the municipality has plans to gradually bring them back under public management.
Nov. 02, 2018 Public and private sector trade unions have suspended their industrial action in protest at planned changes to dismissal legislation following a commitment from the government to negotiate. The proposed changes would have made it easier to sack workers in small firms. Unions were objecting to the discriminatory provisions and to the failure to negotiate. The unions have only suspended the action and may restart it if the government doesn't undertake proper tripartite negotiations.
Nov. 02, 2018 The four main public service unions - FP-CGIL, CISL-FP, UIL-PA and UIL-FPL - have together launched a major campaign and petition calling for action to improve public services and deliver better employment conditions. The four unions have drawn up a document with 11 key proposals that cover calls for increased public investment; substantial recruitment of new workers and improved training provision; better union representation; finalising outstanding collective agreements for the 2016-2018 period and ensuring resources for the next round of agreements for 2019-21; bringing back privatised services in-house and increased funding for the health service.
Nov. 02, 2018 The GPA-djp private services union has underlined the need for action in the care sector to address the quality and quantity of services and the pay and conditions of care workers, three quarters of whom are women. With demand increasing, particularly as a result of the ageing population, the union wants to see the federal government take responsibility to introduce national standards of care to end the variation between the regions and to increase funding to the sector to help address low pay and the widespread use of part-time work.
Nov. 02, 2018 The OSZSP health union took part in a tripartite meeting with the health minister and health employers last month with pay and staffing high on the agenda. The union is still seeking confirmation from the government that the 10% pay increase offered to health workers will be implemented from 1 January and that it will apply to all health workers. It warns that problems with the health service will arise if workers in some areas don't benefit from the same pay increase. The union has called for data on hospitals, patient numbers, staffing and average pay along with information on overtime hours and payments so that there can be a fully informed discussion about the extent of understaffing.
Nov. 08, 2018 Members of the FNV union in the ambulance service have restarted their work-to-rule industrial action. The action had been suspended to allow for further negotiations but the employers then broke off negotiations and withdrew an earlier pay offer. The FNV is calling for urgent action to address staffing shortages. It is aiming for a 7.5% pay increase in 2018 and 3.5% in 2019 which it says are needed to keep ambulance pay in line with other parts of the health service. The union says that employers should fund higher pay rather than spending money on recruiting agency workers to cover understaffing.
Nov. 08, 2018 The trade unions representing prison workers, including EPSU affiliates ACAIP-USO, FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT, are continuing their strike action over pay despite attempts by the prison service to get the action declared illegal. The unions reported massive support for the first two days of strike action on 25-26 October. Further action had already been planned for 10-13 November but the unions had to counter the legal challenge by the employers and so have agreed that the next four days of action will run from 17-20 November.
Nov. 08, 2018 Health unions in Bulgaria signed a new collective agreement on 8 November which includes substantial pay increases for workers across the sector. Compared to the pay rates set in the 2016 collective agreement, the minimum wage for nurses, midwives and laboratory technicians will increase by 22% from 900 lev (EUR 460) to 1100 lev (EUR 560) a month. The basic rate for doctors and pharmacists will increase by just under 30% from 1200 lev (EUR 615) to 1550 lev (EUR 790). Higher increases of up to 50% will be paid to medical specialists.
Nov. 08, 2018 ADEDY, the public services confederation, has called a 24-hour strike for 14 November. It is calling on the government to negotiate over a gradual process of pay restoration. ADEDY says that civil servants have already seen pay cut by 40% and now tax rises and reductions in tax allowances will further reduce take home pay. It is calling for immediate pay rises and the restoration of the 13th and 14th month salaries as initial steps in this process. The strike demands also cover the urgent need to recruit additional permanent staff, for measures on skills and training rather than a new evaluation system, improvements to pensions and a stop to privatisation.
Nov. 08, 2018 The LVSADA health union is extremely concerned that the state budget for 2019 will not include promised funding to cover pay increases for health workers. The union has called for rises of around 20% as an essential step to try to stem the loss of workers to other sectors or to other countries. LVSADA believes that the outgoing government made the promise as an election ploy and is now saying it has no responsibility for the budget. Following elections in October negotiations are underway to form a new government.
Nov. 08, 2018 INMO, the nurses' and midwives' union, is balloting its members over strike action in protest at low pay and staffing shortages. If agreed, there will be 24-hour strike with proposals already to escalate this to two days of action in the following week if the government fails to respond. INMO says that for every four nursing vacancies there is only one application and that the health service is paying employment agencies EUR 10000 for every nurse or midwife they recruit. It underlines the importance of tackling this issue to ensure the safety of patients which is under threat as a result of the current staff shortages.