2019 September EPSU Collective Bargaining News 17
IN THIS ISSUE
- Croatia: Health workers continue protests over pay
- Italy: Health unions hope to negotiate but maintain strike threat
- Germany: Health workers mobilise for collective agreements
- Ireland: School secretaries to take industrial action over pay and conditions
- UK: Latest on disputes with government contractors
- Austria: Union launches campaign over healthcare staffing
- France: Unions call for social dialogue over new public service legislation
- Spain: Health union exposes social security fraud at ambulance company
- Turkey: Pay deal for civil servants below inflation
- Netherlands: Health unions step up action over pay and working time in hospitals
- Norway: Ending care home contracts will boost workers' pay
- Switzerland: Union continues working time campaign with action against hospital
Sep. 12, 2019 Unions representing workers in the private health sector - Fp-Cgil, Cisl-Fp and Uil-Fpl - have welcomed the initiative of the health ministry to convene a meeting with the employer organisations - Aris and Aiop - on 17 September. The unions say they are ready to start negotiations immediately and finally deliver a new collective agreement after 13 years for the 300000 workers in the sector. The regional authorities responsible for healthcare have indicated their support for the negotiations but the unions say it is up to Aris and Aiop to show their commitment. The unions are planning strike action on 20 September if there is no progress with the negotiations.
Sep. 12, 2019 Eight public service trade union federations - CFDT, CFTC, CGT, FA, FO, FSU, SOLIDAIRES and UNSA - have issued a joint statement reiterating their opposition to the new law on transforming public services. The unions wanted to see a universal public service, accessible to all and fully staffed with workers protected by statutes. They also want to retain the key committees that help ensure equal treatment and health and safety. Implementation of the law will require consultation over a wide range of issues but the unions are insistent that there should be a proper process of social dialogue and not simply consultation.
Sep. 12, 2019 The FSC-CCOO public service federation exposed social security fraud at the ambulance company, Ambulancia Tenorio, and this has now been officially confirmed following an investigation by the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate of Badajoz. Tenorio employs over 1000 workers and provides services mainly in the Extremadura region. The company has been found guilty of underpaying salaries, social security contributions and overtime. The company has to pay 505 workers EUR 1.4m and must pay back EUR 400000 to the social security system. This comes shortly after Tenorio was found to have infringed rules on hiring and working time - also exposed by the FSC-CCOO.
Sep. 12, 2019 A survey of hospital workers by the FNV health union reveals that more than four out of five think their wages and callout and standby allowances are too low and nearly three in four are thinking of leaving the health service. Again, more than four out of five see understaffing as a key issue. The FNV and NU'91 unions want to put pressure on the hospital employers to get a good collective agreement for the 200000 workers in the sector. They want a 5% pay increase and a range of other measures including on working time and rest breaks. Both unions are staging actions, including working to rule, in a series of hospitals across the country.
Sep. 12, 2019 Members of public services union Forsa who work as school secretaries (head of administration in schools) have voted with a nine-to-one majority to take industrial action from 20 September. The secretaries have a long-standing issue over a two-tier system that leaves most of them who are employed by schools on low pay and without other benefits such as sick pay and pensions. In contrast, a minority are directly employed public servants who benefit from much better pay and conditions. The action will mainly consist of a work-to-rule.
Sep. 13, 2019 Health unions have been continuing demonstrations across the country to put pressure on the government to honour previously agreed pay increases. The current sector collective agreement included pay increases of 3% on 1 August and 4% on 1 October. The government said it would not to pay the increases but following negotiations with the unions it now looks possible that a 7% increase will be confirmed. A meeting between unions and the government was due on 13 September with the unions threatening strike action if there was no agreement.
Sep. 13, 2019 Members of the ver.di public services union employed by the private healthcare company Asklepios are taking action across the country to try to secure collective agreements. Only a third of the company's 46000 workers are covered by an agreement with most facing unilateral decisions by management on their pay. In some facilities this means employees are being paid EUR 1000 a month less than those doing the equivalent job in a public sector hospital. In some cases workers have rejected higher pay offers from management and demanded that the union be able to negotiate a collective agreement.
Sep. 13, 2019 The vida public services union is joining up with the Chamber of Labour to launch a campaign to highlight the urgent need to increase staffing in hospitals. Various actions are planned as part of the "More of us. Better for All" campaign which will highlight the pressures on workers from understaffing. The main demands are for a 20% increase in hospital staffing with urgent action needed in acute care; introducing a national, binding basis for establishing staffing levels; and measures related to education and training to make health occupations more attractive to younger workers.
Sep. 13, 2019 A nine-month long dispute between the PCS civil service union and contractors ISS and Aramark could be near to conclusion if details of a pay offer are confirmed. The companies provide services to the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy which has indicated that the contractors may meet the union's demand to pay the London living wage of £10.55 (EUR 11.80) an hour. Meanwhile, the union is planning another five days of strike action in another long-running dispute, this time over union recognition at the contractor Interserve which provides services for the Foreign Office.
Sep. 13, 2019 Public service unions, including Fagborbundet and the nurses' union, are hopeful that 11 privatised care homes in Oslo will be back under municipal control in the next two years as their contracts come to an end. The red/green coalition on the city council has given positive signs but the unions are concerned it may use an option to extend contracts by one or two years. The unions argue that any delay will be costly to the workers. They give the example of a care home in Uranienburg which was privatised in 2013 and then remunicipalised but workers in the home had lost out with annual salaries for most workers NOK70-80000 (EUR 7-8000) less than in the public sector.
Sep. 13, 2019 The vpod public services union has taken further action in its campaign to get the time health workers need to change clothes counted as working time. The union has submitted a whole series of complaints to the regional labour inspectorate in Zürich about the USZ hospital. These cover a range of issues around staffing and working time but the changing time is key. The issue has also been taken up by the hospital's staffing committee.
Sep. 13, 2019 Civil servants this year will see pay rise by 8% for the first six months with a further 4% for the second six months. Workers on less than TL 3500 (EUR 555) a month will get an additional TL 150 (EUR 25). Not all public sector trade unions are happy with the outcome as inflation is currently running at 16.7%. Pay in 2020 is set to increase in two instalments of 3%, although this could be increased if inflation is higher.