The unions UGT-FICA and FSC-CCOO are both very positive about negotiating a new four year agreement with the AGA employers' organisation in the water sector. The agreement will run until 2022 and covers around 20000 workers. There will be a 3% pay increase in each year but there is also an opening clause if inflation exceeds this figure. Working time is reduced by eight hours with annual total of 1744 from 2020. There is a wide range of other measures relating to health and safety, work-life balance, equality and digitalisation among others.
New four-year agreement in water sector
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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.
The European Commission has produced a short overview of paternity and parental leave provisions across EU countries revealing that, for example, paternity leave is available in nearly all member states but the length and level of compensation vary considerably. The draft directive on work-life balance proposes two weeks' paternity leave paid at the level of sick pay. While 17 member states already have the two-week minimum only 13 offer it on the basis of at least 66% of previous earnings.