2023 April EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.9
Ver.di and other public sector unions have negotiated have a new agreement on pay covering 2.5 million workers in federal and local government. The agreement runs from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2024 and this year will mean that employees get a €3000 tax-free lump sum paid in instalments – €1240 in June and then €220 a month between July 2023 and February 2024. There will then be an increase to pay rates of €200 plus 5.5% in March 2024. The consultation with members will begin on 4 May and the collective bargaining committee will make the final decision on 15 May. As in previous
The long-running industrial action in central government sees another national strike on 28 April with the PCS union expecting 133,000 civil servants in 132 departments to walk out. This is the third full national mobilisation in a campaign over pay, jobs and pensions that began last year and has involved targeted action in a wide range of departments and agencies. In a separate action members of PCS, Unite and UNISON at the Care Quality Commission, the body that monitors health and care services, took a day’s action on 17 April over pay, following a campaign of action short of a strike. The
After three months of protests and 12 days of national demonstrations, strikes and other actions, trade unions are maintaining their campaign against the pension changes that have now become law. The trade unions, including CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA and CFE-CGC, want the annual 1 May demonstrations to show the continuing high level of opposition among workers, students and other groups against the increase of the pension age from 62 to 64 and other changes.
The CGIL, CISL and UIL trade union confederations are planning major mobilisations in May to send a clear message to the government and employers that urgent action is needed to deliver higher pay for workers and a shift in other economic and social policies. Along with workplace assemblies there will be large regional events in Naples, Bologna and Milan. The main union demands include protection against inflation for pay and pensions in both public and private sectors, fairer taxation, higher funding for public social and health, action on health and safety, social security reform and
The FNV trade union is urging workers in disability care to get involved in a range of actions to support the push for an additional pay rise this year. The collective agreement currently provides for a 3.2% but the union has convinced the VGN employers’ organisation to meet on 9 May to discuss a further increase to help workers cope with the surge in inflation. The FNV wants members to highlight their situation at work and on social media in the lead up the meeting. There will then be a consultation with members on 10 May to decide how to respond to the employers’ offer.
The FSS-CCOO, FeSP-UGT and other trade unions representing workers in the Ministry of Justice are stepping up their campaign of industrial action in what has become a long-running dispute over pay and restructuring. Partial stoppages of three hours a day earlier this month helped ensure a start to new negotiations with the Ministry but so far without positive results. Full day strike action is now planned for 4 May along with a national protest outside the Ministry. Further all-out action will then follow on 9-11 and 16-18 May.
The HSMSS-MT health workers’ union health is launching a series of protests in front of health institutions as part of its “We are health care!” campaign. The first action will be in Dubrovnik in 3 May and further action is planned in Zagreb, Split, Varaždin, Karlovac, Osijek and Vinkovci. The union is frustrated by unilateral decisions made by government and want measures to address issues around workers’ pay and particularly proper application of the collective agreement that should deliver appropriate pay levels for workers across healthcare. The HSMSS-MT is concerned that many of its
Using figures from the Eurostat statistics agency, the ETUC shows how prices soared in 2022 by 9.2%, more than double the level of pay increases, recorded at 4.4%. The ETUC points out that the gap is even wider for the most essential living costs with housing and utilities prices rising by 18%, four times faster than wages, while transport and food (12%) increased three times faster. Real wages, taking into account inflation, have fallen in every EU member state this year by as much as 9%. The ETUC contrasts this with data on real profits which actually increased by 1%.
The SIPTU trade union is balloting ambulance staff over industrial action in response to the failure of the Health Services Executive to implement a plan to restructure the service and pay system. The union was involved in negotiations with the National Ambulance Service over several months, agreeing a proposal that would deliver new job descriptions, pay grades and upskilling of staff. SIPTU is challenging the argument that the service level changes can be delivered but apparently not the improvements to workers’ pay and conditions. The ballot runs until 4 May.
Following targeted strike action, trade unions covered by the main private sector agreement with the NHO employers’ organisation have negotiated an hourly increase of NOK 7.5 (€0.65) for all workers plus an extra NOK 3.00 (€0.25) for the lower paid. The lower paid are categorised as workers in collective agreements where the average wage is 90% of the industry-wide average wage. For workers where pay is below 90% of the industry average and where there is no local bargaining the additional increase will be NOK 4.00 (€0.35). The LO trade union confederation sees this as one of the best deals
A trade union alliance involving the CNE, CSC Services Publics, CGSP, SETCA, CGSLB and SLPF coordinated a demonstration in Brussels on 26 April to raise concerns about the state of childcare provision. The protest involved a delegation meeting with the minister for children and health in the Brussels-Wallonia Federation with demands to tackle the long-standing problems of understaffing and precarious work and to prevent the extension of private, for-profit provision across the sector. The union were supported by non-profit providers in the sector.
The JHL trade union reports that negotiations have delivered a two-year agreement in the energy sector that runs to 31 March 2025. Employees will get a 3.5% general increase on 1 August this year along with a €415 lump sum paid on 1 July. Next year the general increase will be 2% from 1 June with 0.5% for the local level.