2019 January epsucob@NEWS 02
IN THIS ISSUE:
- UK: Unions celebrate equal pay deal
- Hungary: Solidarity with unions' campaign against "slave law"
- Croatia: Pay increases for state workers in 2019
- Austria: Working time and leave are key demands at Red Cross
- Germany: Unions push for better pay deal in energy company
- Italy: Doctors, vets and hospital managers take to the streets
- Netherlands: Youth workers protest over funding and working conditions
- Spain: Union demands cover negotiation, pay, hours and equality
- Norway: Major legal case against private care provider gets underway
- Portugal: Firefighters continue action with national protest
- Denmark: Union calls for more full-time jobs in health and social care
- Greece: Public sector confederation in strike action to support teachers
- Ireland: Public sector pay developments
- Europe: Collective bargaining news from across Europe
Jan. 17, 2019 EPSU sent a solidarity message to the unions campaigning hard for a major demonstration against the so-called slave law that will reform overtime rules and allow employers to put pressure on workers to work longer hours. The legislation extends maximum overtime hours from 250 to 400 a year and not only allows employers to pay normal rates of pay but also gives them a period of three years over which workers can be compensated.
Jan. 17, 2019 Services and energy union ver.di along with the IGBCE union organised warning strikes on 15 and 16 January in the Uniper energy company to put pressure on the employer to come up with a better pay offer. The unions want a 6.8% pay increase over a 12 month period plus a EUR 160 increase for trainees. So far Uniper has offered only 1.8% in March 2019 and 2.2% in 2020. The unions say this would be effectively a cut in pay in real terms and if the company doesn't improve its offer then all-out strikes would be considered.
Jan. 17, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp service unions have broken off negotiations with the Red Cross because they feel their demands are falling on deaf ears. The unions want to see improvements in the collective agreement to bring it in line with comparable agreements with similar employers in the sector. Key demands include a five-day working week as standard, more leave, improvements in relation to split shifts and better allowances for Sunday and night working. They also want to see national approaches to paid breaks and allowances for children rather than different rules in different regions.
Jan. 17, 2019 Public services union FOA has called on municipalities to address the employment shortage in health and social care by offering more full-time jobs. The union has published figures indicating that only 20% of jobs offered in the sector last year were full-time despite the increased demands and despite around 20% of FOA members wanting to work longer hours. The union believes that employers prefer the flexibility of employing two part-time workers rather than one full timer.
Jan. 17, 2019 ADEDY, the public sector confederation, has announced a 24-hour strike across the public sector on 17 January in support of actions taken by teachers. Teachers have already had two days of strikes in protest at government reforms to the appointment system that would discriminate against those with long service. The unions also want to see the creation of new permanent posts.
Jan. 17, 2019 The INMO nurses' and midwives' union has announced a first day of strike action on 30 January with the possibility that five further 24-hour strikes will follow in February if the dispute over pay and recruitment is not resolved. In the meantime the SIPTU services union is calling the Health and Safety Executive to look at health sector pay in the context of the public sector pay deal and the Forsa public services union reports on the impact of the current pay deal which is delivering lower pension payments for some workers and a 1% pay increase for the lower paid
Jan. 17, 2019 The CGIL, CSIL and UIL federations representing doctors, vets and hospital managers organised a national demonstration on 17 January to highlight the 10-year freeze on collective bargaining in the only public sector agreement that has not been renewed. The unions also complain of excessive working time and massive shortages of staff and now a change in the budget law that effectively blocks renegotiation of the collective agreement. The unions are planning a 24-hour strike on 25 January and further action in February.
Jan. 17, 2019 The SDLSN trade union reports that wages for state workers have been increased by 3% from 1 January 2019 and a further increase of 2% will follow on 1 November 2019. The union also agreed with the government that negotiations over a range of rights and also increases on wages for next year would be undertaken during April and May this year.
Jan. 17, 2019 The FNV public services trade union organised a demonstration by youth workers in The Hague on 14 January to protest at the government's failure to tackle serious problems in the sector which are leading to long waiting times for young people to get support and a staff shortage as many workers leave the sector because of the pay and working conditions. The union is calling for EUR 750 million extra funding for the sector and an end to the competitive tendering system which has led to undercutting of contracts, driving prices down and forcing cost cutting across the sector.
Jan. 17, 2019 Following a meeting of the general negotiating group covering public administrations, the FSC-CCOO public services union criticised the government for failing to ensure consultation with the trade unions over the working conditions of three million public sector unions before publishing the budget. The union also called for action on the 35-hour week, an end to replacement rates in staff recruitment, a guarantee on the pay increase linked to economic growth, action on the gender pay gap and an extension of paternity leave across the public administration.
Jan. 17, 2019 The latest collective bargaining newsletter from the European Trade Union Institute includes articles on all European Union member states and candidate countries and more. Among the public sector news items are reports of legislation in Latvia providing for 20% pay increases for health workers and a court victory in the UK for the FBU firefighters' union over changes to pension ages.
Jan. 17, 2019 The UNISON, GMB and Unite trade unions have welcomed an agreement in principle to end the long-running equal pay dispute at Glasgow Council in Scotland. Over 8000 council workers took strike action last October to put pressure on the municipality to end the pay discrimination faced by many women workers in jobs such as cleaning, care and catering. The agreement finalises the principals and structure of any payout to thousands of women but the detail of individual payments still has to be calculated and agreed.
Jan. 18, 2019 The Fagforbundet public services union reports that its legal action against the Aleris social care multinational began on 14 January. The union brought the action on behalf of workers who argue that they are employees of the company and not "consultants" as claimed by Aleris. As self-employed consultants they have far fewer rights and Aleris was able to exploit them, for example, by giving them excessively long shifts. Fagforbundet sees the case as a key challenge to social dumping, highlighting the negative impact not just on the workers but also the quality of service to groups of very vulnerable people.
Jan. 18, 2019 A national demonstration by firefighters took place on 14 January as they continued their campaign against unilateral action by the government to change their employment conditions. This follows the strike that ran from 19 December to 2 January (see previous epsucob@NEWS). The unions involved argue that the proposed changes undermine career development in the fire service and retirement rights. They are particularly angry that the government has attempted to introduce the changes without any consultation or negotiation.