2022 February EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.3
Trade unions organising in health and social care are calling for strike action on 16 February. They are unhappy that the government has postponed negotiations on pay levels and job rankings that it was committed to in an agreement signed last year. The unions want to see pay levels across the health sector adjusted to ensure fairness across the public sector. They have been further angered by the government’s unilateral decision to deal separately with doctors and dentists which had been previously been part of the public sector-wide negotiations.
The Kommunal municipal services union has published an updated version of its regular report comparing pay and conditions in public and private elder care. The data comes from official statistics and the union’s survey of members. The latest figures show that full-time employees in municipally run elderly care earn an average of SEK 2,400 (€230) more per month than those in private elderly care providers. In 2020, the share of part-time employees was 70% among private providers, compared to 54% in municipally run elderly care and for temporary workers it was 41% in private companies and 31% in
The health workers’ union is negotiating with the Ministry of Health, the Ukrainian Federation of Health Employers and the Joint Representative Body of All-Ukrainian Representative Trade Unions on a new five-year agreement to cover the period up to 2026. A draft has been prepared covering some of the main issues including sustainable development of the sector, working conditions and work-life balance; job protection; health care; social protection, cultural needs and guaranteeing the activities of trade unions. The main challenge will be to resolve issues around pay and the union is looking to
Service union ver.di is highlighting the essential role played by social care and early years education in the lead up to the resumption of negotiations that were suspended in March 2020. The union argues that workers in the sector were indispensable during the pandemic and their contribution needs to be recognised in relation to pay and working conditions. Ver.di underlines that the predominantly female workforce faces low recognition of their skills and competences, poor working conditions, low salaries, fixed-term contracts and part-time work. The challenges facing the sector are made worse
The Fp-Cgil public services federation is putting forward a series of measures to address the serious challenges of understaffing in healthcare. The union says that the country needs to recruit 60,000 nurses just to maintain current standards and another 140,000 to reach European standards. It warns that the next five years will see over 52,000 nurses leave for retirement and says that surveys reveal around 50% of nurses are dissatisfied with their work due to the inability to maintain the expected standards of care and their lack of involvement in decisions. The federation’s proposals include
The FNV trade union has negotiated a new agreement covering 200,000 hospital workers that delivers pay rises and a range of other benefits. The basic pay rise, from 1 January 2022 will be €90 a month for lower paid workers, worth around 3%, and 2% for higher paid workers. There are other provisions to allow for additional steps in the pay table and the setting of a €13-an-hour minimum wage which means that some workers will see increases of between 5% and 16.8%. A lump sum of €250 is paid along with increases to irregular shift payments and on-call allowances. There will be a €2-a-day payment
Members of the Fórsa public services union who work as hospital pharmacists have voted with a majority of 94% for strike action on 16 February. The union said that a range of measures had been proposed, including new senior posts and a new grading structure that have all been developed to improve and modernise hospital pharmacy services, and bring them in line with international best practice. These, have, however been rejected by the Department for Public Spending and Reform despite the potential for savings of €55m. The pay changes would particularly affect the lower end of the pay scale and
On 14 February the PCS public services union will launch a national ballot of its members in the civil service to assess their support for industrial action over pay. The union is calling for a 10% pay rise, plus an increase to the allowance for workers in London, a £15-an-hour (€17.90) living wage, 35 days’ leave for all workers, a reduction in working time without loss of pay and a return to national bargaining. Meanwhile, members of the Unite trade union in local government are also being balloted over action with the union rejecting the local government employers’ offer of a 1.75% pay
The STAL public service union and FIEQUEMETAL industrial union targeted the government in the latest stage of their long running campaign to win improvements to pay and conditions at the AdP water company. The unions were responding to the company’s claim that the government wouldn’t allow it to increase salaries by more than the 0.9% that it had already offered to the unions. The unions are pushing for a range of improvements on top of pay, including a 35-hour week, implementation of an allowance for arduous work, increased recruitment and a better career structure.
In January the vpod public services union won an important case for live-in (24 hours) care workers. The federal court ruled that 24-hour carers, who are placed in private households by temporary employment agencies, must be covered by the labour code. Previously, these workers had no protection which meant no limit to working hours and no rights to rest or time-off because the labour code didn’t apply to working arrangements in private households. The union will continue to campaign for live-in care workers’ rights as the ruling does not apply to those directly employed by households.
The vida services union has opened negotiations with the group of religious hospitals that employ around 16500 workers across the country and is calling for improvements to pay that recognise the efforts made by staff over the past two years. It also wants to see measures to reduce high workloads and reduce the risk of overwork leading to sickness absence. The union is calling for action on rosters to guarantee more stable work patterns and better work-life balance and more investment in personnel and infrastructure.
The main public service unions – CCOO, UGT and CSIF – have agreed dates with the Ministry of Finance and Public Function to negotiate a new agreement covering public administrations and public services. The negotiations will focus on the impact of rising inflation on salaries along with some key other themes including digitalisation, retirement, internal promotion, mobility and professional career development. There will also be discussions about speeding up implementation of the plan to reduce the extent of temporary work and get below the threshold of only 8% of jobs having temporary