2022 January EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.2
Public service trade unions Fórsa, SIPTU and INMO have welcomed the decision to pay a €1000 tax-free bonus to all those who worked in clinical, COVID-exposed environments and in a separate development to reduce working time for public service workers to pre-austerity levels. From 1 July this year public servants working full-time will return to the 35-hour week that applied before 2013 when austerity measures were introduced in response to the 2008-09 economic and financial crisis. This decision is also seen as partly in recognition of the efforts made during the pandemic. The government has
Public services union ver.di has negotiated new provisions covering midwives who are studying and working in municipal hospitals. The measures cover tuition fees and the rights to 30 days’ leave (with additional leave for shift work) and to monthly family trips home. Ver.di argues that this is a good collective bargaining result and that the collectively agreed study conditions are indispensable for attracting young talent. It also believes that the agreement with the municipal employers’ organisation is ground-breaking for the sector and that other employers will negotiate with the union over
Strike action by waste workers employed by Eastbourne council in South East England has helped secure a new pay deal which includes a minimum rise this year of 11% and a guarantee that the hourly rate will reach a minimum of £13.50 (€16.20) per hour in April 2023 – a 19% rise in total. Strike action could be on the cards in nearby Adur and Worthing, where a consultative ballot revealed more than 90% in favour of action over pay. In Carmarthen in Wales action by lorry drivers has brough the local authority back to the negotiating table while waste workers in Coventry in Central England are
The collective agreement covering the state sector has been extended for a year but the public service federation FSC-CCOO is calling for negotiations on pay and for the government to ensure it complies fully with the existing agreement. The salary increase for 2022 has been imposed by the government and set at 2%. FSC-CCOO says this is inadequate and is demanding a salary review clause linked to inflation. The federation is also calling for a number of elements of the agreement to be properly and fully implemented including provisions covering partial retirement, complementary pay (€5.6
The Delta public services union is pleased that the government has come forward with a legislative proposal to make full-time work the norm. The union has been monitoring the situation closely and says that less than 20% of health professional jobs advertised since 2019 have been full-time positions. Delta will look in detail at the draft but says that the main provisions will mean that full-time work is prioritised and that employers will have to provide a justification for offering part-time work and discuss this with elected representatives. The proposals will also mean that extra hours
On 18 January unions (UNSA, FO and CFDT) representing technical and administrative staff in health and social care organised national strike action over pay, with union leaders meeting representatives of the health ministry on the following day. The unions are angry that commitments to review pay were not met by the end of 2021 and that a meeting of unions and employers planned for January was further postponed. The unions are concerned that a range of professions working in health, eldercare and disabled care in the public and private sectors have yet to benefit from the major “Ségur”
The ETUC says that, according to the European Commission’s own figures, two thirds of European workers would be excluded from coverage by the pay transparency directive. The current proposal would limit gender pay reporting to organisations with over 250 staff. The impact would be even broader in countries like Estonia and Latvia where higher percentages of workers are employed by small firms and just one in five workers would be covered by the directive. These are also two of the countries with the highest gender pay gaps. Italy (79%), Cyprus (83%) and Greece (88%) are the three countries
The public and private sectors unions representing staff in early years education (younion, vida and GPA) have come together to demand action at national level on staffing and safety in childcare institutions. The unions want to see unified, national regulations applied on issues like COVID-19 and increased staffing to ensure that childcare institutions can maintain safety for both workers and children. The pandemic is still having an impact and with staff falling ill or having to quarantine, the pressure of work continues to increase for an already overburdened group of workers.
As negotiations get underway across the public services, unions are setting out their main collective bargaining demands. For JHL, Jyty and Juko it is important to achieve general wage increases that improve purchasing power and ensure that public service workers keep pace with those in the private sector. The unions highlight the need for action on pay to tackle the widespread staff shortages across many occupations, especially in the care sector. They also want to improve working time regulations, develop pay systems and promote equality and well-being at work, with extended paid family
Members of the FNV trade union are voting on whether to accept the new negotiated agreement covering staff in public libraries. The two and a half year agreement actually covers the period from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022 with some measures already implemented including a 3% pay increase in 2020 and a 2% increase in 2021. There will be a further increase of 2% as of 1 July 2022 and a one-off pro-rata payment of €300 gross in March 2022. The agreement covers other working conditions including the introduction of an annual hours system this year, a new compensation scheme for working on
The three trade union confederations – ACV/CSC, ABVV/FBTG and ACLVB/CGLSB – have launched a petition on pay with the aim of securing 25000 signatures and getting a debate in parliament. The confederations want to see changes to legislation that impose restrictions on the scope for negotiating pay rises. They argue that the current system leaves little room for manoeuvre and means that increasing inflation is eating rapidly into workers’ purchasing power. The unions want to ensure that the current system of indexation is maintained and also to allow for the right to negotiate on pay at all
The ADEDY civil service federation and its member organisations representing health workers have called a day of action on health and half-day work stoppage for 26 January. The main demands are for an increase in funding for the health service, an increase in recruitment of permanent staff and transfer of existing staff on temporary contracts to permanent status. The confederation also wants action to tackle the COVID pandemic and calls for deaths of health workers from COVID to be recognised as an accident at work.