Aug. 16, 2018 The head of the GPA-djp services union and president of the ÖGB trade union confederation, Wolfgang Katzian, has called for the right to negotiate a four-day week in a challenge to the government's recent legislation to allow a 12-hour working day. Many collective agreements already allow the possibility to work a four-day week although this has rarely been implemented in practice. In advance of the autumn bargaining round, there will be a national conference for negotiators on 18 September to discuss working time and the prospect of bargaining around a four-day week or other initiatives to reduce working time such as six weeks of annual leave.
Jul. 10, 2018 Trade unions mobilised over 100000 workers on 30 June in protest at a draft bill that would allow a 12-hour day and 60-hour week and the unions have said they will continue their campaign despite the law being voted through on 5 July. The trade unions have been campaigning against the proposals not just because they pose a threat to workers' health and safety, their rights to work-life balance and undermine rules on overtime but by legislating on the issue the government has intervened in what is seen as a key area of responsibility for the social partners and works councils.
Apr. 19, 2018 The GPA-djp and vida private service unions have welcomed the fact that employers in the social care sector have finally acknowledged how staffing shortages can be addressed and that the home care system, in particular, will only be able to function if pay and conditions are improved. The unions regret that the opportunity to deal with important issues like roster-planning and split shifts was missed in recent negotiations covering the sector and that implementation of additional payments for social care assistants, specialist care assistants and graduates was far from problem-free. The unions have called on the employers to discuss whay can be done to improve pay and conditions outside the normal collective bargaining process.
Apr. 05, 2018 Following a meeting with the justice minister, the prisons section of the GÖD public service union has announced that the government is committed to create 75 new jobs and 100 training places to tackle the excessive workloads faced across the prison service. The talks also discussed the prospects for a quicker and more effective process for appointing prison staff and a plan for an expert study of the sector that would assist in drawing up standard safety guidelines.
Mar. 05, 2018 After the sixth round of negotiations, the vida and GPA-djp service unions agreed a deal for 100000 workers in the private health and social care sector. There will be a 2.5% pay increase dated from 1 February but with a EUR 48 per month minimum increase. This will mean more than 3% for the lowest paid workers. There will also be specific provisions for care assistants, special care assistants and qualified nurses who will see additional increases ranging from EUR 10 to EUR 50 a month in both 2018 and 2019. Although the unions did not achieve a reduction in weekly working hours they said that this would remain on their bargaining agenda.
Feb. 20, 2018 The vida and GPA-djp services unions organised warning strikes involving over 40000 workers in more than 140 private health and social care institutions on 15 and 16 February. The strikes were called in order to put pressure on the employers to come up with an improved offer in the current negotiations over a new collective agreement that covers around 100000 workers in the sector. The unions want a recognition of the increasing workloads faced by many workers, with an appropriate pay increase and a cut in working time to 35 hours a week (see also last issue of epsucob@NEWS 03, 2018).
Feb. 07, 2018 After a march in Vienna on 24 January and a day of action on 30 January, the vida and GPA-djp trade unions warn of further action to support their negotiations covering 100000 workers in the private health and social care sector. The employers increased their original pay offer from 2.1% to 2.25% but the unions say that this completely fails to recognise the new tasks and responsibilities faced by many in the sector. The unions are also calling for a cut in working time. The fifth round of bargaining is due on 12 February and the unions have already indicated widespread support among their members for more action to put pressure on employers.
Jan. 24, 2018 The GPA-djp and PRO-GE energy unions have negotiated a new collective agreement covering around 20000 workers in the private energy sector. The 3% pay rise also covers apprentices and shift allowances while other allowances increase by 2.5%. The agreement includes several other provisions such as protection of special payments and holiday entitlement during paternity leave. The trade unions will also work with the employers to look at women's employment and representation in the sector. There will be working groups on other issues, including working time, and agreement to carry out audits of diversity issues.
Jan. 05, 2018 Private childcare workers saw a 3% increase in the sector minimum wage from 1 January. The increase was negotiated by the vida and GPA-djp service trade unions with the Federal Arbitration Office. The increase takes the lowest wage level above EUR 1500 for the first time, reaching EUR 1514. There is also a provision to ensure that special payments continue to be fully paid in cases of long-term sickness or accidents at work. The unions are pleased that this is a good deal for the 10000 workers in the sector, the vast majority of whom are women.
Dec. 14, 2017 After four rounds of negotiations public service trade unions have secured a 2.33% increase for workers covered by the main national public sector pay negotiations. The increase was endorsed by Parliament on 13 December. This is the highest pay rise for six years and just ahead of the latest figure for inflation of 2.2% (year to October).
Oct. 27, 2017 Leaders of the GÖD and younion public service unions have taken part in the first two round of negotiations over the pay increase for 2018. The unions are calling for an above-inflation increase that reflects the increased workload and performance of public service workers. The level of the increase will be negotiated in the framework of positive growth in the economy (2.8%) and an inflation rate of just under 1.9%.
Oct. 12, 2017 The public services trade union, younion, collected 15000 signatures in a petition that it handed in to the parliament of the region of Lower Austria on 10 October. The petition calls for action to deal with the pay and working conditions of the 3000 childcare workers in the region. The union wants to see improvements to education and training in the sector as well as the development of a proper career structure. It is also calling for pay to be commensurate with the responsibilities and demands of the job. The union is expecting to be able to negotiate soon, although there is no offer on this yet from the regional government.
Sep. 14, 2017 The GPA-djp and vida private service trade unions met with the private care employers' organisation (SWÖ) to highlight the major staffing challenge facing the sector and the urgent need for additional funding to cover better pay and conditions to increase recruitment to the sector. The unions underlined the impact of serious staff shortages that are leading to increased workloads, burnout and stress for many care workers. They want to see legally enforceable staffing levels, that set minimum standards both in terms of numbers of staff with the appropriate qualifications.
Aug. 25, 2017 The GPA-djp has launched a campaign in protest against a decision by the non-profit pro mente rehabilitation company to apply a poorer collective agreement to all new employees from November this year. The union says that the move from the SWÖ (Austrian social economy) agreement to the Cure and Rehabilitation agreement will mean a massive deterioration of pay and employment conditions for the workers affected. The GPA-djp has set up an online petition to support the campaign.