2023 January EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No.1
Health unions confirm 10% increase for 2023
The FNV and NU’91 health workers’ unions have worked to ensure that the 80,000 employees of the seven University Medical Centres will all receive a 10% pay rise in 2023 – 6% in January and 4% in November. There was some concern that not all employees would receive the same increase at the same time and the trade unions were considering legal action to get the employers to properly implement the collective agreement. The increase is slightly below the retail price inflation level of 11.2% but the aim will be to negotiate further compensation for inflation in the next bargaining round.
Action delivers 11.2% pay rise for lower paid hospital workers
Member of the vida private services union working at the network of religious hospitals have voted by a two-thirds majority to accept a new pay deal. Increases will range from 8.4% to 11.2% (for the lower paid) with a minimum increase on monthly salaries of €205. The union has welcomed the agreement that begins to recognise the work done by health staff during the pandemic and helps address the rising cost of living. Vida also underlined the importance of the high level of member participation in campaigning and industrial action that contributed to securing a better pay offer from the
Public service strikes continue into January
With the government refusing to negotiate on pay, health and other public service workers are set to continue their campaigns of industrial action into the new year. The RCN nursing union has announced two further strikes days (18-19 January) following its historic first national strike action in December. Unions representing ambulance workers (UNISON, Unite and GMB) will also take further action in England (11 and 23 January) and could be joined by colleagues in Wales who have just voted to take action. Meanwhile central government union PCS has a timetable for more targeted action across
Unions get commitment to collective bargaining for overseas staff
The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have ensured that government employees working overseas will be covered by a proper process of collective bargaining. As a first step to address the lack of proper pay bargaining over the past 14 years, the unions have agreed a 3.5% pay increase for all overseas workers backdated to 1 January 2022. Negotiations over a pay rise for 2023 will begin in the first quarter of the year along with bargaining over a range of other issues including telework, the 35-hour week, equality plans and an updating of the 2008 agreement on working conditions.
Study reveals critical situation in social services
The public services union ver.di has published early results of a major study of workers in social services that reveals the high risks of burnout and exhaustion faced by many workers in the sector. The survey covers more than 8,200 employees in childcare, disability assistance, youth welfare offices and other areas of social work. It found that since the pandemic many employees often skip the legally required rest breaks and 40% stated that they regularly work three or more hours overtime a week as well. Over 65% of respondents say that they are under time pressure at work, with more than 80%
Unions negotiate tougher working time rules
The Vårdförbundet and Kommunal health and care unions have negotiated new and stricter rules on working time that will ensure workers have the right to proper rest time and in particular meet the requirement for 11 hours consecutive rest every 24 hours set by the Working Time Directive. The negotiations with the SKR and Sobona employer organisations took place following criticism from the European Commission that existing provisions did not ensure compliance with the Directive. The new rules will mean that any reduction to the 11-hour rest period will only be in exceptional circumstances and
Union welcomes new legal provisions on full-time work
Public services union Delta has welcomed implementation of the amended Working Environment Act that ensures that employers give priority to full-time employment. The law requires that employers document any decision to hire workers on a part-time basis and to discuss issues relating to part-time employees with trade union representatives. The Labour Inspection Authority has powers to enforce compliance with the new regulations. The legislation means that part-time employees get preferential access to any extra shifts and to extend their hours before employers hire new employees or take on
Waste workers take action on pay and other conditions
Members of the STAL trade union employed by two waste companies – the private FCC Environment and municipally-owned RdN – took strike action between Christmas and the new year. Workers in both companies are seeking a 10% pay rise with a minimum monthly increase of €100 and minimum wage of €850 a month. In addition, the main claim at RdN is for all workers on temporary contracts to be made permanent.
Pay and bargaining progress for health and justice workers
The CITUB trade union confederation reports that workers in regional health inspectorates and emergency medical centres have seen substantial salary increases from the beginning of December. Regional health inspection staff have seen pay rise by up to 30% while emergency medical staff are getting around 22%. Unions have been organising a series of protests over pay since the autumn. Meanwhile, the Podkrepa trade union confederation reports that workers at the Ministry of Justice are covered by a new framework agreement that strengthens social dialogue and ensures protection of workers’ social
Average pay increase of 14% for unionised health workers
The LSADPS health workers’ union reports that its members in public health will benefit from pay rises of around 14% from the beginning of this month. This is based on the collective agreement negotiated by the LSADPS and eight other health sector trade unions in 2021 and updated in October of last year. Along with higher basic pay there are increases to the coefficients on which salaries are based and these will apply to the members of the trade unions that have signed the agreement. The average increase for all health staff will be around 8%.
Union survey reveals staffing challenge in childcare
The SuPer health and care union has published findings from a survey of workers in early years education that found more than half (53%) of respondents felt that the quality of service had deteriorated over the past five years with insufficient staff seen as the main problem. Over 1,000 union members replied to the survey, with 88% saying that they had experienced staff shortages in their work unit on at least a monthly basis. They survey also found that the increase in other tasks meant that workers had less time for direct contact with children. Almost 80% of respondents are considering
Action by health union delivers results
Picketing and strike action by the Dev Sağlık-İş trade union, with support from EPSU and PSI, helped address bullying, harassment and anti-trade union behaviour by management at the Koç University Hospital in Istanbul. Although the dismissed union members were not reinstated, the employer paid increased compensation in recognition of the discriminatory action against union officials. The union also secured the dismissal of the manager responsible for the bullying, the end to harassment and withdrawal of false accusations against union members. Both PSI and EPSU sent protest letters.