Services union ver.di has welcomed the federal government’s statement that it wants to tackle skills shortages but argues strongly that in doing so it needs to address the big challenges in the public sector itself. Ver.di points out that education in kindergartens, schools – especially vocational schools – and universities, is key but the shortage of skilled workers in these sectors has long been a problem. Additional jobs and better working conditions in the public sector are needed. This not just about pay but about providing more training opportunities, better equipment and increased investment, including in digitalisation. The union argues that the federal and regional governments and the social partners need to work together to create a attractive national education and training system alongside addressing the shortage of skilled workers in the health and elder care sectors which require needs-based staffing and nationwide collective bargaining agreements. Meanwhile, the union has also had an important success in a legal case that establishes that a home care worker has the right to the statutory minimum wage for all hours that she is in the premises of the person being cared for. Ver.di argues that urgent action is now needed to assert the rights of home care workers not just in relation to minimum wages but also in relation to working time legislation.
Union calls for action on staff shortages in public administration
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Kommunal, the municipal workers' union, has negotiated an agreement with the SKR local and regional government employers' organisation to provide for more staff and training in eldercare. The government has provided an additional SEK 2.2 billion (EUR 210 million) in 2020 and 2021 to cover the extra staffing. Kommunal wants to ensure that workers are taken on on full-time contracts and training takes place during paid working time and is line with the existing training provision for nursing assistants and nurses.
The HSSMS-MT nursing union has joined with other nursing organisations in submitting a series of demands on the government to address the urgent problem of understaffing resulting from emigration and retirement. The joint document highlights the increased pressure that the health service faces and the failure of recent governments to provide solutions. The unions and associations want to see proper recognition of qualifications and responsibilities in the job and pay structure and recruitment of more staff. They are also calling for clear plan to address training and education needs.
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