2021 EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter December No.25
The main public service federations have signed a preliminary agreement covering the 250000 staff in central government for the three-year period 2019-2021. After eight months of negotiations and 25 meetings, the agreement delivers an average pay increase of €90 a month backdated to 1 January 2021 in a deal worth around 5%. The agreement also covers a range of areas including remote work, parental leave, support for women who are victims of violence and new procedures covering progression through pay grades. Meanwhile, Fp-Cgil and Uil-Fpl have signed an agreement with the ARIS private health
Five health unions (CCOO, SATSE, ELA, LAB and UGT) are continuing to work together in a long-running campaign to secure increased funding for primary care in the Basque region. Their latest initiative involves demonstrations at health centres right across the region on 22 December. The unions are calling for action on staffing with the creation of 1000 new posts, the transfer of thousands of temporary workers to permanent contracts and an end to excessive use of temporary hiring. The unions are also calling on other campaign groups to join the protests.
Staff in European institutions, bodies and agencies will get a net 1.9% increase in salaries, pensions, and social allowances backdated to 1 July 2021. This is the result of a formula that has been applied since the early 1980s, when the EPSU member organisation, Union Syndicale Fédérale carried out successful industrial action, also defending the gains later through further industrial action. The salaries (and later also pensions) of staff have kept pace with the development in the purchasing power of civil servants working in the national governments of the Member States. In 2020, this
New figures from the ETUC reveal that workers across Europe would be on average €649.30 better off if wages had kept pace with productivity since 2019. This is more than the €419.48 estimated average cost of Christmas. The ETUC argues that extending and strengthening collective bargaining are key to ensuring that workers’ pay keeps pace with productivity and is urging the French government, which assumes the EU presidency in January, to make swift progress with the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive and its important provisions on collective bargaining.
Civil servants and other public sector workers will get a 3% increase in pay as of 1 July 2022 and will also receive a one-off payment of €350 in January. In the second half of 2022, there will also be an extra day of paid leave. Although the increase is below the trade unions’ initial demands it is significantly better than the 0% offer that the government had made in the third round of bargaining.
The ETUC says that the proposed directive on platform work should deliver rights to platform workers, like paid holiday and sick pay, which have been standard for other workers for the best part of a century. The directive provides the possibility to ensure that platform workers get a secure contract and guaranteed wages rather than the fake self-employment with no protection, no pay between jobs or sick pay. The Directive can also ensure genuinely self-employed people are protected from subordination by platforms. The ETUC is concerned, however, that following heavy lobbying by the major
Many social care workers in Wales are set to get pay increases of around 11% following the decision of the Welsh government to guarantee an hourly rate of £9.90 (€13.15) from next April. The rate is the real living wage as calculated by independent research and is above the current national minimum wage of £8.91 (€11.85) per hour which many social care workers are paid. Public service unions UNISON and GMB welcomed the announcement as a first step in delivering better pay and conditions for care workers but both are call for further increases with the GMB setting a target of £15 (€17.65 ) an
The FOA trade union has won just under DKK 500 million (€67m) in compensation for work injuries for its members over the past two years. The payments have gone to social and health workers, childminders, educators and other public employees. While the union is happy about the success of its claims for members it is concerned that this shows the level of physical risk being faced by many workers across the public services. It also points out that the claims are overwhelmingly for physical injury and that the system is not geared up to address psycho-social impacts. FOA argues that employers
A survey of childcare staff by the JHL public services reveals worrying levels of exhaustion among workers with more than half saying they experience it least weekly and more than 60% experiencing exhaustion every month. Some 70% of the more than 2200 respondents had been in the sector for more than 10 years. The union says the results are alarming and underline the urgent need for more staff to prevent a full-blown crisis. JHL also says that problems are caused by lack of support staff and inadequate cover when childcare staff are involved in planning. Furthermore, staff to child ratios that
The SIPTU trade union says that figures released by the Department of Further and Higher Education confirm that the staffing crisis in childcare in not driven by a lack of qualified educators but by pay levels that are so low that many workers have to leave their chosen profession. Around 6000 workers get childcare qualifications each year and the union argues that this should be enough to provide suitable staff for the 26000 posts that require a qualification. However, SIPTU highlights the fact that early years educators earn on average just €11.91 per hour, 99 cents below the living wage of
The FSSHK health workers’ union suspended strike action planned for 20 December to allow for talks with the health ministry and prime minister. The union has already taken action in its campaign to ensure the 2022 budget includes funding for higher pay for health workers. The union is aiming for a 50% pay increase. However, it has proved difficult to bring the government to the negotiating table and the union says that it has only suspended the action and it will set another date in January if talks with the government don’t deliver. The prime minister has attacked the leadership of both the
Public service federations are highlighting the sustained loss of purchasing power suffered by public sector workers as the government has again decided to freeze the index point on which salary calculations are based. There will be a small increase for the lowest paid workers but this is only to ensure that the lowest pay rates do not fall below the national minimum wage. The loss of purchasing power is estimated at over 20% over the course of the past 20 years, with the index frozen since for 10 years apart from a small increase in 2016-17.