Workers from three psychiatric hospitals in Paris took strike action and joined a demonstration on 6 September to show their anger over plans to introduce new working time arrangements. The joint action was called by the CGT, CFDT, FO, CFE-CGC and SUD trade unions who argue that the management plans for working time for the 5000 employees will mean that workers will lose between five and 10 rest days a year. The trade unions argue that this would be unacceptable in normal circumstances but is even worse in a situation where many workers are already exhausted as a result of excessive workloads.
Hospital workers protest over threat to working time
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(March 2017) The vpod public services union says that unions need to resist proposals from a national commission for further deregulation of working time. The union warns that it the commission's recommendations are implemented this will lead to more overtime, more night work and more Sunday working. Vpod has also attacked the idea that certain categories of senior managers and specialists should be exempt from working time rules.
The STAL and STML unions representing firefighters organised a protest in Lisbon on 16 April outside the Interior Ministry. The main concerns for the unions are about government proposals to reform the career structure for firefighters and to reduce retirement benefits. Other issues relate to payments for oncall time, 12-hour shifts and implementation of a pay structure that the two unions negotiated with the ministry. The unions have been frustrated by the government's reluctance to negotiate, delaying and then postponing a meeting due on 2 April.
Hospital workers have begun a series of protest actions to put pressure on the NVZ employers' organisation in difficult negotiations over a new collective agreement that covers 200000 workers. So far workers in hospitals in Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Assen and Eindhoven have taken part and the actions are set to spread. Meanwhile, workers at the Evean health and care company have won improvements in working time, notably guaranteed paid breaks and an eight-hour limit to the working day that are seen as important measures to help tackle overwork, stress and poor work-life balance.