Oct. 25, 2018 Firefighters' unions in Spain and Italy are calling for government action to address a number of longstanding issues. In Italy the FP-CGIL trade union has declared a state of agitation around a number of key demands related to the collective agreement, recruitment, occupational safety, pensions and the right to elect workplace representatives. The union wants to see action to reduce bureaucracy and increase investment. Meanwhile, in Spain the unions want a framework law to establish a clear national structure for the service which is characterised by significant differences across the regions. The FSC-CCOO mobilising for a demonstration on 26 October to highlight the demand.
Oct. 24, 2018 EPSU's affiliates in the prison services - FSC-CCOO, FeSP-UGT and ACAIP-USO - began their planned six-day strike campaign on 24 October. The unions are calling on the government to abide by its commitment to fund pay increases in the sector that are needed to deal urgently with staff shortages and to address the question of major pay disparities in different institutions. The strike action follows a long period of campaigning, lobbying and negotiating and the unions have agreed that further strikes will take place on 26 October with a further four days in November (6, 8 13 and 15).
Oct. 10, 2018 Prison sector unions are planning a series of 24-hour strikes beginning on 24 October in protest at the withdrawal of a pay offer by the prison service. The unions have been campaigning together for several years to secure improved pay as a key measure to tackle staff shortages in the sector. Following the installation of a new government, the prison service offered to increase the prison pay bill by EUR 122.6 million over the next three years. The unions were angry and astonished when, at a meeting on 25 September, the head of the prison service announced that the offer was withdrawn on the basis that it hadn't been authorised by the government. The unions have called for an urgent meeting with the Minister of the Interior and they will begin their actions with a protest outside the Ministry on 17 October.
Sep. 13, 2018 The three main unions in the prisons sector, FSC-CCOO, FeSP-UGT and ACAIP-USO, are continuing their protests over pay, jobs and working conditions with three demonstrations planned for 14, 24 and 29 September. The unions have called on the government to honour the commitments it made when in opposition and increase resources for the prisons service. The unions emphasise that responsibilities and workloads have increased but staffing hasn't and the sector has 3400 vacant posts. Prison workers are facing considerable pressures to ensure safety in their institutions and face an increasing number of physical assaults. The unions also want the government to address the problem of pay discrepancies across the system where workers in different prisons have different rates of pay despite doing the same job.
Aug. 07, 2018
The official auditing body, the Cámara de Cuentas, has challenged the privatisation of hospitals in the Madrid region, arguing that there has been no evidence provided for any increase in efficiency or improvements in healthcare arising from the privatisation.
Aug. 01, 2018 Prison workers' unions have organised half-hour protests across the prisons service on 2 August as part of their long-running campaign to get action to tackle violence against staff. With 934 violent assaults registered in 2015 and 2016, the unions say that urgent action is required and they want the new government to recognise the problem and to negotiate an agreement to address it. Inadequate staffing levels are a major element and the unions say the recent offer of additional employment is inadequate to deal with the estimated 3400 vacancies or the ageing of the workforce. However, the unions also point to other challenges such as the need to tackle mental health problems in prisons.
Jul. 19, 2018 In a timely intervention, the FSC-CCOO has called on the government to put more resources into the prevention and fighting of forest fires - an issue which the union sees has become one of the most urgent for the country and rural communities. Along with a strengthening of the fire service - increased employment, professionalisation and training - the union argues that more has to be done to take preventative measures, some of which could actually help to boost rural economies.
Jun. 28, 2018 Recent mobilisations of union members in public administration in Lleida, Logroño, Tarragona y Ceuta mark the end of a first phase of demonstrations organised by the three main public service federations in CCOO, UGT and CSIF. The key aim of the protests has been to keep up the pressure for the recuperation of pay and benefits cut under austerity but also to call for public employees to have the same pay and benefits as civil servants. The unions are also demanding a minimum monthly wage of EUR 1200 across the public administration.
Jun. 07, 2018 Trade unions in the prisons sector in Spain - CCOO, UGT and Acaip-Uso - have been running a major campaign of mobilisation to put pressure on prison service management to negotiate to tackle major problems related to pay, understaffing, an ageing workforce and increased violence. However, some of their recent peaceful protests have been broken up by the police even causing injuries, in some cases serious, to union activists (see epsucob@NEWS 11). In a presentation to EPSU's Quality Employment conference, Jose Maria Lopez of CCOO, outlined the situation facing prison service workers, arguing that the government was allowing a managed decline with a view to privatising or outsourcing various parts of the service. The conference adopted a statement of support for the three Spanish unions and their current campaign.
Jun. 01, 2018 The three main prison officer unions - FSC-CCOO, FeSPUGT and ACAIP - organised a 15-minute stoppage in 84 institutions across the country on 22 May in protest at the violence used against demonstrating prison guards earlier in the month. The three unions had coordinated a series of protests across the country to call for negotiations over pay and working conditions. The demonstrations were carried out peacefully but in Morón in southern Spain police used violence to break up the protest resulting in 20 injuries, including one very serious.
May. 17, 2018 The four unions representing home care workers in the Basque region (ELA, LAB, UGT and USO) have planned further work stoppages as part of their long-running campaign to end the pay freeze and negotiate new collective agreements. Two three-hour stoppages will take place on 25 and 31 May. There will also be a protest outside the Mungia town hall on the 25th and workers will surround the Bilbao town hall on the 31st. The unions are targeting local authorities for allowing the contracting out of home care services without any minimum prices specified and no hours guaranteed for the workers. The workers have already carried out 10 stoppages and organised innumerable protests in their campaign to secure their first pay rise for five years.
May. 02, 2018 The public service federations in the CCOO and UGT confederations organised a joint demonstration on 26 April to coincide with the parliamentary debate over the government's proposed budget. The unions are calling for a flat-rate increase of EUR 200 for all workers in public administration plus a further EUR 100 linked to pay grades. The unions are aiming for a minimum wage of EUR 1200 a month and steps towards restoring purchasing power for all workers in public administration. The unions are demanding more and better jobs but recent official statistics analysed by the FSC-CCOO federation show that there is still a major problem with temporary work. In the latest quarter 68.8% of jobs created were fixed-term, leading to an increase in the overall proportion of fixed-term contracts from 23.1% to 24.5%.
Apr. 19, 2018 The three main trade unions in the prisons sector - FSC-CCOO, FeSP-UGT and ACAIP - organised a 12-hour protest outside the head office of the prison service on 11 April. Over 200 trade unionists joined the demonstration, chaining themselves together. The unions are calling for proper negotiations to resolve some major problems in the sector including: massive staff shortages with 3200 vacant posts; the ageing workforce; privatisation; increasing violence and discrepancies in pay between the same jobs in different institutions.