Services union ver.di has had mixed reactions to the coalition agreement between the social democrats, greens and liberal FDP party who are set to form the next government. The union sees some positive elements in relation to workers’ rights and collective bargaining including proposed measures to close any gaps in company co-determination and deliver the electronic right of access to workers for trade unions. The union has also welcomed the decision not to press ahead with plans that would have allowed for opening clauses for longer working hours and shorter rest periods via company
The ver.di services union is organising action by regional government workers around the country in support of its negotiating position. The second round of bargaining covering 1.1 million workers ended on 2 November without a result and no pay offer from the TdL association of regional government employers. The union is looking for a 5% pay increase with a minimum increase of €150 but rising to €300 for health workers. Ver.di is astonished that the employers fail to recognise the efforts made by regional government workers, particularly health and care workers, during the pandemic.
The ver.di services union has called for the new parliament, meeting for the first time on 26 October, and eventually the new government to set an example by supporting a collective agreement for the parliament’s drivers. The union says that the workers are paid less, work longer hours and have poorer pension entitlement than colleagues who are covered by the public sector agreement that covers federal employees. While ver.di is positive about the signs of support from social democratic MPs, it has made clear that the drivers are willing to fight for a collective agreement and further strike
The ver.di services union is celebrating a major victory in Berlin where members in the health sector have been on strike for 31 days. Workers at the Charité university hospital, Vivantes clinics and their joint subsidiary, Labor Berlin, have now suspended the action, pending negotiations over new collective agreements. The key points in the new deal at the Charité hospital include more than 700 additional nursing staff to be hired over the next three years and there will be new benchmarks for staffing for specific wards such as intensive care units, operating theatres and central emergency
A survey of over 19,000 staff in early years education carried out for the ver.di services union reveals widespread problems of understaffing and overwork. A clear majority of workers in day centres complained that they didn’t have enough time to devote to all the children in their care with almost 40% thinking about changing jobs and around 25% thinking about quitting. The situation in crèches and kindergartens is also challenging with three quarters of the interviewed professionals saying they had responsibility for too many children. Ver.di estimates that on average there is a shortage of
The ver.di services union has welcomed the decision of the Berlin labour court to reject an application for an injunction to block a planned strike in the health sector. Ver.di members at the Vivantes and Charité health providers in Berlin had been waiting 100 days for management to respond to calls to negotiate a collective agreement, planning strike action at the end of August if the employer missed the union’s deadline. The union had established a clear plan to prepare for the strike and the workers that would be involved but had to postpone the action for a day in order to attend the
The ver.di services union has called a three-day warning strike from 23 August in the hospitals in Berlin run by the regional government’s Charité group, including its Vivantes subsidiaries. The union gave the employer 100 days to initiate collective bargaining to tackle overwork by hospital employees and trainees and to bring pay in line with the public service collective agreement in all Vivantes subsidiaries. The strike will go ahead if the deadline of 20 August is missed. Ver.di says that Charité has failed to make any serious offer and it has called on the employer to conclude agreements
The ver.di services union has set out a range of demands to improve pay and working conditions in the promedica/Falck private ambulance service. Following a consultation with members and comparison with provisions in the public sector the union will be looking for improvements in basic (cut to 39 hours a week) and average (cut 44 hours a week) working time as well as higher overtime, night and shift allowances. The claim will also include a demand for 30 days’ annual leave from the first year of employment and up to six days’ additional leave for unsocial hours work. Ver.di had wanted to start
The ver.di services union has negotiated a collective agreement on digitalisation that will cover 126000 workers in the federal government and come into effect on 1 January 2022. It will be applied whenever there are significant changes in workplace requirements or conditions as a result of digitalisation. The union argues that the agreement will allow workers to benefit from the digitalisation process while protecting them from possible risks. It includes mechanisms for securing jobs and providing necessary training while guaranteeing wages. Employees whose job effectively disappears as a
Around 30000 mainly energy workers covered by the AVEU collective agreement will get a 3.8% pay rise over the next two years. Pay will rise by 2.3% from 1 June 2021 and by 1.5% from 1 November 2022 (trainees get two increases of EU 50). The agreement runs for 27 months until 31 August 2023. There will also be a corona payment of EUR 600 paid by January 2022 at the latest with a pro-rata amount for part-time employees and EUR 300 for apprentices. All union members are to get two days off to attend specialist events and training courses. The AVEU agreement covers around 130 companies in Eastern
Services union ver.di coordinated demonstrations across the country on 16 June to coincide with a meeting of health ministers. In the lead up to the general election in September, the union has been determined to show members’ anger over the failure to deliver improved working conditions for health and social care employees. A survey of over 12000 workers commissioned by ver.di revealed that 78% could not imagine staying in their profession until retirement under current conditions. Almost three quarters of respondents reported excessive workloads and understaffing. The union is concerned
The ver.di services union has written to MPs calling for urgent improvements to be made to the draft regulations on pay in the eldercare sector put forward jointly by the health and labour ministers. The union argues that in their current form the regulations could allow social dumping through yellow unions signing poor collective agreements with employers. Ver.di has argued that a sector collective agreement is needed and called for its agreement with the BVAP employers’ organisation to be extended to the whole sector. However, the initiative was blocked by the big non-profit employers in the
In October, negotiations will begin over a new collective agreement covering 800000 employees in regional government. Although not strictly speaking part of the negotiations, around 1.4 million civil servants in regional and local authorities will also be covered by the pay and conditions negotiated in the agreement. Ver.di is urging members to get involved in the debates around the negotiations and respond to surveys to indicate their main concerns. The union is warning that the TdL employers’ organisation will make it a tough bargaining round with arguments about the lack of funds for pay
Services union ver.di has successfully fought off attempts by the Nord Residenz care company to shut down the works council. On 27 April, the regional labour court in Bremen in North West Germany ruled against the company’s attempts to dismiss the works council chair and her deputy, expel them from the works council and dissolve the works council itself. Nord Residenz is owned by the French multinational Orpea. Ver.di welcomed the many messages of solidarity support from trade unions across Europe and interventions by the state government and mayor of Bremen. Meanwhile, the union faces a major
In February this year, the Supreme Court in the UK ruled that Uber, the driving, and delivery platform, should treat its drivers as workers and not as self-employed. This follows a trend across Europe where courts in several countries have forced digital platforms to revise the employment relationship with the workers providing their services. Platform work is changing the economic and social landscape, revolutionising the way services are delivered while raising major questions about social and labour rights.