Nov. 07, 2019 Following protest actions on 5 November, health and social care workers in the Vaud canton (region) are planning a strike on 5 December to ensure that all workers in all sectors covered by the regional health collective agreement get a pay rise and benefit from an increased minimum wage. The unions, including the ssp/vpod public services union, are concerned that the employers want to restrict pay increases to certain occupations.
Nov. 07, 2019 Research by the ETUC reveals that parents in seven EU member states will benefit from new rights as a result of the work-life balance directive that was adopted by the European Council in June. However, this will depend on national governments properly implementing the legislation over the next three years. Fathers in Italy, Croatia and Slovakia are set to receive paid paternity leave around the birth of a child for the first time ever while the directive should at least double the length of paid paternity leave in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania.
Nov. 07, 2019 The three main trade unions in local government - UNISON, GMB and Unite - came together to lobby employers in advance of negotiations on pay. The unions' pay claim is for an increase of 10% and a minimum pay rate of £10 an hour (€11.60). They are also calling for a two hour reduction in the working week (with no loss of pay), one extra day of annual leave and the ending of the freeze on allowances. The unions argue that local government workers have seen a 22% cut in pay in real terms over the last 10 years.
Nov. 06, 2019 Public service unions younion and GÖD have taken part in the first two rounds of bargaining in the annual pay negotiations. The key data for the negotiations were agreed as an inflation rate of 1.7% and economic growth of 1.5%-1.7%. The unions are looking for a clear increase in purchasing power for all public sector workers along with recognition of the staffing situation with concerns around workers facing heavy workloads and precarious employment conditions. The employers made no pay offer in the second bargaining round on 5 November. The next negotiations take place on 15 November.
Nov. 05, 2019 Health unions FNV and NU'91 report that very high levels of support are building for the first ever national hospital strike set for 20 November. The unions initially expected action to be organised in around half of hospitals and clinics but the level of anger among workers means that strike action in non-urgent services is being planned in over 90% of institutions. The unions are looking for a 5% pay increase for 2019 and additional payments for workers who are called in to work at short notice (see EPSU Collective Bargaining News 20, October).
Nov. 05, 2019 Workers at the Schildautal hospital in Seesen in Lower Saxony are continuing their strike action to secure a collective agreement despite management's aggressive anti-strike measures (see EPSU Collective Bargaining News 19, October). Public services union ver.di has condemned the hospital owners, Askeplios, for failing to agree a minimum service agreement, threatening workers with the sack and offering strike-breaking bonuses. Further action was taken on 1 November despite the employer's intimidation and on the basis of the union's own proposal for minimum service.
Nov. 05, 2019 The leadership of the Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp, Uil Fpl and Uil Pa public service federations held a joint meeting on 30 October to discuss their main proposals for renewal of public administration. They welcomed the willingness of the new government to engage in dialogue but underlined the need to invest the necessary resources. The key demands focus on the renewal of collective agreements, an urgent plan to recruit new workers, measures to reduce precarious employment and the implementation of a new job classification system. The unions stressed that the government needed to adjust the budget to address these issues.
Nov. 05, 2019 Care workers in the Basque region are engaged in long-term struggles to secure better pay and conditions and higher quality services for the elderly. Members of the ELA trade union working in residential care in Gipuzkoa province are set to take another 31 days of strike action from 11 November to 11 December, taking the total number of days to 149. Meanwhile the ELA, LAB, UGT and USO unions in Bizkaia province are coordinating action in home care. This follows 27 days of strike action in 2018 and a dozen days in 2017 in a campaign to end a seven-year pay freeze, improve health and safety and impose limits on flexibility.
Oct. 24, 2019 The trade unions representing care workers - FeSP-UGT and CCOO-Sanidad - are planning two days of mobilisation on 30 October and 7 November to put pressure on the two employer organisations (CEOE and CEPYME) to negotiate on pay. The union federations are angry that the employers have failed to negotiate the introduction of a EUR 1000 minimum wage (14 payments) for the sector even though it had been proposed in the last collective agreement. The unions put forward a proposal for reaching the level in stages up to 2021 but the employers failed to respond.
Oct. 24, 2019 The Kommunal municipal workers' union has decided not to follow the wage coordination policy agreed by the LO trade union confederation. The union says that urgent action is needed to tackle staff shortages in childcare, health and other welfare services and that if it followed the LO target then workers in those sectors would only get an extra SEK 17 (EUR1.60). For Kommunal it is also important to address low pay in sectors dominated by women and the LO guideline would reduce the gender pay gap by only 0.1%.
Oct. 24, 2019 21 October is marked as equal pay day in Austria where the gender pay gap is one of the biggest in Europe at 19.7%. This is based on a full-time woman worker getting an average of EUR 41785 compared to EUR 52033 for a man. This is the equivalent of women working for free for 72 days - hence setting the date as 21 October. Unions highlight the problems of part-time work and unpaid care as contributing to the problem. While 47% of women work part time only 11% of men do.
Oct. 24, 2019 The latest issue of the ETUI's collective bargaining newsletter covers as usual all EU Member States and more with over 65 articles including news from Croatia where the government has backed down from increasing the retirement age from 65 to 67 after a union campaign. There are also news items covering strikes in Greece and Hungary, action by youth workers in the Netherlands and an initiative on lifelong learning to support energy workers in Estonia.
Oct. 24, 2019 The vpod public service workers has called on the federal government to deliver nationwide, binding rules on pay and working time for home care workers. It argues that non-binding, cantonal (regional) agreements are not effective enough, particularly on key issues of working and rest time. Vpod also says that the proposed hourly minimum wage of CHF 19.20 (EUR 17.40) doesn't guarantee a decent income and that a monthly minimum of CHF 4000 (EUR 3630) with a 13th month is necessary.
Oct. 24, 2019 The OSZSP health and social care union met with ministry of health officials earlier this month to discuss staffing levels in the social care sector. The union has been pushing hard for the government to introduce safe and effective staffing levels. It underlines the need for this to be done on the basis of real assessment of needs and not on the basis of current staffing levels as many institutions are understaffed and staff overworked. The union also wants increased funding for providers which it sees as necessary to increase staff and tackle low pay in the sector where the average wage is CZK 5000 (EUR 195) lower than the national average across the whole economy.
Oct. 24, 2019 Health and social care unions from all three trade union confederations took strike action on 24 October to put pressure on the employers to resolve issues in the non-profit sector negotiations. Trade unions are particularly concerned to resolve problems around stability and predictability of working hours and contracts, right to annual leave, action to tackle burn-out and training. The unions say that most private hospitals were affected with action also taking place in the social care sector.