Aug. 18, 2005 The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions has published its review of industrial relations for 2004. This is a 100-page report covering social dialogue developments at the European Union level plus key collective bargaining and industrial relations changes within each country. The third section looks at developments in rights to information and consultation.This is the direct link to the pdf of the report at > EIRO
Aug. 18, 2005 The EIRO industrial relations observatory reports that unions and employers have agreed a new pension system for the private sector. At the moment the public sector retains its system that provides workers with a pension worth two-thirds of income at retirement. In contrast the private sector system will be adjusted according to life expectancy, prices and wages and pensions will not keep pace with average earnings.Read more at > EIRO
Aug. 18, 2005 Claims that the German state pensions system is under pressure have led to calls for an increase in retirement age 70 from an expert from the DIW economic think-tank. Other industry experts have rejected this but still call for an increase to 67 from the current 65. The idea of an increase to either 67 ro 70 has been rejected as nonsense by ver.di which is calling for action to deal with unemployment as a priority.Read more at the IPE pensions news site > IPERead more at > verdi
Aug. 18, 2005 A statutory minimum wage has become an issue for debate in the current German election campaign. However, ver.di notes some disagreement among leftwing candidates. Left Party campaigners have called for a minimum of around 1,200-1,250 euros a month while the PDS party has referred to 1,400 euros. Frank Bsirske, ver.di chair, argues that the figure should be 7.50 an hour (just under 1,270 a month for a 39-hour week) which would put German around the average for the EU15.Read more at > verdi]
Aug. 04, 2005 Don't forget to book your place at EPSU's collective bargaining conference (12-13 December, in Brussels). Low pay will be the key issue with a major discussion planned for the afternoon of the first day. A draft policy document will be presented to the conference by EPSU staff. Thorsten Schulten, a researcher with the WSI German trade union research institute will provide some insight into the main debates on low pay and minimum wages around Europe. Details of the conference are now on the EPSU website.Read more at > EPSU
Aug. 04, 2005 Following a major national demonstration in Lisbon on 17 June, unions in the FNSFP public service federation have called a general strike in public administration for 15 July. The unions are opposing government plans for significant changes to working conditions in the public sector, including later retirement. The government argues that the cuts are necessary to reduce its budget deficit.Read more at > FNSFP
Aug. 04, 2005 Workers at English Heritage, the public service body that looks after some of the UK's most famous historical monuments such as Stonehenge and Hadrian's Wall took two hours' strike action last month. They were protesting at an average 1.5% pay increase (inflation in the UK is currently at 3.4%).Read more at > PCSAnd at > Prospect
Aug. 04, 2005 Doctors organised in the Marburger Bund trade union, were on strike last month in protest at plans by their regional government employers to raise weekly working hours and cut Christmas and holiday bonuses. The union is now planning a week of action at the beginning of August.Read more at > Marburger Bund
Aug. 04, 2005 There were demonstrations and action around the country on 20 and 21 June as first energy workers took action in protest at the planned privatisation of EDF and GDF and then public sector workers joined with their private sector colleagues in a joint protest over a range of issues including the failure to make progress in pay negotiations.
Aug. 04, 2005 The Greek civil service union ADEDY organised a four-hour stoppage on Friday 24 June while the local government workers' union POE-OTA are taking action today. Both organisations are protesting at government plans to reform the social security system. The ADEDY action was called to coincide with action in the private sector where the banking unions in particular are campaigning against the imposition of later retirement.Read more at > ERT news website
Aug. 04, 2005 The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) has submitted a claim for an 8.2% pay increase from August this year. The union says that the increase will mean civil service pay will rise in line with average earnings across the whole economy (4.6%) plus compensate for two years of pay deals which have fallen 3.6% below inflation. In line with PCS and Prospect the main unions in the UK civil service, NIPSA is also calling for a £14,000 (21,000 euros) minimum salary.Read more at > NIPSA
Aug. 04, 2005 Don't forget that EPSU is carrying out its annual survey of pay and conditions in the public services. Information from the survey will be included in an annual report on collective bargaining and social dialogue that will be presented to the Collective Bargaining conference in Brussels in December. The report has to be finished in time for translation and so responses to the survey are needed by the end of September. All contacts in EPSU's epsucob@ collective bargaining network should have received a copy of the questionnaire. It is available in English, French, German, Spanish and Swedish. If you have not received a copy contact: email@example.comThe ETUC is also carrying out its annual survey of collective bargaining developments across all sectors. This year, at EPSU's suggestion, the survey includes questions on low pay and minimum wages. The ETUC questionnaire is sent to union centres and so if you are in touch with people who deal with collective bargaining in your national centre please encourage them to complete and return the ETUC questionnaire.
Aug. 04, 2005 Public services union UNISON is calling on the government to recognise the skills and potential skills of thousands of healthcare assistants across the UK. The union argues that many healthcare assistants are on the lowest pay rate because the health service is trying to cut costs rather than pay proper salaries. UNISON also says that healthcare assistants' desire for training should be recognised as a way of boosting nursing numbers rather than relying on recruitment from many countries than cannot afford to lose trained healthworkers.Read more at > UNISON
Aug. 04, 2005 The annual review of collective bargaining across Europe has just been published by the WSI trade union institute in Germany. The assesses trends in pay increases against inflation and productivity growth in each country, following the ETUC's collective bargaining guideline that pay increases should compensate for rising prices and a share of the increase in productivity. WSI says that pay increases have so far failed to keep up with rising productivity in 2005. It also notes that Germany is the only country experiencing a fall in real wages and suggests that this is having an impact on pay on some of its close neighbours, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria.Read more at > WSI
Aug. 04, 2005 The PCS civil service union has successfully pursued equal pay cases on behalf of over 2,500 administrative and managerial workers in the Prison Service. The union proved that a range of administrative and managerial jobs were of equal value to those of prison officers and prison governors but that in some cases the salaries of the mainly women administrative workers were up to £5,000 less than the mainly male prison officers. The case has been running since 1999 and this is the latest failed attempt by the Prison Service to stop the claim.Read more at > PCS