2022 April EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.7
Around 25,000 members of the TEHY and SuPer nurses’ unions were due to start strike action on 1 April following rejection of a pay offer delivered by mediation. The action is initially targeted at six hospital districts and workers not on strike will join a ban on overtime and shift changes. Further strike action may follow later in April if a better offer is not on the table. The two unions join local government unions, JHL and Jyty, which have already taken two-day strike action in two different municipalities with further action planned in another six – two from 6 April and four from 19
Employers failed to come up with a pay offer in the second round of collective bargaining covering approximately 330,000 employees in social services and early years education. Services union ver.di reports massive disappointment among the workers who are looking for clear initiatives to relieve overwork, improve working conditions and upgrade occupations. The union underlines the need for urgent action with significant staff shortages across the sectors. Ver.di will be considering what action to take in the lead up to the next negotiations on 16-17 May. Meanwhile, the union has negotiated a
The FNV and NU’91 trade unions have negotiated a two-year collective labour agreement covering 470000 workers in nursing and care homes and home care – the largest agreement in the country. All employees get a 2% pay rise dated from 1 March, with a minimum of €65 euros per month, with an extra 1.25% for the lower salary scales, making it an effective 3.5% increase for the lowest salary scale. On 1 March 2023, there will be a further 3% increase for all workers. The agreement also includes improvements to travel expenses and provisions to allow for reducing workloads and improving schedules
The UNISON and GMB trade unions have suspended the strike action that they had planned for 29 and 30 March after Glasgow City Council made significant concessions towards resolving the dispute over equal pay. However, strike action planned for 20 and 21 April remains in place. The dispute arose over the implementation of the 2019 deal on equal pay that delivered significant pay increases for the predominantly female workers in care, catering and cleaning services. The Council has now said the formula agreed in the 2019 deal will be applied to all jobs covered by the agreement and that it will
The GPA and vida private service trade unions organised an action in Vienna on 29 March as part of their campaign to win better pay and conditions for workers in early years education. Along with better pay to help attract new staff the unions want action to reduce workloads, improve staff:child ratios and major investment in training. GPA and vida underline the need for national initiatives on pay structure and funding to reduce the different approaches from region to region.
The FeSP-UGT and FSC-CCOO called off strike action on 30 March following a number of concessions by the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate. The unions had organised a major and highly successful nationwide mobilisation on 23 March and following this the Inspectorate put forward proposals for €6m in productivity payments, additional staffing and changes to job classifications. The unions will look at the proposals and consider their response and have not ruled out the possibility of strike action.
The HSSMS-MT health union reports that the latest round of collective bargaining left public sector trade unions disappointed as the government failed to consider their call for a 4% increase in basic pay in the light of increasing inflation and particularly rising energy prices. The government said that a 2% pay increase from 1 April was all that was possible and that any further increases would have to be discussed later in the year. However, no further negotiations were timetabled. The unions said that they would report back to their members and consider the next steps.
The Fórsa public services union reports that its school secretary membership has voted overwhelmingly to accept a new package of pay and working conditions negotiated by the union. The agreement places all school secretaries on public service salary rates after a decades-long campaign for pay equity. The deal significantly improves incomes and paid leave arrangements for low-paid secretaries, who the union says have been overlooked and undervalued for years. All school secretaries will transfer to a new pay-scale aligned with the public service clerical officer scale. This is a major change as
The Fp-Cgil, Cisl-Fp and Uil-Fpl public service federations report a successful mobilisation of members across public health and local services as they put pressure on the employers and government to deliver a good collective agreement and address some long-standing issues in the sectors. Delegations met with the finance and economics minister Alessandra Sartore to put the unions’ case. Along with pay rises for all workers they are looking for reforms to the pay system, funds for local bargaining and above all implementation of an emergency recruitment plan to deal with understaffing across
New research from the European Trade Union Institute traces the evolution of collective bargaining coverage in European countries between 2002 and 2018 and links it to changes in developments in the pay premia received by workers covered by collective bargaining. Data on collective bargaining in publicly and privately owned companies is assessed separately and the researchers investigate the extent to which pay premia can be explained by trade union density and by the share of workers covered by an agreement. While the coverage rates of collective agreements have generally declined over time
The European Trade Union Institute organised a conference on 24 March to discuss how collective bargaining can be used to regulate the use of algorithms at the workplace. Along with a number of European experts, there were contributions from national trade union representatives from Poland, Spain, Sweden, Italy, the UK and France. The debates included discussion of the legal frameworks and also how practically collective agreements – even existing clauses – could be used to protect workers’ rights. There were also examples of new and revised agreements that include specific provisions on
Trade unions Fagforbundet, NTL and Creo working with the LO confederation are in negotiations over a pension scheme for the culture sector. This follows last year’s strike where the unions achieved a commitment from the employers for a hybrid scheme that ensured payments for life and equal treatment of men and women. The main sticking point is that the Spekter employers’ organisation is talking about a defined contribution scheme but the unions argue that this will make it impossible to determine what individuals will actually get at retirement. The negotiations will form part of the spring