2019 March epsucob@NEWS 06
IN THIS ISSUE
- Germany: Large pay rises for regional government workers
- Spain: Unions sign deal covering workers in central administration
- Austria: Additional pay rises for 17000 healthcare workers
- Italy: Unions to step up action in private health care
- Netherlands: Union regards hospital employers' offer as completely unacceptable
- Romania: Health union continues mobilisation over pay and collective agreement
- UK: Report highlights pay inequality in civil service linked to gender share in employment
- Sweden: unions look to negotiate collective agreement covering disaster work
- Ireland: Union focuses on inflation and increases for specific grades
- Norway: Unions look for further boost for low paid
- Switzerland: Union makes series of demands to tackle gender discrimination in health
- Denmark: Survey shows majority support for action on pay inequality
- France: Unions and students mobilise for 19 March
- Europe: European minimum wage policy could move up agenda
Mar. 14, 2019 After three days of negotiations in the third round of bargaining, services union ver.di emerged with a significant pay increase for regional government workers and in particular workers in health and social care. The basic deal means increases of 3.2% from 1 January 2019 (minimum EUR 100 a month) and again on 1 January 2020 (minimum EUR 90). There will be a further increase of 1.4% (min EUR 40) on 1 January 2021. Trainees will get two increases of EUR 50 in 2019 and 2020 plus an extra day of paid leave. Minimum pay rates in the 15 pay groups will also increase which will mean new starters will see pay rise by 11% in two stages. Finally health and social care workers will move to the local authority pay scale which for workers with three years of training will mean a gross monthly pay rise of EUR 380.
Mar. 14, 2019 The municipal workers' union Kommunal, along with other public service unions, is seeking to negotiate a collective agreement to clarify the conditions that apply to workers dealing with disasters. The union says that last year's forest fires required a massive response from the emergency services, particularly fire and rescue, and there was lack of clarity over how to apply certain rules, particularly those relating to working time and overtime. The union believes that a specific agreement should help and could apply to other groups of workers who may be affected such as those in the health services.
Mar. 14, 2019 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have finally negotiated a new agreement covering 40000 workers in the central state administration. This comes three years after the last agreement and failure of the previous government to negotiate a deal. The new agreement will mean an overall increase of 14% for the lowest paid covering the three years 2018-2020. There are also measures to clarify job classifications and relate them more closely to educational qualifications. The unions are also pleased to include for the first time provisions to allow workers aged 55 and over to opt for partial early retirement. Other elements cover professional career development, mobility, complementary pay and the possibility of change of status where responsibilities are more in line with the work of a civil servant.
Mar. 14, 2019 The FNV has criticised the hospital employers for making a completely unacceptable offer in the run up to negotiations on 19 March. There is so far only an indication of a "competitive" pay rise and otherwise proposals to worsen the current agreement, particularly with a threat of cutting employer contributions to medical expenses. The union is calling for a 5% pay increase and additional pay for irregular working hours. It also wants increased compensation for travel expenses, an increased allowance for interns, measures to reduce workloads and improvements to work-life balance. The FNV argues that action on workloads is urgent to make the sector more attractive to new workers and a good agreement is key to reducing the number of self-employed in hospitals.
Mar. 15, 2019 The FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL public service federations are stepping up their mobilisation of members in private health care in response to the latest statement from the AIOP and ARIS employer organisations. It is now 12 years since the signing of the last collective agreement and the employers, whose member organisations have a combined turnover of around EUR 3.9 billion, have said that they will provide no money for pay increases. AIOP has said that renewing the agreement is a priority but the employers want any additional costs to be fully funded by the public sector.
Mar. 15, 2019 The public services union younion has secured an additional EUR 39 million on the paybill of 17000 workers employed by health institutions in Vienna. This comes on top of the general pay rise for public sector workers. Care assistants, qualified care workers and senior care staff in employment before 1 January 2018 will see an increase on basic pay and will have a new pay structure. There will also be pay supplements for midwives, various technical occupations and assistant doctors, again employed before 1 January 2018. The details of the changes are still be worked out but will be backdated to 1 January 2019. Younion argues that this is a just reward for the extra responsibilities taken on by these workers and their commitment to deliver healthcare 365 days a year.
