Jul. 28, 2020 A new report on employment security commissioned by the Kommunal municipal services union reveals the extent of temporary and part-time work in health, social care and education. The survey found just under 240,000 workers in these sectors were on fixed-term contracts with 58% of these on the most precarious terms and conditions. Most of these workers want a permanent job. Workers in companies with fewer than 10 employees have weaker employment security and there are 10550 companies in this category operating in health and social care. While 18% of workers in public health and social care are on temporary contracts this rises to 24% in private companies. Overall part-time and fixed-term work are twice as common in health, social care and education as in the economy as a whole.
Jul. 10, 2020 Workers in public libraries are set to get a 5% pay increase in a new collective agreement running from 1 July 2020 to 1 July 2021. A 3% pay rise will be backdated to 1 January and a further 2% increase will follow in January 2021. There will also be an overtime bonus for part-time workers, abolition of youth pay rates and limits on use of temporary contracts. However, the additional payment for Sunday work will be reduced and unions are unhappy about limited notice of rosters. Meanwhile unions have rejected a pay offer for central government workers arguing that a 0.7% pay increase and € 225 lump sum payment are inadequate recognition of the services provided by workers, particularly in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Jul. 10, 2020 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT have taken the government to task over the failure to implement a series of agreements. Around 200 FSC-CCOO activists protested outside the public services directorate on 9 July over employment, equality and, pay and other issues. The union wants action over jobs to make up some of the 43,000 that have been cut over the past 10 years. They also highlight the failure to properly implement equality plans and are calling for last year's agreement on pay to be put into effect to partially compensate for the 14% fall in purchasing power since austerity measures were in force. Staff in state museums are due to strike on 19 and 26 July over these issues. Meanwhile, the FeSP-UGT federation has highlighted the government's failure to reduce temporary employment which has risen from just under 17% to nearly 21% over the past four years but is much higher in some parts of the public services such as healthcare where it tops 46%.
Jun. 18, 2020 The ADEDY public sector confederation called for a three-hour work stoppage on 16 June in support of action organised by the POEDIN and OENGE health unions. There was main demand for higher public spending on health with specific calls to address the 40000 vacancies in the sector, for permanent status for the 16000 workers on temporary contracts who have often been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, for higher pay - salaries start at only EUR 650 a month - and improvements in a range of allowances related to risk of infection, night work and holiday pay.
Jun. 15, 2020 Fourteen years after the last agreement expired and with a national strike threatened for 12 June, the three public service federations – Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp and Uil Fpl – finally pressured the employers – Aris and Aiop – to sign a new deal covering around 100,000 workers in private healthcare. The main increase of EUR 154 is worth 4.2% but there will also be a EUR 1000 lump sum paid in two stages. The unions say that the agreement will bring private sector workers in line with those in the public sector. There is a broad range of other improvements in the new agreement covering working time, leave, training with the employers paying into a special fund, social dialogue and measures to tackle precarious work and workplace violence.
Jun. 05, 2020 All three trade union confederations - LO, SACO and TCO - are highly critical of proposals emerging from a review of employment security legislation. The review is supported by the Centre and Liberal Party members of the government coalition but face criticism from labour minister, Eva Nordmark. The response from Nordmark was to stress that it is up to trade unions and employers to negotiate on the issue and the proposals go too far in the direction of the employers. Similar points are made by the confederations who say that it undermines employment security for workers in small firms and that more and better jobs are not delivered by making it easier to sack workers. The LO confederation will be launching an online petition and publicity campaign against the proposals.
Jun. 04, 2020 The public service federations of the CCOO and UGT confederations have called on the government to negotiate a new agreement for public employees that will include provisions that allow for the recovery of rights, wages and employment that were cut as a result of austerity measures after the last crisis. The current agreement was signed in March 2018 and expires this year. The federations have three main priorities: the defence of public services; an increase in public employment, including a reduction of the rate of temporary employment and ending the restrictions on replacement of staff who leave; and continued steps to recover purchasing power and labour rights.
