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 aiming for a payment of a 15% addition to salary but a minimum of EUR 4.99 a day.
Union makes progress on implementing hardship allowance
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The STAL local government union organised an action outside parliament on 16 September as part of its long-running campaign to secure special allowances for workers doing arduous, unhealthy or high-risk jobs. The union says that legislation has been in place since 1989 to allow for this but never implemented. STAL underlines the fact that even in normal circumstances thousands of municipal workers deliver essential services in risky working conditions and that this is even more the case with COVID-19. Along with the demonstration the union has written an open letter to the government, MPs and
The European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water was the first ever ECI to collect nearly 2 million signatures. Its key demand to implement the human right to water and sanitation of the UN nto EU legislation has not moved forward though.