2023 July EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter No. 14
Negotiations between the health and care workers’ union Sanitas and the government continue to deliver on the union’s key demands on pay and conditions in addition to the successes reported in the last newsletter. All categories of employees in health care will get pay increases from 1 August, representing partial payment, in advance, of increases that will be provided for in the new wage law. From 1 August a range of occupations are also set to get additional payments for on-call duty that range from 100 to 1000 lei (€20-€200). The Ministry of Health will immediately begin the process of
Following a national demonstration in Madrid on 27 June and mobilisations around the country on 29 June, the trade unions involved in the long-running strike at the Ministry of Justice, including FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT, have formally requested the opening of a mediation procedure to resolve the conflict. From the beginning the unions have been open to negotiation but have met with a blank refusal by the Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop. The procedure is set out in legislation allowing for public administrations and trade unions to agree on an extrajudicial settlement of disputes by a third party
Members of the SDLSN are continuing their all-out action to demand a pay increase for all workers in the Ministry of Justice and they demonstrated their strength of feeling with a major demonstration in Zagreb on 30 June joined by members from across the country. The union continues to highlight the low pay of its members in contrast to their high levels of training, qualifications, responsibilities and heavy workloads. The SDLSN has been calling for improved pay and conditions for workers in the sector for many years.
Trade unions are maintaining their protest actions against the government, its austerity measures and failure to engage in any social dialogue. Following the initial march in Strakonice, further mobilisations took place in Zlín and Ostrava on 27 June and a rally of public service trade unions took place in Prague on 29 June, with EPSU affiliates involved. The trade unions issued a public statement calling on the government to withdraw its proposals for budget and public sector pay cuts and not to make the same mistakes as the government of 2010 that imposed austerity across the public services
Last month the Wage Structure Committee produce a detailed report on pay in the public services as a basis of a tripartite discussion that is due to begin in the autumn and that will have an impact on negotiations of the next three-year collective agreements in the public sector that will run from April 2024. The committee, with trade union participation, was set up in 2021 as a first step in trying to address the persistent problem of pay inequality across the public services and the major staff shortages across many occupations. The initial reaction of many EPSU affiliates is to welcome the
EPSU affiliates Fagforbundet and Delta, along with other unions, have been involved in negotiating a series of similar pay deals for workers covered by different private sector collective agreements. Assistants and skilled workers in the PBL group of kindergartens got a NOK 25800 (€2200) addition on annual salaries while teachers and education leaders received NOK 30000 (€2560). The overall cost increase of 5.4% is in line with the public sector increase. A 5.4% rise will also cover childcare facilities run by Norlandia which has moved to the agreement negotiated by the Spekter employers’
The Kommunal trade union has negotiated a series of two-year agreements covering a wide range of workers including those working in building maintenance, sports facilities, veterinary care, animal care and training, agriculture and zoos and workplace plant services. The agreements follow the main labour market trend with a 7.4% increase over the two years, with 4.1% in the first year and 3.3% in the second. The agreement covering sports facilities provides for a specific pot for monthly increases for full-time employees of SEK 1029 (€87) in July 2023 and SEK 935 (€80) in July 2024.
For the first time, employees working at care facilities run by the Protestant church in Hesse in central-west Germany are mobilising to support their union ver.di in collective bargaining. The workers have only been covered by a collective agreement since April 2022 and so building support for their key demand – an increase of €450 a month – is a new experience. They managed to get over 550 signatures on a petition handed to management. In the past, pay and working conditions were simply laid down in church employment contract guidelines. The collective agreement negotiated by ver.di and the
After six months of negotiations, workers in church-run elderly care and nursing homes will get an 8% pay increase, along with a cost-of-living bonus of €1500 and a one-hour reduction in weekly working hours to 39 hours. The agreement covers around 3600 employees and the new monthly minimum wage will be set at €1850.76. The 8% increase translates into a 10.65% increase once the one-hour cut is taken into account. The vida trade union negotiated the agreement which it sees as bringing the church-based employer more in line with other collective agreements in the sector although it argues that
The 200000 workers covered by the disability care collective agreement are getting a phased pay increase of 10% on top of the 3.2% already paid in May this year, negotiated by the FNV and NU’91 trade unions. There will be two increases of 3% on 1 September and 1 December (both with a €80 minimum) and in 2024, there will be two further increases of 2% in June and December (both with a minimum of €55). The travel allowance will be doubled from 8 cents to 16 cents per kilometer. Meanwhile, after difficult negotiations, unions at the Sanguin blood services non-profit company, including FNV, have
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has published its annual review of trade union rights which again reveals a challenging environment for trade unions with 87% of countries violating the right to strike and 79% violating the right to collective bargaining. In Europe, Belarus, Turkey and Kazakhstan are again among the worst offenders with no guarantees for trade union rights. Seven European countries feature in the next worst category – systematic violation of rights – Greece, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia. The ITUC survey indicates that the situation
Although the pay deal covering most workers in the national health service in England has been accepted, this does not cover all groups and not all unions are happy with the deal. The result of the most recent ballot by the RCN nursing union delivered an 85% vote in favour of further industrial action but the restrictive rules on turnout imposed in UK legislation mean that any action would be illegal. However, members of the Unite trade union in different parts of the health service are still taking action while junior doctors and consultants, covered by different pay arrangements are also