2021 EPSU Collective Bargaining News August No.17
Nearly two out of three public employees are satisfied with the shortening of the working week, according to a survey reported by the BSRB public services federation. The results show that satisfaction is much higher among state and local government employees than among employees in other sectors. A total of 64% of civil servants say they are very or rather satisfied with the cut, with about 17% saying they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and about 18% saying they are very or rather dissatisfied. The difference between sectors appears to relate to the different way in which the cuts in
Nearly nine out of 10 workers in Scottish government support the move to a four-day week according to research by the Autonomy think tank. The report’s findings suggest that moving to a four-day week would boost productivity to such an extent that many departments could make the change without having to employ new staff. The research shows a range of benefits for the government, including better retention and recruitment of staff, being seen as a pioneer in setting new working time standards for the Scottish economy; and having a healthier workforce. PCS, the main civil service union, which is
The FNPR trade union confederation has stressed that any move towards a four-day working week has to ensure that pay levels are maintained. The confederation is aware of employers switching to a four- or even three-day week but with similar cuts in wages. However, the confederation believes that there is the need for a debate and for an examination of legislation with the 40-hour working week established in the constitution. The confederation wants to see a debate around changes to working time with the possibility of a 35- or 36-hour working week or changes to work schedules with the option
After two days of rallies and protests by waste workers, Tbilisi city council agreed to increase the salaries of employees of the Tbilservice waste management company from January 2022 and to solve a range of other issues by the end of August. The trade union of services, banks and utilities negotiated a number of measures relating to the inviolability of the protesters; cancellation of planned changes to work schedules; granting of employee insurance from 1 January 2022; additional paid leave to 24 working days; update of special clothes provision; and upgrading of vehicles.
The FeSP-UGT public services federation has signed an agreement with the Fresenius Medical Care company setting out a digital disconnection procedure, which will be applied to all workers in all Fresenius’s centres and clinics in Spain. It recognises the company's commitment to guarantee this right during holidays other days off and daily and weekly rest periods, based on the digital rights legislation of 2018. The union wanted to make sure there was a proper procedure for monitoring application of the agreement and dealing with issues such as emergency situations arising from staff shortages
Negotiators at the FNV trade union secured a better pay offer from employers and workers in network energy companies will get a 2% pay increase from 1 April 2022 as part of an agreement running from 1 May 2021 to 31 December 2022. The agreement includes a commitment to maintain the current social plan and work on a number of other initiatives covering employability, workloads, wellbeing and early retirement.
The DSR nurses’ union has given notice that it will extend its strike action over pay to more health institutions around the country and it also organised a national demonstration in Copenhagen on 14 August. Members of the union voted to reject the national public sector collective agreement earlier this year because it failed to tackle the longstanding issue of the undervaluing of nursing occupations. The strike began on 14 June and the union has announced five extensions in advance with the latest one planned for 7 September involving a further 281 nurses.
The 2019 Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive introduces a range of new or enhanced rights for millions of workers across Europe. Member States have until August 2022 to transpose the Directive into national legislation and the European Commission has just published its expert group report. This is not binding but covers the points raised in the group by representatives of national governments and other experts. The main issue for EPSU is the provision that gives member states the possibility to exclude certain public service workers from Chapter III of the directive which
The Hungarian government has issued two decrees removing the right to strike from air traffic control staff. An appeal court judgement of 20 July clearly confirmed the union’s legal right to strike. However, six days later the two decrees were published which not only dismiss the decision of the Hungarian Appeal Court but also violate Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) has condemned the Hungarian government and strongly maintains that collective representation and collective bargaining are basic labour rights
The vpod/ssp public services union has launched an initiative to support its local activists in mobilising to win better pay and conditions for health workers across the country. The strike at the CHUV University Hospital in Lausanne was the starting signal for the union’s “Road to Strike” organizing campaign. Vpod/ssp argues that the situation in health establishments has worsened due to the pandemic with many workers facing burnout and leaving the sector. The persistent staffing shortages undermine working conditions and further pressures come from private health companies’ search for profit
The KESK public sector confederation has rejected the offer made by the government for public sector wide pay increases in 2022 and 2023. The Ministry of Labour offered increases of 5% and 6% in 2022 and two increases of 6% in 2023 with further adjustments for inflation. However, KESK has already highlighted the extent to which public sector pay has fallen behind inflation (currently over 17%) and it also questions whether the official inflation figure really reflects living costs for most workers. However, the confederation is also disappointed that the public sector pay talks fail to address
The ver.di services union has called a three-day warning strike from 23 August in the hospitals in Berlin run by the regional government’s Charité group, including its Vivantes subsidiaries. The union gave the employer 100 days to initiate collective bargaining to tackle overwork by hospital employees and trainees and to bring pay in line with the public service collective agreement in all Vivantes subsidiaries. The strike will go ahead if the deadline of 20 August is missed. Ver.di says that Charité has failed to make any serious offer and it has called on the employer to conclude agreements