2023 February EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.3
The FNV and NU’91 trade unions have rejected what the NVZ hospital employers have suddenly claimed is their final offer in the negotiations covering 200,000 health service workers. The offer is for a pay rise of 13% over two years but implemented as 5% in February 2023, 5% in December 2023 and 3% in September 2024. This not only falls below the unions’ call for an immediate 10% increase but FNV and NU’91 also strongly reject the employers’ proposals on allowances related to travel and short-notice shift changes. Members will be consulted over the offer and possible action in response
Members of the FBU firefighters’ union have voted overwhelming for strike action and the union has given the government 10 days to respond before setting any strike dates. This means firefighters will join the widespread actions across the UK involving central government workers, nurses and ambulance staff along with education and rail workers. The PCS civil service union organised a national strike on 1 February and further targeted action is planned for later in the month. The TUC confederation also organised protests around the country on 1 February in protest at the government plans for
The ver.di trade union reports that the first round of bargaining covering 2.5 million employees in federal government and municipalities ended without any proposals from the employers that would address the cost-of-living crisis or staffing shortages. The union reports survey results showing that over 335,000 workers strongly support the union's demands and that the employers need to take this message seriously. Ver.di is demanding a 10.5% pay increase with a minimum of €500 a month in a 12-month agreement. The collective bargaining result will also cover civil servants, judges and soldiers
Over 25000 workers in the non-profit sector joined a march through Brussels on 31 January to highlight the urgent need for action on jobs and investment in health and social care services. The unions in the sector are warning of the pressures created by understaffing across hospitals, social care, childcare and other vital services and calling on the federal and regional governments to provide the additional funding necessary to improve pay and conditions, take on more staff and invest in these vital services.
All the main trade union confederations – including CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA and CFE-CGC – with the support of student organisations, organised a second day of strike action and protests on 31 January against changes to the pension system. There was again massive support in over 250 demonstrations across the country matching the first day of protests on 19 January. The trade unions are calling on the government to withdraw the planned reforms and especially the proposal to increase the pension age from 62 to 64. They argue that the vast majority of the population is opposed and the unions are
The Fórsa trade union is planning to ballot its members in non-profit health and social care over a proposal for indefinite strike action. Along with other unions, SIPTU and INMO, Fórsa has been involved in a long-running campaign to secure pay increases for workers in the sector where pay has fallen behind public sector pay. Despite several years of targeted industrial action the government has failed to address the problem and the unions argue that this is unfair as many workers in the sector are doing the same work and delivering the same services as in the public sector. They also warn
Thousands of employees of the Waadt/Vaud regional government are involved in strikes and protests in response to the employer’s offer of a pay increase of only 1.4%, one of the lowest offered across the whole of the country. The day of action on 31 January was supported by even more workers than the first one on 23 January and the next strikes and protests are set for 9 February. The president of the regional council has attacked the trade unions and is so far refusing to negotiate.
Care sector unions in the CCOO and UGT confederations have managed to negotiate substantial pay increases for social care workers in the first collective agreement covering residential and day-centre care in the Balearic islands. The agreement covers around 4000 workers and provides for pay increases of more than 41% staged over the next four years, 22.42% from June 2023, 5.81% from June 2024, 5% from June 2025 and 3.86% from June 2026. The increases will bring workers in line with pay levels in the regional authority. There will also be an 18-hour reduction in working hours (7 hours in 2024
The JHL public service and OAJ education unions are calling on employers to make progress in stalled negotiations that cover over 130,000 workers in the state, education and the churches. The unions are challenging the fact that the employers are waiting to see what happens in the private sector and particularly the export-led sector, before further negotiating on pay in the public sector. JHL and OAJ argue that the centralised system of bargaining no longer applies and that sector negotiations have to focus on the needs and demands of the sectors that deliver welfare for citizens and provide
Trade unions, including Fagforbundet, have secured a new agreement covering a range of services in the non-profit social care sector following two days of mediation. Workers will get a pay increase of at least NOK 7800 (€710) backdated to 1 May 2022 and there will be a new pay table that, over the long term, will provide equal treatment for employees on the basis of education and experience and a boost in the minimum wage rates for many. There will also be improvements to allowances for unsocial hours. The agreement applies to employees in a range of non-profit organisations in child and other
IPSO, the main union representing staff at the European Central Bank (ECB) has published the results of a survey of employees revealing around two-thirds of workers had concerns about the ECB policy on pay, inflation and interest rates. Widely reported in the media, the union says that it was not just unhappiness about the 4% pay increase awarded to ECB employees (less than half the current inflation rate in Germany) but also the bank’s reliance on interest rises as a tool to control inflation. IPSO’s message to staff said that the ECB policy of wage moderation was in its view biased against
The ETUC has welcomed the vote in the European Parliament’s Employment Committee to support legislation on workers in digital labour platforms. The ETUC says that delivery riders, cab drivers, content creators, programmers, click-workers, engineers and carers are among 28 million workers who would benefit from the provisions in the Employment Committee’s report. If passed as a directive it would mean an end to the system of false self-employment used by platform companies to cut costs at the detriment of workers’ pay and conditions, giving workers the right to a proper employment contract. It
The UCAPSE trade union has made a significant breakthrough by negotiating the first collective agreement covering 500 employees at Nefromor a subsidiary of the Fresenius Medical Care multinational. UCAPSE managed to organise workers in 2018 and has since been involved in long and complex negotiations to achieve a collective agreement which now covers pay, minimum wages, working time, education funds, pensions and shift allowances. There are backdated pay increases of 3.25% for 2021 and 3% for 2022. The hourly rate for the lowest paid will rise to around €8.40 (legal minimum wage is €7.73). The