Apr. 24, 2020
A large group of European organisations came together ahead of the European Council video conference on 23rd April, to demand an alternative vision for Europe following the COVID-19 crisis.
Apr. 24, 2020 The OSZSP health and social care union has joined with the doctors' union in calling for a bonus for employees of hospitals, emergency medical services, social services facilities and public health protection authorities, who provide health and social services to patients and clients with COVID-19, or are at risk of COVID-19 infection. The three levels of monthly bonus would reflect the degree of risk faced by the worker and would start at CSK 20000 (EUR 730), rising to CSK 30000 (EUR 1100) and then CZK 40000 (EUR 1645). The initial response from the prime minister is to acknowledge that health and social care employees are a priority group for the government. The union is also in talks with social service employers.
Apr. 24, 2020 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have been setting out key demands in relation to the rules that should apply before a return to work in public administration. The FSC-CCOO is highly critical of the return-to-work plan drawn up by the government which it says fails to take account of key advice from the ministry of health. It also points out that there is nothing in the plan in relation to telework which is currently being done by around 60% of public administration workers. The union says that while issue of technical support and health and safety were not fully dealt with because of the crisis, these do now have to be properly addressed.
Apr. 24, 2020 The Fp-Cgil public service federation has launched an online support service for health workers on the front line of the fight against COVID-19. Recognising the increased psycho-social risks for care staff working long hours and having to adapt to emergency working arrangements, the union has put together a pool of 40 or so psychologists, psychiatrists and other welfare support workers who are providing their services free for this online service.
Apr. 24, 2020 A new collective agreement covering the 75000 workers in the state sector has been agreed, running 23 months from 1 April 2020 to 28 February 2022. The pay rise over the period will be 3.07% in line with other pay increases in the current bargaining round. Negative elements introduced during the so-called competitiveness pact with the then right-wing government in 2016 have been removed. From now on the annual holiday bonus will be paid in full (it was cut by 30% in each of the last three years) and the 24 hours of extra unpaid work each year will also end although there is a provision for extra hours to be worked but at normal pay. Meanwhile, there are major disagreements, including on the overall pay increase, in the negotiations in local government that cover 310000 workers.
Apr. 24, 2020
EPSU has today sent a letter to the prime minister of Poland,Mateusz Morawiecki, protesting agains the so-called Shield Two Act that poses a major threat to the jobs and pay and conditions of civil servants and other workers in public administration.
Apr. 24, 2020 EPSU has sent a letter to the prime minister protesting against the introduction of the so-called Shield Two law that allows for regulations to be passed to cut the jobs and pay and conditions of civil servants and other workers in public administration. Poland has not declared a state of emergency and yet the legislation was rushed through without the normal parliamentary procedure nor consultation with trade unions. Furthermore, parts of the Labour Code and legislation on collective redundancies will not apply if the regulations are implemented.
Apr. 24, 2020 The HWURF health workers' union reports that special COVID-19 tax measures have been extended to doctors with personal income tax incentive payments for those facing special working conditions and additional workloads when working with patients with the virus and people at risk of infection. Meanwhile the FNPR trade union confederation has called for state-wide base salaries to be set across healthcare and other parts of the public service to end the wide variation in salaries between regions. The measure was due to be discussed at the Tripartite Commission for the Regulation of Social and Labour Relations on 24 April. The FNPR had earlier made a call for a 50% increase in pay for health workers dealing with COVID-19 patients.
Apr. 24, 2020 The FOA sees it has a huge victory that COVID-19 is now recognised as an occupational disease and has also welcomed the fact that the process of proving infection has been relaxed. While it is already clear that workers in hospitals and care homes will be covered because of the nature of their work, FOA says that there is now the possibility for more groups of workers to be included such as day care workers, parking attendants and others who come into regular close contact with the public. Proof of risk of infection can now be based simply on a description of work and extent of contact with citizens.
Apr. 24, 2020 EPSU has sent letters to the prime minister and leaders of political groups in parliament protesting at legislation that will remove public service status from over 20000 workers in libraries, museums, archives, culture centres, theatres and orchestras. This is a group of workers that is mainly low paid and whose pay has been frozen for over 10 years. The additional employment protection of public service status is one of their few main benefits. The government is using its emergency to push through the change at breakneck speed without the usual parliamentary process or consultation with trade unions. This is despite the fact that this permanent change, not taking effect until November, is unrelated to the current crisis.
Apr. 23, 2020
Now is not the time to negotiate trade agreements: governments must focus on securing medical supplies and saving lives endangered by COVID-19
Hundreds of trade unions and civil society organisation are calling on trade negotiators and the World Trade Organisations (WTO) to stop trade negotiations and to focus all governmental resources on dealing with the public health emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apr. 23, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has now infected more than 2 million people worldwide and caused over 145,000 deaths. Like so many other key workers, workers in the waste collection, water and energy distribution sectors are risking their lives
Apr. 23, 2020
EPSU has signed a statement coordinated by Public Citizen which outlines a number of principles to guide the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with one unifying goal: making drugs affordable and accessible for all.
Apr. 23, 2020 Health workers in Stockholm are benefitting from the implementation of an agreement on emergency situations that provides for a 120% additional payment on top of normal pay. The agreement was negotiated by several unions last year mainly in response to the spate of major forest fires. At the beginning of the month the SKR municipal employers' organisation agreed that the critical situation arising from COVID-19 met the criteria to activate the agreement in Stockholm.The agreement provides for longer working hours and different rules on rest periods. If emergency overtime is worked then the additional payment rises to 150%.