Oct. 24, 2019 The public services union UNISON has secured a major victory for around 900 outsourced security and cleaning workers at University College, London. The workers will soon see their holiday entitlement aligned with that of directly employed workers while pay, overtime, sickness and pension benefits will be brought into line by the autumn of 2021. Meanwhile the union is continuing its campaign to get better pay for outsourced workers employed by the Compass multinational at two hospitals in North West England. The minimum hourly rate for these workers is only GBP 8.21 (EUR 9.50 - the national minimum wage) while the minimum for directly employed staff is GBP 9.03 (EUR 10.50).
Oct. 24, 2019 Trade unions representing firefighters and health and social care workers mobilised across the country on 15 October as part of their continuing campaigns to defend jobs and services. The joint protests called for an end to privatisation, more funding for services and increased pay as proper recognition of the hardship and risks involved in these vital areas of public service. Further action is planned for 14 November.
Oct. 24, 2019 The JHL public services union says that it will aim to negotiate pay increases for lower paid workers that are higher than those in industry as a step towards reducing the pay gap between the sectors. It says this is essential to tackle low pay in sectors dominated by women. It also wants the 24 hours of extra unpaid work introduced in the Competitiveness Pact to be paid or cut while measures on carers' and paternity leave will also feature in the next bargaining round. The union carried out a survey of 8000 members to help it plan its priorities and gauge support for industrial action.
Oct. 24, 2019 Around 5000 health workers joined a national demonstration in Sofia on 7 October to call for higher pay and more training to help prevent the loss of more staff from the sector. Following the protest a delegation met the health minister who committed an extra BGN 200m (EUR 102m) to the 2020 budget, three quarters of which would go to fund salary increases. The CITUB confederation said that this would help ensure salaries met a target of BGN 900-950 (EUR 460-485) for nurses and BGN 1100-1200 (EUR 560-615) for doctors.
Oct. 22, 2019 The SIPTU general union is planning to step up its childcare campaign after the government failed to boost funding in its latest budget. The union highlights low pay and high costs in the sector. Average pay for the 25000 mainly women childcare workers is only EUR 11.18 compared to the living wage of EUR 12.30. SIPTU says the government's failure to invest in the sector means that around one in four workers are leaving each year, raising serious issues of sustainability.
Oct. 22, 2019 Unions representing hospital workers, including FNV and NU'91, are planning the first ever national hospital strike on 20 November when non-urgent facilities will be closed. The unions are trying to put pressure on the employers to improve their latest offer in negotiations over a collective agreement covering 200000 workers. The unions want a 5% pay rise for this year plus extra payments for workers who have to work additional hours at short notice. The employers want a longer-term deal, offering the equivalent of a 2.8% increase a year but also want to reduce health insurance and sickness benefits.
Oct. 22, 2019 Public service union ver.di has undertaken a major survey covering over 210000 workers in the public sector and just under 18000 in private and non-profit health and social care. The survey found that 92% of workers thought it important to have a choice between more pay and fewer hours and 57% would actually swap a pay increase for an hours cut. Overall of those wanting shorter hours, 45% wanted to work fewer days while 30% wanted a working time account to allow for more holidays or the option to retire earlier. The union will consult further in the lead up to next year's public sector negotiations.
Oct. 22, 2019 The three unions in the electricity sector - Filctem-Cgil, Flaei-Cisl and Uiltec-Uil - have signed a new three-year agreement covering 50000 employees. Workers will see a EUR 104 increase in pay, paid in three instalments, topped up with EUR 15 as a productivity bonus and EUR 5 related to welfare benefits. There will also be a EUR 100 lump sum paid this year. The agreement includes initiatives to improve health and safety, to ensure contractors are covered by the agreement along with several other measures benefiting working parents and women workers.
Oct. 11, 2019 The minimum wage is to be increased by 11.1% taking it to around 30 000 Serbian dinars a month (EUR 255). The unions had called for an increase of 24.5% to bring it in line with trends in the cost of living while the employers were looking at only 6%-10%. A deal couldn't be reached in tripartite dialogue and so the government acted unilaterally, while also lowering certain taxes on wages and benefits that employers have to pay. The minister of finance also announced a planned 5% increase for all public companies from 1 January 2020.
Oct. 10, 2019 Seven trade union and professional organisations joined with two campaigning groups to organise a coordinated day of strikes and protests calling for urgent action on funding for health and social services. The action on 8 October also linked up with protests by pensioner groups for better pensions and increased funding for care homes. Increased staffing and better pay and conditions were among the key demands from the unions. A second day of action is planned for 15 October which will link up with unions representing firefighters.
Oct. 09, 2019 The BSRB public service union has called for government mediation in its dispute with local authority employers. In the current negotiations the BSRB has focused on a reduction of the working week to 35 hours with no loss of pay. The employers, however, want to stick to a 40-hour week with the possibility of shorter hours negotiated at workplace level on the basis of concessions in relation to breaks and other benefits.
Oct. 09, 2019 The latest biennial report from the Eurofound research agency finds that there have not been any significant developments in working time across Europe. The average working week remains at 38 hours. Public administration is one of the specific sectors analysed where weekly hours averaged 37.6 in both 2018 and 2017. The report noted some specific sector developments with particularly negative legislation passed in Hungary affecting public administration allowing for longer hours and more flexibility. More positive agreements were noted in Estonia (health) and Greece (local government and waste).
Oct. 09, 2019 Trade unions in the health sector are set to take joint strike action on 24 October unless there are positive developments in the sector negotiations that resume on 14 October. Some demonstrations have already taken place but the unions are concerned about the lack of progress on substantial questions such as funding, worsening conditions, excessive flexibility and overworks and staff shortages.
Oct. 09, 2019 Workers employed by the Aramark outsourcing company at the government's Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have won their campaign to be paid a living wage. After two months of strike action the company agreed to pay a minimum of GBP 10.55 an hour (EUR 11.75) and also to improve holiday entitlement and sickness benefit. Negotiations covering other workers at BEIS employed by the ISS multinational are still underway.
Oct. 09, 2019 Hospital sector trade unions are continuing their work-to-rule action on Sundays and plan further protests over the coming weeks unless the hospital employers shift their negotiating position. The unions have said that a new agreement would be close if the employers turn their offer of a one-off increase into a structural pay rise. The employers, however, have attempted to get works councils involved in the dispute (works councils have no collective bargaining role) and have even tried to influence how the unions present their arguments for a pay increase to their own members.