2022 August EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.16
The ver.di health union has reacted angrily to proposals by the Sana private healthcare group to offer pay increases for 2023 only to nursing staff. The company is also offering only one-off payments for 2022 for all staff and a 5% increase for in 2023 only for nursing staff (along with a €100 increase in the allowance for operating room and intensive care staff). The 3% pay rise planned for 2024 would go to all staff. Ver.di points that workers are already facing the prospect of inflation reaching 11.6% during 2022 and 2023. The lump sum offer for 2022 totals €3000 (€1000 for trainees) paid
The vpod/ssp public services union is continuing to sound the alarm over urgent staff shortages in healthcare. It says that action is needed to retain staff as well as recruit new workers and that initiatives to shorten the working week can help. Reductions to weekly working hours have been introduced or are being planned in the Wetzikon and Felix Platter hospitals along with the Siloah and Lindenhof health groups. Meanwhile, vpod/ssp reports that Aargau hospitals have significantly increased their allowances for weekend and holiday shifts. The union is also continuing to press employers to
Members of the local government trade unions – UNISON, Unite and GMB – have voted to reject a 2% pay offer from the employers in Scotland and to support industrial action. The unions argue that the offer is well below inflation and fails to take account of the long-term loss in purchasing power. It is also, particularly for low-paid workers, well below the £1925 (€2300) flat-rate increase on offer to council workers in England and Wales which would be worth 10.5% for the lowest paid and around 4% for top grades. UNISON and the GMB are consulting over their response to the offer but Unite has
The Fp-Cgil public service federation has welcomed a recent court ruling that has blocked an employer from applying an inferior collective agreement. The action was taken against La Nostra Famiglia, a non-profit health and social care provider, that wanted to avoid the private health sector agreement and sign up to an agreement with lower pay rates and longer working hours. The court ruling means that the employer now has to compensate workers for any lost pay and to apply the full terms of the private health agreement that was negotiated by Fp-Cgil along with the Cisl-Fp and Uil-Pa
Public service trade unions, including Fórsa, SIPTU and INMO, have agreed to launch a campaign on pay that could involve industrial action. The unions, coordinated by the ICTU confederation, had already called on the government to review pay in the light of the surge in inflation. However, the response was only for an additional 2.5% increase in 2021-22 when inflation has already topped 9%. The unions argue that by failing to complete the pay review in light of higher inflation, the government is failing to meet the requirements of the public service collective agreement, Building momentum
After difficult negotiations in the energy production and supply sector the FNV trade union is asking members to vote on a collective agreement that will provide a 4% pay increase from 1 May 2022. The agreement will run for 14 months to 1 July 2023 and includes proposals to discuss how to ensure the agreement will help tackle the major challenges faced by the sector. Key to the discussions will be work pressure, policies on older workers and how to deal with the shortage of technical staff. Meanwhile, there were also challenging negotiations in the maternity sector where a new 18-month
Members of the STAL municipal services union took strike action on 1 August in protest at the failure of the Braval waste company to increase pay in the face of soaring inflation. The publicly-owned company provides waste services across a range of municipalities in northern Portugal. The union says that there has been no pay increase for two years and it is calling for a minimum increase of €90 for all workers. It also wants the company to abide by the collective agreement particularly in relation to career progression and wage development.
The Secretary of State for the Environment has told the FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations that he will present a draft statute covering forest firefighters to parliament for approval. This has been a long-standing demand of the trade unions who want to see common national provisions covering the wage structure, professional classifications, training, job security and social protection. The unions argue that this will professionalise the sector, help stabilise jobs and contribute to a better coordination across the autonomous regions.
Government proposals to reform the pension system have yet to convince the three main trade union confederations – the ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB. While they welcome achieving the aim of a minimum pension of €1500 (monthly amount will reach €1630 by 1 January 2024), they are concerned about the tougher rules applying to the 20 years of work required to achieve the minimum and the fact that periods of unemployment will not be taken into account. With the plan to increase the retirement age to 67 by 2030, the unions are also disappointed that there are no proposals on early retirement or
The ADEDY civil service confederation has submitted a report to the interior ministry which addresses sexual harassment across the public service and puts forwards proposals to amend the relevant regulations. The Confederation argues that physical or verbal violence and harassment suffered by female workers is directly related to the devaluation of their employment. It says that the extent of the problem has to be exposed and full support given to victims. ADEDY has proposed changes to the civil service code and other regulations to ensure that there are clear definitions of sexual harassment
Nine trade unions and five student organisations have come together to issue a joint communique calling for action in response to the impact of inflation on the standard of living of workers, students and pensioners. They are calling for a policy of redistribution in favour of wages and action to tackle inequality, particularly between men and women. The organisations also underline that the minimum wage should be only regarded as appropriate as a starting salary and not a wage level that applies throughout a working life. The communique underlines that both public and private sector employers
Over the first six months of the years many of EPSU’s affiliates in health and social care have been active in negotiating, mobilising and taking action to secure improvements in pay and conditions for their members. With understaffing a major challenge across Europe, trade unions are fighting for the better, hours and other conditions that will help to retain staff and recruit more workers to these essential services. So far affiliates in 15 countries have been involved in protests, strikes and negotiations, with at least 16 new sector agreements delivering new pay and benefits for workers.