2021 EPSU Collective Bargaining News February No.4
Services union ver.di and the BVAP social care employers’ organisation have signed a collective agreement for the first time covering eldercare. The agreement will set minimum standards for the sector with a 25% increase over three years taking minimum pay for trained nurses to EUR 3180 a month. There will be minimum pay rates for nursing assistants, those with one year’s training and qualified nurses beginning at EUR 12.30, EUR 13.10 and EUR 16.10 an hour respectively from 1 August 2021. This will then rise in three further stages on 1 January 2022, 1 January 2023 and 1 June 2023 to reach EUR
Public sector workers will be covered by two new three-year agreements running from 1 April to the end of March 2024. The agreements covering municipal and state sector workers both have an overall value of 6.75% of the pay bill over the three years but the amounts are distributed differently. In the municipal agreement there will be a 5.02% general increase but there will be additional amounts allocated to address low pay, equal pay, recruitment and organisational issues, taking the overall increase to 5.94%. In the state sector there will be a 4.42% pay rise over the three years, with
More than 24 million workers on low wages in the EU would get a pay rise if trade union proposals for the EU’s draft Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages are accepted. The ETUC is calling for a specific threshold to be included in the directive which would mean no statutory minimum wages could be set below 60% of the national median wage and 50% of the national average wage in each Member State that has a legal minimum wage. At the moment, the European Commission has only included the threshold in the draft directive as an indicative guide. ETUC Deputy General Secretary Esther Lynch said: “A
The OSZSP health workers’ union and LOK doctors’ union have written a joint letter to the prime minister warning of the continuing crisis in healthcare, particularly in some regional hospitals. The unions say that services are at bursting point in some hospitals not just with the high-level of patients with COVID-19 but also with patients with longer-term symptoms. The unions have also called for additional funding to ensure that all health workers entitled to a COVID-19 bonus get their payments without delay and to avoid a repeat of the problems of payments during the first outbreak. They
The three main unions representing municipal workers – Unison, Unite and GMB – have put in a pay claim for an increase of at least 10% from this April. They say this will begin to redress a decade of cuts and recognise the key role played in the pandemic by school and council staff. The negotiations cover staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the claim aims to bring the lowest paid workers above £10 (EUR 11.50) per hour. This would put them above the real “living wage” of £9.50 (EUR 10.90) per hour (outside London). The unions calculate that staff working in local government
Workers in four social care organisations in Oslo have been taking strike action in support of their demands that all employees should be paid in line with pay rates in the municipal sector. Their union Fagforbundet says that pay rates for nurses are comparable to the public sector but assistant nurses and other workers could be paid around NOK 100000 (EUR 9800) a year less than people doing the same job a municipal care provider. The union is challenging two major companies – Stendi and Norlandia – to tackle this pay inequality and ensure fair pay across the sector.
Staff working in medical general practices are set to get a 2% pay increase in a new agreement negotiated by the FNV and other trade unions. There will also be a structural 0.5% addition to the end-of-year bonus and a one-off increase of the same amount. There has also been an agreement on a homeworking allowance but no other significant provisions as the focus was on pay and for a short agreement (12 months to 31 December 2021), taking account of the difficult circumstances created by the pandemic. Meanwhile, central government workers are yet to get a pay offer from the employers who have
Workers in the SEPE public employment services are set to take two days of strike action in March to demand urgent action to address understaffing and overwork. The workers are represented by the FAC-USO public service union which has written to the Minister of Labour warning of the exhaustion faced by staff who have faced the massive increase in work over the past year in dealing with additional benefit payments and processes related to ERTE company restructuring schemes. So far, the ministry has acknowledged the problem of staffing but has not proposed a concrete solution. The union
After many years of campaigning by public service unions, the government finally included provisions in the 2021 budget to ensure that public employers could pay an allowance for work that is arduous, risky or poses a threat to health. However, any decision on paying the allowance is left to local level and so unions are approaching local authorities to negotiate over the allowance. The STAL local government union is currently focusing its efforts in the Portalegre district in the east of the country where several parish councils and a municipality have already agreed on the payment. STAL is
The Kommunal municipal workers’ union has negotiated a collective agreement with the Visita employers’ organisation representing companies in the hospitality sector. The agreement runs from 1 January 2021 to 31 August 2023 and provides for a salary increase of SEK 1303 (EUR 130) paid in two instalments in April 2021 and September 2022. This will mean a 6% increase on the monthly minimum wage for professional workers from SEK 21587 (EUR 2150) to SEK 22880 (EUR 2280). Additional allowances will be increased by 5.4% over the course of the agreement.
Although the three main trade unions finally managed to negotiate a collective agreement with the Aris and Aiop employer organisations covering most worker in the private health sector, this is not the end of the story. Firstly, doctors working for employers in the Aiop private health organisation are not covered by an updated collective agreement in contrast to those employed by employers in the Aris organisation. Strike action was organised on 28 January to put pressure on Aiop. Meanwhile, the unions are in dispute with the La Nostra Famiglia care company over its decision to move 1600 of
After the surge in remote working as a result of the pandemic, trade unions in Ireland, Russia and Spain have welcomed new initiatives, including legislation and collective agreements, that regulate telework. Research by the Eurofound research agency also looks into the negative and positive implications of telework for workers’ autonomy and work-life balance raising again the challenges to ensure that workers have control over their working time and underlining the importance of current discussions at European level on the right to disconnect.