2022 August EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.17
The LVSADA health workers’ union, supported by associations representing doctors and nurses, organised a warning strike and protest on 27 July, arguing that the government had failed to meet commitments to increase pay. The union says that a 10% increase should have been paid on 1 July on the current salaries of €1963 for doctors, €1183 for nurses, midwives and other professionals and €745 for support staff. LVSADA further argues that the government has also failed to meet a commitment from 2017 that would have seen these salaries reach €2327, €1396 and €931 respectively. Depending on the
The three public service federations – Fp-Cgil, Cisl-Fp and Uil-Fpl – have negotiated a new collective agreement covering 430,000 workers in local government. Workers will see pay rise by 4%-5% with the higher increases for the lower paid. There are improvements to the system of career progression and changes to the salary table. There will be new rules on remote work and a strengthening of the industrial relations system, particularly with regard to local bargaining. There is a range of improvements to leave arrangements including better compensation (pay or time off) for those working on
The STAL municipal service union organised a two-day strike across the FCC Environment waste group on 15-16 August. The union says that the company is refusing to negotiate on pay, claiming that its financial situation prevents it from offering a pay increase to workers. The union says that urgent action is needed to tackle low pay and the impact of inflation and wants to see a minimum monthly increase of €90, along with negotiations on better working conditions and health and safety and a consistent approach across the whole company.
The ver.di services union has already begun preparations for the next bargaining round for the collective agreement that covers 2.3 million workers in federal and local government. The current agreement runs until the end of 2022 but ver.di wants to ensure that as many members as possible are involved in the consultation over the pay claim which should be decided in October. The union is urging members to complete an online questionnaire that is available in Germany, English, Turkish, Polish and Arabic. It is also encouraging members to volunteer to become “collective bargaining ambassadors”
Members of the RCN nursing union in Scotland have voted overwhelmingly to reject a 5% pay offer and a majority has given support to strike action. The union in England and Wales will launch a ballot next month with a similar recommendation from the leadership to reject the pay offer and support industrial action. This opens up the prospect of the first ever UK industrial action by the union. In England and Wales the union’s main pay demand was for a rise of 5% above inflation (currently 11.8%), to combat years of wage stagnation and the cost-of-living crisis. The government has announced an
Trade unions representing health staff are planning protest action in September to highlight the major problems faced by the sector. They highlight the closures of beds and facilities that are reducing services to the public and are calling urgently for action on recruitment and training of staff and to deliver improvements to pay and conditions to make the sector more attractive to work in. The CFDT, UNSA and FO federations will meet in early September to confirm their plans while the CGT has already set 22 September as a date for national action.
The Publisind trade union federation organised a protest rally on 17 August outside the Ministry of Labour to highlight a range of issues relating to the pay and pensions of its members in prisons and police services. The union is angry that a key law on salaries has not been fully implemented and is calling for a 15% pay rise for prison and police staff. The union points out that its members were essential to the efforts to tackle the COVID pandemic with many staff working very long hours to try to maintain services in the face of staff shortages of around 25%.
With inflation increasing rapidly across Europe, trade union movements are mobilising to highlight the cost-of-living challenges facing workers, their families as well as pensioners and students. Latest figures show prices rising at anything from 6.5% to nearly 23% a year in Europe with further increases predicted. The CMKOS confederation in the Czech Republic is calling for a national demonstration in Prague on 5 September while the ÖGB confederation in Austria is coordinating protests around the country on 17 September. In between these two, the GSEE private sector and ADEDY public sector
The global 4-day week campaign is extending its pilot programmes to the rest of Europe, having already launched initiatives in Ireland and the UK. The campaign argues that it is possible to boost productivity and workers’ wellbeing by reducing working time without reducing pay and provides advice and support to employers who are interested in getting involved in a pilot programme. Over 180 employers with a total of 10,000 employees are involved in pilots that are up and running in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand as well as in the UK and Ireland. Research and support is provided by
Factsheets on the right to strike in public services in 48 countries are available on the EPSU website, with most updated during 2021. The initiative began in 2019 with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) coordinating the research and writing of 35 factsheets, all of which have now been updated. EPSU has separately commissioned a further 13 factsheets on countries outside the ETUI’s remit. Each factsheet sets out the main rules on who has the right to call a strike; the definition of a strike; who may participate in a strike; procedural requirements and the legal consequences of
EPSU, along with the trade union federations representing police and military personnel – EuroCOP and EUROMIL, is organising a conference on trade union rights in Skopje in North Macedonia on 22 September. The conference is the final event of a two-year, European Commission funded project that has been investigating the challenges facing public service unions in defending and strengthening their rights to organise, negotiate and take collective action. The conference will include speakers from the ETUC, Council of Europe and European Commission and the presentation of research carried out
The beginning of the month was the deadline for the transposition of the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive (TPWCD) into national law. The directive is a significant update and revision of the Written Statement Directive and provides a range of new rights in relation to training, probationary periods, second jobs, advanced notice of work schedules, protection against abuse of zero-hours contracts and transfers to more secure employment. A major concern for EPSU has been the clause that allows Member States to deny key rights to public service workers. It is not yet known