Trade unions, including CCOO and UGT, involved in national social dialogue in the dependent care sector have welcomed the government’s commitment to increase funding for the system by EUR 600 million in 2021. There is a further commitment to maintain the same amounts of annual investment in the coming years until reaching an increase of EUR 1800 million euros during the current parliament. The additional funding should help improve the quality of the service as well as the quality of employment. The unions note in particular the longstanding problems related to inadequate career development, low pay and pensions in the sector which is dominated by women workers. Unions also want to see the funding go towards a strengthening of public management and improvement and expansion of the public network.
Unions welcome increased funding for care sector
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The GPA-djp and vida private service trade unions met with the private care employers' organisation (SWÖ) to highlight the major staffing challenge facing the sector and the urgent need for additional funding to cover better pay and conditions to increase recruitment to the sector. The unions underlined the impact of serious staff shortages that are leading to increased workloads, burnout and stress for many care workers. They want to see legally enforceable staffing levels, that set minimum standards both in terms of numbers of staff with the appropriate qualifications.