The FESAP and Frente Comum federations of public sector trade unions are planning strike action on 20 March in protest at the pay increase implemented by the government which is worth only 0.3% for most workers. The FESAP federation is also planning a number of other initiatives including testimonies of individual workers about the difficulties they face as a result of the long-term pay freeze and low increases that they have suffered. These will be sent to the government. A national action is also planned for 19 March and conference on the future of the public service on 30 March.
Public sector unions plan strike action on 20 March
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At least 17 public sector unions are planning to take part in a one-day strike on 24 January to demand an end to austerity and to the retention of the single pay system for all public sector workers. The unions are concerned about pay deals with doctors, public sector directors and senior managers in the state holding company that call into question the single pay structure in the public sector. In the meantime, the firefighters' union has called off action planned for 10 January following government agreement to regrading of 14 posts within the fire service.
Eight public sector trade union organisations are planning another day of protest and strike action on 22 May in opposition to government plans for public service reform and proposals to cut 120000 civil service jobs. The unions criticise the spread of contract employment across the public sector and the undermining of the statutory basis of their pay and conditions. The unions will also use the day of action to highlight the need for a real increase in pay in advance of the meeting with the government on pay planned for June.
The Health and Social Welfare Union is the latest public sector union to commit to joining the national strike on 4 December and it has called on other unions in the health sector to support the action. The unions are waiting for a commitment from the government to negotiate over the public sector pay structure and measures to address cuts in pay. The unions want to see implementation of an agreement earlier this year to reverse an 8% cut in pay grades and some specific measures covering education workers. In particular, the unions want to maintain the public sector-wide pay structure.