May. 29, 2020 in a meeting with the Ministry of Health on 13 May, the FSS-CCOO and FeSP-UGT health sector federations have called for action on staffing and pay and conditions across the sector. In particular, the FSS-CCOO demanded that the Ministry of Health schedule negotiations covering the National Health Service (SNS). The union is unhappy that it was only on 13 May that negotiations have been convened during the entire period of the crisis. The federations want to see an extension of contracts until the end of the year for all those employed on temporary contracts to help deal with the crisis. This will help deal with the restart of normal health activity and increased waiting lists. The unions want to see investment in primary care with more staff to monitor COVID-19 patients and ensure no further outbreaks in residential care; improve the supply of personal protective equipment with increased national production; increased funding for health and greater investment in technological innovation and declaration of COVID-19 as an occupational disease. The FeSP-UGT has also suggested measures such as partial retirement to support the many older workers in the health service and reiterated the call for full restoration of bonuses cut after the last crisis to be fully restored. FSS-CCOO (ES) FeSP-UGT (ES)
May. 04, 2020 The Sanidad-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have called for a range of actions in the elder care sector in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Both federations were already campaigning to secure better pay and conditions for the workforce, 90% of which are women. They both argue that the impact of the pandemic has further exposed the fundamental problems of low pay, inadequate staffing, stress, excessive workloads. These have been compounded by the lack of personal protective equipment and inadequate testing which have exposed both workers and service users to the virus. Key union demands include an audit of care homes, higher pay and increased staffing, more funding from central government and a greater role for the public sector.
Feb. 21, 2020 The FNV trade union has negotiated a new 12-month agreement covering around 7000 workers in the waste processing sector. There will be a 3.75% pay increase with 2.75% paid in January and 1% in August along with a one-off payment of EUR 125. Two hundred workers on flexible contracts will be offered permanent jobs. There are also improved provisions for training and there will be talks over pensions and more possibilities for early retirement related to the arduousness of the job and length of service. The young workers' pay rate (18) will rise from 85% to 87.5% of the full adult rate.
Jan. 20, 2020 Following the strike action by school secretaries on 10 January and subsequent industrial action (work-to-rule), Forsa their trade union has agreed to return to talks with the government that are being held by the Workplace Relations Committee conciliation service. The strike action is over the poor pay and conditions suffered by around 2000 school secretaries employed on precarious contracts by local schools (see last issue of EPSU Collective Bargaining News). Forsa is looking for real and significant progress in the talks otherwise the industrial action will re-start.
Jan. 20, 2020 Trade unions across Europe have been sending messages of solidarity to Ukrainian unions as they step up their campaign against planned reforms of labour law. Proposed legislation would abolish the most important legal and social guarantees for workers and trade unions covering minimum wages, pay and leave for hazardous work, weekly rest periods, overtime pay and limits, restrictions on night work for women, dismissal rights and protection of workers with disabilities. It allows for more flexible contracts, including zero-hours and weakens trade union rights. A national day of action has been called for 30 January.
Jan. 07, 2020 School secretaries organised by the Fórsa trade union planned a one-day strike on 10 January and further industrial action in support of their campaign for pay justice (see EPSU CB News 17 and 18, September 2019). Nine out of 10 school secretaries are employed by their local school, are paid less than EUR 12500 a year and have precarious employment conditions. In contrast, one in 10 are directly employment by the department of education and have the appropriate pay and conditions of public servants. EPSU sent a message of solidarity.
Jan. 06, 2020 Seven care workers, supported by the Fagforbundet public services union, have won a significant court case that rules they were wrongly classified as self-employed and so were denied the rights of employees. The workers took the case against the Baos private care company and their claim covers the wide range of benefits and rights that they should have been entitled to under the Work Environment Act. These cover paid holidays, overtime pay, working time, sick pay, pensions and other issues. The ruling means the company will have to pay the seven workers around NOK 5.5m (EUR 560000) to compensate for the lost rights. The union sees this as an important ruling for the private care sector where the practice of categorising workers as "self-employed" has become widespread.
Oct. 09, 2019 The public service federations of the CCOO confederation have called on the government to confirm the pay increase for 2020 as agreed and to undertake major negotiations over a range of issues including the re-establishment of rights and benefits frozen or removed as a result of austerity measures. The federations underline the need to stabilise employment and tackle the excessive levels of temporary work. They also say that long-standing issues relating to public employment, job classification, career development and equality need to be addressed.