Negotiating for better pay and conditions in health


Services union ver.di is in negotiations with the VKA municipal employers’ association to improve working conditions in municipal emergency services. The union is calling for a maximum working week of 44 hours (down from 48) as a first step and other measures to protect the health of employees. Ver.di warns that more workers will leave the sector if this issue is not addressed and cites the Red Cross as an example where hours reductions are being achieved. At the end of November, ver.di agreed with employers to gradually reduce weekly working hours (including on-call time) from the current maximum of 45 hours to a maximum of 42 hours by 2028. A union survey of 7000 emergency service workers revealed long hours, high work intensity, physical and mental stress and 84% of respondents stated that, under current conditions, they would not hold out until retirement. Meanwhile at the SRH group of 13 clinics, ver.di is aiming for a 10.5% pay increase and a minimum of €500 a month for the 8200 employees of the non-profit organisation. Again a key argument is the need to recruit and retain more staff. Negotiations will continue in January.

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