2022 December EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.25
The Nezavinost trade union confederation has called a national demonstration outside government offices in Belgrade on 10 December with a call for a 25% pay increase for all public sector workers. The key message of the demonstration is the need to properly value and recognise the work of public sector employees, to ensure their health and safety and guarantee compliance of employers with collective agreements.
The FP-CGIL, UIL-PA and UIL-FPL public service federations are planning a week of action from 12-16 December with protests and strikes around the country in protest at the government’s budget for 2023. The unions argue that the budget fails to provide adequate funding across a range of services with nothing to address the cost-of-living crisis, to cover the renewal of collective agreements, to increase public employment, to end precarious contracts, to improve training and to ensure quality of services from childcare to health and social care and across local and national administration. The
In Northern Ireland, industrial action in the health service, organised by the UNISON and NIPSA trade unions began on 5 December and was due to be stepped up with a one-day strike on 12 December. The RCN nurses’ union will take strike action in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the first time ever with the dates announced as 15 and 20 December. Ambulance workers – represented by UNISON, GMB and UNITE – have also voted for strike over most regions of England and Wales with action planned for 21 December. In Scotland, health unions are consulting over an improved pay offer that would
The vida services union reports a very high level of support for the three-hour warning strike that took place in the network of religious hospitals in Vienna on 23 November. The action was supported by the Chamber of Doctors which is also calling for higher pay and improvements to working conditions in response to the significant increase in the demands on health services in recent years. Vida is calling for a €500-a-month increase for all workers in religious hospitals across the country and has denounced as wholly inadequate an employer offer of a €50 lump sum that wouldn’t even be paid to
Following their national protest on 22 November, the FSC-CCOO, FesP-UGT and other unions in the Ministry of Justice have taken further action to support their demand for negotiations around the law on organizational efficiency in the justice service. They want to ensure protection of the pay and working conditions of civil servants. The unions are concerned about the impact on jobs, careers and opportunities for promotion and the level of services to citizens. The unions organised actions at Ministry of Justice offices around the country and have not ruled out strike action if there is no
With a focus on pay and the need to secure an agreement that can help workers deal with the cost-of-living crisis, the FNV trade union has negotiated an overall pay increase of 8% for water board employees but with a flat-rate element that will mean pay rises by 10% for lower paid workers. There is a one-off payment of €1,000 gross in December 2022 and then increases of €125 and 2.5% on salaries in as of 1 January 2023. There will be a further increase of 2.5% on 1 July 2023. There will be other increases on allowances. The structural increases will mean a minimum hourly wage of €14 will apply
Following the day of protest and strike action on 9 November, the three trade union confederations – ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and CGLSB/ACLVB are planning further action with a national demonstration set for 16 December. The unions are calling for a revision to the salary law that restricts the unions’ scope to negotiate and they want to retain the pay indexation system that they are worried is under threat from the employers. Their other demands cover action on energy costs, a shift in taxation to support workers and measures to restrict flexi-jobs.
The ver.di services union has welcomed the passage of the Hospital Care Relief Act, which establishes a nationwide requirement on staffing levels covering nurses in hospitals. The union is delighted that its long campaign has finally paid off and measures will be taken to tackle excessive workloads in the health sector. The basis for the legislation is a staffing assessment (PPR 2.0) that was developed by ver.di, the German Hospital Association and the German Nursing Council. Ver.di is also pleased about its successful advocacy for the development of needs-based personnel specifications for
The results of a pilot project on the 4-day week involving a range of companies in Ireland show the potential for how a shorter working week can contribute to a better work-life balance and increased well-being for workers. The pilot was backed by the Fórsa public services union which welcomed the results and the fact that the employers in the project were all planning to continue the 4-day week arrangements. Alongside the benefits for workers, particularly women, there were also mainly positive results in terms of productivity, company revenues and some savings on energy costs. The 4-day week
Following their industrial action at the end of June, the STAL and FIEQUIMETAL trade unions have called a 24-hour strike across the AdP water company in response to an inadequate 1.2% general pay offer from the employer. This would be the only pay rise since 2009 apart from a €20 increase in 2018. The unions are calling for an €120 increase on monthly salaries and a minimum wage of €900. They have a range of other demands including full and effective implementation of the collective agreement, setting up of a new career system, payment of an allowance to cover difficult and dangerous jobs
The Eurofound research agency has published a new study that argues that social dialogue and collective bargaining were essential in finding solutions to the challenges in the hospital sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. It notes that this was also true in countries where these structures are not so strong – including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia and Malta – and not just those where this a long-standing tradition of cooperation between trade unions and employers. The study found that negotiations were crucial for, among other issues, agreeing the changes to work organisation required to
On 30 November, with a demonstration outside parliament, the CITUB trade union confederation maintained its campaign on pay, minimum wages and public sector salaries. The campaign began in September and included a joint demonstration with the Podkrepa confederation on 11 November. CITUB is calling for higher pay for all workers in response to the cost-of-living crisis and it wants the government budget for 2023 to allow for a pay increase for public sector workers of at least 13%. The main demands also include an increase in the national minimum wage to BGN 850 (€435) a month along with
All the main trade union organisations have come together along with groups representing students and young workers to reject the idea that the national pensions and retirement system needs reform or an increase in the retirement age. In a joint communique the organisations underline that it is a major mistake for the government to come up with proposals to reform the system in the current economic and social climate. The trade unions argue that, like the vast majority of the population, they do not support any increase in the legal retirement age or in the contribution period and underline