2022 May EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.11
After three days of bargaining the ver.di services union has negotiated an agreement with the VKA municipal employers that goes some way to address the undervaluation and overwork of staff in social and educational services. The union thanked its members for mobilising to achieve the result in the face of considerable resistance from the employers. Over 40,000 ver.di members took action in the week leading up to the latest negotiations. The agreement will provide employees with two additional days off as well as the option to convert part of their salary into two further days off. Educators
Trade unions in the energy sector are planning strike action on Thursday 2 June over the erosion of purchasing power of their members. In a joint statement, they criticise the employers in the sector for failing to agree a timetable to negotiate and for applying an increase of only 0.3% on the basic national salary in January this year when inflation was already at 4.5%. The unions also highlight the fact that energy sector pay has not kept pace with inflation over many years and they are demanding an immediate increase of 4.5%.
Five of the six trade unions in the LO Kommune bargaining group agreed to back the mediation proposal for municipal workers that was finally delivered on 24 May, averting strikes across the sector. The largest union in the sector, Fagforbundet, reported that the agreement would deliver increases on annual salaries of between NOK 12000 (€1165) and NOK 16800 (€1635). The settlement was ahead of that achieved in manufacturing this year, as the unions had pushed for a better deal to allow catching up on the lower settlement in 2021. The agreement also provides for increased night and weekend
Negotiations covering around 130,000 civil servants started on 10 May and Marco Ouwehand, the spokesperson for the FNV trade union and chair of EPSU’s National and European Administration Committee has provided some insight into the first steps in the bargaining and the main issues at stake. So far the union side has not put forward a specific claim for a pay rise but it is aiming for compensation for inflation with an emphasis on protecting lower paid workers in particular. One target is ensuring a minimum hourly pay rate of €14. The negotiations will also cover early retirement and measures
EPSU was part of an ETUC delegation that met with employers and representatives of the European Council, Commission, Central Bank and Eurogroup in the biannual Macroeconomic Dialogue on 23 May. ETUC general secretary, Luca Visentini, pointed out that wage developments in the last quarter of 2021 had been the lowest for several years, that the wage share in the economy was declining and that there was no evidence that pay increases had pushed inflation higher. EPSU general secretary, Jan Willem Goudriaan, underlined the need for action to address low pay and precarious work in health and
The PCS civil service union, meeting this week in conference, has agreed to work towards holding a national statutory ballot on industrial action this autumn over members’ pay, pensions and redundancy terms. The union has rejected yet another “derisory” civil service pay remit that sets the framework for the separate bargaining groups across the civil service. PCS argues that this fails to recognise years of plummeting pay and the spiralling cost-of-living crisis.
Public and private sector unions representing workers in early years education, younion and GPA, have attacked government plans for the sector as farcical. They argue that the claim that there will be an extra billion euros in funding is a sham and that in reality the additional money is less than €60 million and already worth less because of inflation. The unions are also concerned that the aim is to create more childcare places when facilities are already full and staff overstretched. They also criticise the government for developing policies without proper consultation and negotiation with
Fp Cgil and other unions in the waste and environmental sector have negotiated a three-year agreement covering the period 2022-24 which will bring together the previously separate public and private sectors and cover around 100,000 workers. Workers will see an average monthly pay increase of around €121 which the unions argue will keep wages in line with inflation. The unions particularly underline the importance of achieving a single agreement for the sector. The new agreement will also include increases in various allowances, benefits and productivity payments. There are provisions to
The Super and Tehy health unions are maintaining their ban on overtime and shift changes following their rejection of the proposed deal for health and local government. They continue to press for higher pay increases as essential to help tackle the urgent staff shortages in health and social care. Meanwhile, municipal unions JHL and Jyty are also keeping up their industrial action despite their provisional approval of the agreement. They are pushing for the agreement to be finalised and for the expected payments to be made by the summer, arguing that workers could lose out by over €300 if pay
The STAL municipal workers’ union joined others in the Common Front group of public service unions in a national demonstration on 20 May in Lisbon. The main call was for government action to protect the purchasing power of workers in public administration. The unions argue that 12 years of wage stagnation has seen purchasing power fall by 15.4% and that the proposed pay increase of 0.9% for this year will again mean a significant cut in real pay as prices of food, energy and fuel surge. The unions also want to see a €90 a month rise for all workers, a minimum monthly wage of €850 along with
The three trade union confederations ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB are building for their national demonstration on 20 June. This is part of the trade union movement’s campaign to put pressure on the government to do more to protect workers against inflation and to reform the wage law that imposes restrictions on the scope to negotiate pay rises in the biennial, cross-sector collective bargaining. Petitioning by the unions has already paid off as it has given them the opportunity to take part in a parliamentary hearing on 29 June.
Municipal unions are pushing for the right to full-time work across the sector to tackle what they see as excessive use of part-time contracts. The FOA trade union has calculated the financial implications of full-time (37 hours a week) work for different occupations working different hours. For example, a social and health care assistant, who today is 41 years old, can increase their lifetime income (including all allowances and pensions) by DKK 5.3 million (over €700,000) by working full-time instead of 25 hours. Even older workers would see a real difference with a 51-year-old cleaner able