Unions organising in state administration in both Spain and Portugal have raised serious concerns about the approach to telework and particularly governments taking the opportunity to regularise arrangements that were only adopted on an emergency basis. While there is recognition of the potential benefits to work-life balance, unions argue that fundamental issues need to be addressed through collective bargaining in relation to working time, the right to disconnect, provision of equipment, health and safety, training, contact with the workplace and the voluntary nature of the decision to telework.
Unions raise concerns about approach to telework
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Jun. 17, 2020 The FeSP-UGT public service federation has sent a number of key demands to the public service ministry for a new agreement covering public sector workers. The union wants action on improving employment conditions and reducing precarious employment but also has a number of specific proposals on telework, noting that the estimated impact of COVID-19 has been an increase from 26,000 to more than 450,000 public employees doing telework. Among the key demands are action to balance security and flexibility with increased productivity; voluntary nature of telework; equality of rights with other workers; privacy, confidentiality, risk prevention, training and information; health and safety; working time and consultation. Meanwhile, the FSC-CCOO federation has denounced the fact that, more than a year after the entry into force of agreement covering 40000 workers in state administration, the government is refusing to increase salaries and the payment of accumulated pay arrears amounting to some 35 million euros. There is also a failure to establish new professional classification system. The union has called for an immediate confirmation of funding for the pay increase and says it will consider protests and mobilisation after crisis if this is not addressed.
Feb. 27, 2017 (March 2017) A joint report from the Eurofound agency and the International Labour Organisations examines the advantages and disadvantages of telework and puts forward some policy proposals on key issues. The report points to positive effects such as a shortening of commuting time, greater working time autonomy, better work–life balance, and higher productivity. However, it also notes the risks of longer working hours, interference between work and personal life, and work intensification, leading to high levels of stress.
Jun. 13, 2007 One of the first initiatives of the new government of Nicolas Sarkozy is to push through legislation allowing workers to work overtime with no additional tax to pay on the extra hours. Three union confederations, CGT, CFDT and CGC have come together to reject the proposal, arguing that it will create inequalities at work as not all workers will be able to benefit. The FO confederation also has serious concerns pointing out that part-time workers and those on annual hours will not benefit from the new rules and that extra hours are only at the discretion of the employer. FO's civil service federation says the legislation will apply to public sector workers but complains that there have been no attempts to negotiate with unions over how this will be implemented.Read more at > CGT (FR)Read more at > FO-Fonctionnaires (FR)Read more at > CFDT (FR)