Jul. 25, 2019 The Frente Comum group of public service unions has criticised the government for failing to respect existing collective bargaining arrangements in the public sector. The government has put forward reforms to public sector pensions without going through the proper procedure for consultation. Instead of negotiating directly with public sector unions the government will use a social dialogue forum that includes private sector employers. The Frente Comum unions are concerned about the impact of the proposed pension reforms which could reduce rights for workers to retire from 60 with 40 years' service, for example.
Jul. 11, 2019 Trade unions are highly critical of the government for planned measures that could see a 50% cut in district state administrations which could mean the dismissal of 27000 workers by January 2020. The unions say that there has been absolutely no consultation over the proposals, no review of local government services and no information provided on any possible social plan, (re)training initiatives or early retirement arrangements. The unions point out that there are few appropriate private sector job opportunities for many of the skilled workers who could be made redundant.
Jul. 11, 2019 As reported by the newsletter in March, the municipal workers' union Kommunal has been negotiating a new agreement with the SKL employers' organisation to cover work during major emergencies. This initiative was taken following last summer's spate of forest fires. The agreement was finally signed at the end of June. It provides for an additional 120% of pay for each hour worked during the crisis and there is 150% for emergency overtime. There is a special procedure for determining what counts as a crisis. The agreement replaces the requirements of the Working Hours Act and will apply to all workers whether existing municipal employees or those taken on for the emergency.
Jul. 11, 2019 The Fagforbundet public service union reports that over a third of the country's municipalities have adopted a variety of measures to reduce the risk of social dumping. These include requirements to employ permanent employees, for pay and working conditions that correspond to the sector agreement in the industry and specific numbers of skilled workers and trainees. They also cover tax matters and the prohibition of cash payments, limits on the number of subcontractors, regular monitoring of contracts and the right of local authorities to audit the contractor and sub-contractors.
May. 28, 2019 The FOA public services union has warned the Vikapleje private eldercare company that it will face strike action from 15 June unless it ensures that its employees are paid in line with the municipal agreement. The company provides services for the Halsnæs municipality north west of Copenhagen and FOA has been trying for some time to negotiate an agreement with the company along the lines of those it has with many other private companies. The union estimates that Vikaplege is costing workers as much as DKK 90000 (EUR 12000) a year in lower pay and pension benefits.
May. 16, 2019 Local government union STAL and other unions in the public sector Frente Comum took part in a major national demonstration on 10 May as part of their long-running campaign to improve pay and working conditions in the public services and reverse the cuts imposed as part of austerity measures. Along with higher pay and better pensions, the unions want to see clear commitments to improve career progression and action on working time.
May. 10, 2019 The FNV and other local government unions are considering strike action in order to put pressure on the VNG employers' organisation which failed to respond to the unions' 1 May deadline for a better collective bargaining offer. The unions are angry that the latest pay offer was, in fact, worse than a previous offer and that the VNG is still not proposing an increase that will ensure wages rise above the current 3% inflation level. The employers have also failed to budge on negotiating a health and wellness policy that would particularly benefit older workers.
May. 10, 2019 Hundreds of thousands of public service workers joined demonstrations around the country on 9 May as part of national strike action and protests against government plans for public sector reform. An estimated 30000 took part in the main demonstration in Paris, bringing together nine trade union federations in the public sector and indicating the extent of trade union unity in opposition to job cuts, pay freezes and initiatives to undermine employment security and trade union rights. The unions are demanding a proper process of social dialogue over the government proposals which are due to be presented to parliament on 13 May.
May. 02, 2019 Local government unions are generally pleased about the outcome of negotiations over pay which will see most workers benefit from pay increases of 3%-3.5%.Unions have been keen this year to ensure that competences and education are properly rewarded in a context where there is recruitment pressure for skilled workers. Basic pay will rise, for example, by NOK 14000 a year (EUR 1440) to NOK 41000 (EUR 42200) for workers with a three-year college education while those with one-year vocational training will see basic pay rise by NOK 13000 (EUR 1340) to NOK 372800 (EUR 38380). The unions say that pay developments are line with other sectors. Meanwhile unions in the state sector have ended negotiations as employers have refused to ensure that pension arrangements will be as good as those in local government. Mediation will take place later in the month.
May. 01, 2019 After three weeks the national strike by school staff has been suspended but the ZNP teachers' union is determined to maintain its campaign for more funding for education and better pay for teachers and other school workers. The union says that the first stage of the strike was a success in putting education at the centre of the national debate and highlighting the low levels of pay across the sector. While the union has secured a 10% pay increase it remains committed to higher pay as well as aiming for major reforms of the education system and getting a commitment to increased funding.
Apr. 30, 2019 Trade unions in local government have given the VNG employers' organisation until 10am on 1 May to respond to their main demands or face action across the sector which employers 160000 workers. After six rounds of bargaining, trade unions broke off negotiations as the VNG failed to come up with any offer close to the unions' demands which include a real pay increase and measures to address workers' health and wellbeing, especially older workers.
Apr. 16, 2019 Teachers, childcare workers and school administrative and other staff began an all-out strike on 8 April following three weeks of negotiations with the government over pay. The negotiations also came after a three-year campaign of demonstrations and protests over low pay in the sector affecting both teachers and other school staff. With the government refusing to come up with a decent pay offer, support for strike action was very high, registering 80%-90% in some areas. The action comes at a time when other groups of public service workers are either taking strike action or pushing for higher pay. EPSU sent a message of support.