Public sector unions have welcomed the outcome of negotiations with the employers and government which have delivered a package of pay-related measures backed with DKK 6.8 billion (€910 million) of funding. A number of different groups of workers across the public sector will benefit, particularly those affected by major staff shortages. Around DKK 1.3 billion (€170 million) will go into health and elder care, for example. The package will have a wider impact than anticipated as, in addition to the higher pay for occupations like nurses, care workers, social educators and prison staff, a much broader group of workers will benefit from the DKK 2 billion (€270 million) that will cover higher allowances for working unsocial hours. Other unions whose members are less affected have also welcomed the deal, including HK Kommunal, HK Stat and DS. The measures are set to be fully implemented by 2026 and are entirely separate from the public sector-wide pay negotiations which are already in preparation and that will lead to new three-year agreements next Spring.
Tripartite negotiations deliver major boost for public sector pay
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Health unions in Bulgaria signed a new collective agreement on 8 November which includes substantial pay increases for workers across the sector. Compared to the pay rates set in the 2016 collective agreement, the minimum wage for nurses, midwives and laboratory technicians will increase by 22% from 900 lev (EUR 460) to 1100 lev (EUR 560) a month. The basic rate for doctors and pharmacists will increase by just under 30% from 1200 lev (EUR 615) to 1550 lev (EUR 790). Higher increases of up to 50% will be paid to medical specialists.
The HSSMS-MT healthcare union reports that following the third round of public sector pay negotiations, unions have accepted a pay increase of 5%, an improvement on the 3% offer made in the second round of bargaining. The unions have also secured the €300 Christmas bonus that they were looking for and an Easter bonus of €100, less than they wanted but a €30 improvement on the previous offer. There is also a commitment that, should the new pay system not be in place by 1 March 2024, then negotiations would open for a general pay increase.
EPSU affiliate the LSADPS and eight other medical trade unions organisations have negotiated a new three-year collective agreement that runs from 1 January 2022 and covers workers from the entire health sector, who are members of the trade union organisations involved in the negotiations. This is the first time all trade unions have come together to sign one sectoral collective agreement. A combination of factors mean that wages are set to increase by an average of 10.9% in 2022. There is also a commitment to ensure funding for wage increases to prevent a recurrence of the delay in wage rises