Public services union Fórsa has welcome the government’s decision to accept an independent body’s recommendation for working time to be restored to pre-austerity levels for virtually all public servants from 1 July 2022. The additional working hours were imposed in July 2013, increasing the standard working time of civil and public servants to 39 hours for those who previously worked between 35 and 37 hours, and to 37 hours for those who previously worked 35 hours or less. The hours of those working 39 hours or more per week were unchanged. The independent body said it had taken account of the nine-year period in which the additional hours have been worked, the strain on the staff working the hours, and the “truly committed efforts of staff during the last two years in meeting patient, healthcare, population vaccine, security needs and the requirements of delivery for existing and new social welfare and pandemic payment measures.” The body also said that no compensatory claims should be pursued or conceded in respect of any grade arising from the implementation of its recommendations.
Union welcomes government’s decision on hours reduction
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A new guide from the European Trade Union Institute, produced with the support of EPSU, examines the question of working time reduction. It looks at recent trends, noting that the issue has dropped off the bargaining agenda for many unions. This guide runs through the different reasons for implementing such a reduction, and the ways in which it can be organised. It includes several case studies and many other examples, going back to some of the earliest initiatives that recognised the safety and productivity benefits of the shorter working day and week.
EPSU has commissioned the UK-based Labour Research Department to produce a series of articles analysing recent examples of working time reduction. The first article looks at Austria where public service unions in both private and public sectors have taken action to cut weekly working time, particularly in the large private sector agreement covering health and social care workers. The next article, to be published in February, will provide an update on the situation in Iceland and in March the focus will be on other Nordic countries. IndustriAll Europe has also produced a series of briefings
IMPACT has welcomed the announcement that there are to be no further reductions to public service jobs and that new posts are to be created for special needs assistants (SNAs), community and mental health staff and in the civil service. While there will be 365 new SNA posts, the union is concerned about the trend towards reduced hours. Some SNAs work only a few hours a week which creates problems not just in getting a decent income but also in having time to maintain a good relationship with the children they work with. [Read more at > IMPACT->http://www.impact.ie/impact-welcomes-resumption