Mar. 15, 2019 The Forsa public services union is arguing that the current public sector agreement needs to address cost-of-living increases and occupation and grade-specific claims. Recent pay rises have brought pay back to 2008 levels but don't take account of the 6% rise in prices while there is a range of demands from different groups of workers that have not been addressed in earlier negotiations. This is reflected in the current dispute involving nurses and midwives which is now being addressed in the Labour Court. The Court had ruled earlier in favour of a pay rise for nurses and midwives and other measures to address issues like safe staffing levels. But the union, INMO, has returned to the court following a government offer that includes what the union sees as wholly unacceptable proposals on contracts
Mar. 15, 2019 The Sanitas health union is continuing to put pressure on the government over health sector pay and the need to negotiate a collective agreement for the sector. A recent union delegation from across the country met the health minister to call for assurances that this year's pay rise will be fully funded and that bonuses will apply to all health workers. The union underlined its determination to pursue its demands with the promise of another delegation going to the labour ministry on 20 March and plans for a national rally in Bucharest in April.
Mar. 15, 2019 Negotiations are underway between the LO confederation and the NHO employers' organisation over pay with the LO unions looking for higher increases for workers who are on less than 90% of the average industrial wage. The negotiations cover mainly private sector companies but public service unions have membership in many of these including private nursing homes and child welfare institutions, asylum reception centres, ambulance services and veterinary care among others. LO unions are looking for substantial increases in the light of recent moderate pay rises and improved economic performance
Mar. 15, 2019 The European Trade Union Institute suggests that prospects for a European minimum wage could move up the political agenda when Germany takes over the EU Presidency next year. The German government has indicated its support for a debate on the issue which is supported by the DGB, the national confederation. A new report by the trade union-backed WSI research institute confirms that there have been significant increases in several minimum wage rates across Europe but that the majority of countries still have rates that are well below the 60% median wage target,
Mar. 15, 2019 A new report from the PCS civil service union reveals considerable pay inequality across government linked to the proportion of men/women in each department. For example, a civil service executive officer, in a majority male department is paid £3771 (EUR 4415) (13%) more than an executive officer in a majority female department while a civil service administrative officer, in a majority male department is paid £2675 (EUR 3130) (12.6%) more than an executive officer in a majority female department. The union attributes the problem to the delegation of pay negotiations to departmental level and contrasts this to the single pay structures across health and local government.
Mar. 15, 2019 A new opinion poll shows that 77% of voters think that there should be a political solution to the persistent problem of gender pay inequality. The survey was commissioned by several public service unions working together in the Equal Pay Alliance. They argue that while there has been some success in reducing the gender pay gap, currently at around 13%, it would take another 50 years to achieve equality unless more substantial action is taken. The unions highlight historical reasons for lower pay in sectors dominated by women dating from public sector pay changes in the 1960s. They argue this requires a political commitment to fund changes to pay particularly affecting workers in the health and care sectors.
Mar. 15, 2019 The health conference of the vpod public service union has called for action to tackle the stress, long working hours, involuntary part-time work and low pay in the sector which is part of the persistent discrimination faced by women workers. The union wants to see a revaluation of pay of health and care jobs to recognise the arduousness and increased responsibilities of many occupations. Vpod is also calling for major improvements to work-life balance, reductions in working time, better shift planning, possibilities for retirement from 60 and provision of necessary training. The union says that urgent action is needed to address staff shortages.
Mar. 15, 2019 Four trade union organisations - CGT, FO, FSU and Solidaires - are joining with two student organisations - UNEF and UNL - in a national demonstration and strike action on 19 March focusing on pay, social protection and a range of other key demands. The unions want negotiations across the sectors for a general pay rise along with an increase to the national minimum wage.