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
After a campaign of lobbying and industrial action lasting for over three years, the Fórsa public services trade union is to ballot its school secretary members on proposals to standardise their employment terms and conditions as drafted in negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission. The union will recommend its members vote to support the new arrangements which will contribute to reducing different pay arrangements for school secretaries depending on whether they are directly employed by schools or by central government. There will be a new pay scale and an agreed method of
In contrast to the continuing challenge to get the central government to award a general pay rise to public service workers and sign a collective agreement, the SSM confederation reports that unions are having considerable success at local level. The UPOZ and SUTKOZ trade unions are negotiating collective agreements with municipalities and local utilities companies, securing the targeted pay increase of 2806 denari (€45) and even setting up new trade union organisations. Recent deals have been negotiated in Stip, Prilep and Struga.