2021 EPSU Collective Bargaining News April No.8
Nine trade union federations have sent a joint letter to the public services minister calling for immediate pay negotiations. The unions are concerned about the long-term erosion of purchasing power. At the beginning of this year the national minimum wage (SMIC) rose to EUR 10.25 an hour (EUR 1554.58 a month) and this meant pay rates at the bottom of the Category C public sector pay grade fell below the minimum. Instead of increasing the index point on which all public sector salaries are based, the government simply added two index points to these lowest pay rates. The unions point out that
After the third round of bargaining, the ver.di services union has secured a new 24-month agreement covering around 21,000 employees at the clinic operator Helios. There will be a 3.8% increase in total with a 1.4% rise in April this year, 2.0% in April 2022 and a further 0.4 percent in November 2022. Employees will also receive a EUR 400 corona bonus (trainees EUR 100) as well as an additional day off in recognition of the extra work during the pandemic. Working hours at the eastern German Helios locations will be reduced to the western level from January 1, 2023. A care allowance of EUR 100
Public service union, younion has joined with private service unions GPA and vida as well as the ÖGB trade union confederation and Chamber of Labour to call on the government to take urgent steps to increase training in the childcare and after-school care sector. The unions point out that inadequate staffing levels were apparent before the pandemic but have become more acute and overburdened staff need the reassurance that newly trained staff will soon be recruited. They underline the fact that many workers in the sector are thinking about leaving and that a wave of retirements is also
The FNV trade union reports that pay rates for water authority workers are set to increase by EUR 50, backdated to 1 January 2021. There will also be two increases of 0.5% to the individual choice budget (IKB) as of 1 January and 1 July. The union says that on average, this amounts to a 2.05% salary increase. The personal basic budget (PBB) will be increased from EUR 5,000 to at least EUR 6,000 for five years. The IKB and PBB can be used to exchange salary for other benefits such as annual leave. The new agreement also includes provisions on standby duty allowance and parental leave
Public service union, Fagforbundet, that represents firefighters is taking legal action to try to overturn a decision by the social insurance court that cancer doesn’t quality as an occupational disease. There was a long struggle by firefighters to get occupational injury compensation as a result of being more exposed to certain types of cancer more than other workers. This was achieved in 2016 and several workers have received this compensation. However, a new ruling reverses this decision. The union argues that there is no new knowledge or research to justify any changes. Several recent
Over 1400 workers, members of the PCS civil service union, took strike action from 6-9 April in protest at the failure to address safety issues at the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea in South Wales. Over 600 DVLA employees have tested positive for COVID since last September with no effective response from management or the Department of Transport (DoT). Following the strike the union has called for immediate talks to resume with the DoT and will be discussing next steps with members.
EPSU joined with the ADEDY civil service trade union confederation in sending solidarity messages to trade unions representing health and social security workers taking action to defend jobs and services. The POEDHN health union organised demonstrations on 7 April and plans work stoppages for 22 April to promote a wide range of demands. The union wants COVID-19 to be recognized as an occupational disease and is calling for better pay for health and social care workers as an essential measure to tackle staff shortages. Meanwhile, the POSE-IKA and POPOKP trade unions organised a 48-hour warning
Government, trade unions and employers signed a new cross-sector agreement on 31 March that includes a wide range of provisions, among them three key points: adoption of the International Labour Organization Centenary Declaration on the Future of the World of Work; amendments to the Constitution covering the special role of social partnership in the regulation of social and labour relations; and the need to take into account the pandemic when formulating measures to protect workers. The agreement also highlights issues that need to be addressed in relation to public sector pay in order to
Six trade unions are coming together to take strike action over jobs and precarious employment in the public sector in the Basque region. The unions are responding to the failure of the regional government to address public employment and the persistently high levels of temporary contracts across the public sector. Action is planned for 22 April across all the main public services – municipalities, health, education, general administration, justice, public transport, public media and other sectors. The unions want to see the thousands of temporary workers who have been crucial to tackling the
The impact of the pandemic has led to restructuring of some care homes in the Brussels region where employers are arguing that declining occupation rates and costs of anti-COVID measures are making some homes unviable. The Armonea (Colisée) group has announced plans to close one facility (Sebrechts) with the loss of 108 jobs while unions at the Senior Living Group, part of the Korian multinational, are looking at ways to avoid compulsory redundancies with a range of measures. The unions at the Sebrecht care home have issued a strike notice and there is determination to fight what is seen as a
The Common Front of the Public Administration Unions has announced a national day of action on 20 May to push the government to respond to its key collective bargaining demands for 2021. The unions are calling for a EUR 90 increase for all workers and a minimum salary of EUR 850 a month. They also want action to improve career development and the revocation of the SIADAP performance management system.
Members of the DSR nurses’ union have voted to reject the proposed collective agreement for 2021-23 negotiated for local and regional government. The voting process is currently being carried out in other public sector unions and the full result won’t be know until around 21 April. The DSR argues that nurses have been left behind in terms of pay when taking account of their level of education, responsibilities and tasks. Furthermore, the pandemic has meant extensive extra work for a great many nurses and the increased wage costs have had a negative impact as a result of the regulation scheme