The GÖD and younion public sector unions have been involved in the second round of bargaining over pay with the aim, as usual, to ensure that all public sector workers get a pay increase from 1 January. Alongside the surge in the cost of living the trade unions are underlining the increased burdens taken on by many workers, often as a result of staff shortages, as strong justification for a sustainable salary increase. The unions’ demands have been supported with a letter to the government negotiator from the head of the ÖGB trade union confederation. This highlights the massive contribution made by public service workers during the pandemic and its aftermath, the additional workload generated by the war in Ukraine and resulting surge in refugees and the impending impact of the surge in retirements across the public services.
Public sector unions highlight work pressure and precarious conditions
More like this
As negotiations are set to begin over employment conditions in the public sector, seven trade union federations have set out their main demands and criticized the way that precarious employment conditions have spread in the three main areas of public service – national administration, local government and the health service. The unions’ want more workers to be on full civil service terms and conditions rather than being taken on as public sector employees or temporary contracts. They are also calling on the government to withdraw its proposal for new short-term, “project-linked” contracts.
The NSF nursing union reports that the latest data from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration reveals a shortage of 4650 nurses and 700 specialist nurses, making it the occupational group with by far the greatest shortage in Norway. They account, in fact, for more than 10% of the total shortage. The NSF says that the figures have never been so bad, excluding the impact of the pandemic in 2021-22 and there is a rising cost to the health system with NOK 2.4 billion (€208 million) spent last year on temporary nursing staff. The union is calling for urgent action on pay and workloads in
The NSF and Fagforbundet trade unions have been considering the findings of a major survey of over 5000 nurses, nursing auxiliaries and assistants in their 50s and 60s, that reveals the pressure they face in terms of physical and mental stress and the main reasons why they tend to leave before retirement age. Increased staffing is seen as an essential measure to address the problem and help ensure that more of this skilled and experienced group of workers stay in work for longer. The unions also focus on the extent of part-time work and that while some nurses opt for fewer hours because they