The head of OSSOO, the Trade Union of State Bodies and Organizations, has written to the Prime Minister requesting a hearing on salaries in public services and administration. The union argues that a very large proportion of people working in the public sector who are ensuring the good functioning of services to the population, are no longer able to provide for themselves and their families. They are forced either to look for other jobs or to apply for social benefits. OSSOO warns that the public sector is becoming increasingly uncompetitive in the labour market and that the higher average
Safe and effective staffing levels
Quality public services depend on having safe and effective staffing levels. This is crucial in health and social services but is also important in a range other public services. It is also about ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff who are otherwise overworked and under pressure to cover for staff shortages. Recruitment and retention and training and continuous professional development are key elements in working to achieve and maintain safe and effective staffing levels.
The FNV and NU’91 trade unions have concluded a new 12-month agreement covering around 7800 employees in the sector but with an effective start date of 1 June 2023. The increase comes in three stages with 3.5% backdated to 1 January and then 3.5% on 1 April and 3% on 1 June. The FNV says that the 10% means that maternity workers are catching up with other groups in the health sector but stressed that there remained a major problem about the unpredictability of work. This is still being discussed with the employers and the unions want action to address the high level of absenteeism due to
EPSU and HOSPEEM presented their policy on stress at work at the high-level Belgian Presidency conference
EPSU and HOSPEEM in the capacity of social partners in the hospital and healthcare sector were invited by the Belgian Presidency to participate in the conference dedicated to mental health and work.
Trade unions representing midwives, including the FNV and NU'91, say they are disappointed by the response of the health minister to the urgent letter sent to the minister by the five unions at the end of December. With 1000 vacancies across the country the unions are extremely worried about the capacity of the service to guarantee care for pregnant mothers. The extra work taken on by midwives to cover for the vacant positions means many are dealing with heavy workloads and have had to cutback on holidays. The unions estimate that midwives’ pay is on average 10% below salaries in eldercare. A
The ver.di trade union starts the new year with a demand for better working hours and working conditions, more money and more staff across the public services and is launching a campaign and survey on working hours among public sector employees. In local public transport the union is calling for a reduction in weekly working hours, additional relief days for shift and night work and an increase in holiday entitlement. Ver.di also says that a total of more than 300,000 positions are currently unfilled in federal, state and local governments and with many workers due to retire around 1.4 million
The Sanitas trade union, representing workers in health and social care has welcomed the government decision to allow recruitment to over 8000 positions in the public health system that it had previously blocked. The union had threatened to strike over the issue and while it sees this initiative as a step in the right direction it is calling for much more to be done to address the critical shortage of staff in health and social care. Sanitas estimates that the 8000 jobs to be filled cover only around a quarter of the needs of the health and social care sectors and that the government will have
The FNV trade union is again sounding the alarm over staff shortages in health and social care following the release of official forecasts for the coming decade. The figures show that, on current trends there is a real risk of serious breakdown in the sector which faces an expected shortage of almost 190,000 employees by 2033. The FNV is calling for urgent action, noting that the 5000 shortfall in hospital staff now is set to rise to 27700 in 2033 and that the understaffing exposed by the COVID pandemic will be permanent state of affairs in future. The FNV is calling on the government to
Public sector unions have welcomed the outcome of negotiations with the employers and government which have delivered a package of pay-related measures backed with DKK 6.8 billion (€910 million) of funding. A number of different groups of workers across the public sector will benefit, particularly those affected by major staff shortages. Around DKK 1.3 billion (€170 million) will go into health and elder care, for example. The package will have a wider impact than anticipated as, in addition to the higher pay for occupations like nurses, care workers, social educators and prison staff, a much
Following the strike action on 17 November, the Fp-Cgil, Uil-Pa and Uil-Fpl trade union federations were set to organise a national protest outside the Ministry of Economy and Finance on 7 December. The unions are calling on the government to change the budget law for 2024 to ensure funding for renewing collective agreements and providing protection for workers’ purchasing power. They also highlight the failure of the government to tackle staff shortages or make any preparation for the fact that around 700,000 workers are due to retire by the year 2030. Meanwhile, both Fp-Cgil and Uil-Fpl
Alongside action by the CGIL and UIL confederations, the CISL trade union confederation is planning a national protest in Rome on 25 November over the government’s budget for 2024 and its refusal to engage with the trade unions. Together with demands for increased funding for public services, CISL wants to see action on staffing and measures to reduce precarious work. It also wants the government to commit to negotiating new collective agreements in the public sector. The mobilisations by UIL and CGIL continue with regional stoppages planned for 24 and 27 November and 1 December.
The leadership of the INMO nurses’ and midwives’ union held an emergency meeting on 10 November to discuss possible industrial action in response to the announcement by the Health Services Executive that it was extending its current recruitment freeze to almost all nursing and midwifery grades until the end of the year. The union said that the announcement came without documentation or consultation with the union and a request for a meeting was declined. INMO calculates that there are currently around 2,800 nursing and midwifery vacancies in the health service, which urgently need to be filled
The health unions CGT Santé et Action Sociale, FO Santé and UNSA Santé et Sociaux organised protests and strike action on 16 November in support of a range of demands for better pay and conditions, action on staffing and other issues. The unions are demanding measures to improve training and recruitment; a general pay rise; gender equality; increased funding for facilities and staff and a halt to all closures of establishments, services and beds. Better early retirement pension provision for arduous work and withdrawal of the new law on pensions were also part of the demands. EPSU sent a
The ZSSS trade union confederation reports that, following unsuccessful negotiations at the Ministry of Public Administration on 14 November, the SDOS public administration trade union organised one-day strike action the day after in seven administrative units across the country. The union demands include an increase in wages for seven pay brackets, improvements to allowances, and a decent level of remuneration for new recruits as part of measures to tackle the current staffing shortage. The SDOS has been pushing for some time for action on a range of issues and the government has failed to
Public services union ver.di reports that in the second round of negotiations for regional government employees on 3 November the employers failed to submit an offer and flatly rejected all essential union demands. Thousands of members of ver.di and other public sector unions joined warning strikes at the beginning of the second round of negotiations to show the strength of support for the unions’ key demands. Ver.di says that employers are turning a blind eye to massive staff shortages, the stress endured by many workers and inadequate levels of pay, particularly in comparison to federal and
The GÖD and younion public sector unions have been involved in the second round of bargaining over pay with the aim, as usual, to ensure that all public sector workers get a pay increase from 1 January. Alongside the surge in the cost of living the trade unions are underlining the increased burdens taken on by many workers, often as a result of staff shortages, as strong justification for a sustainable salary increase. The unions’ demands have been supported with a letter to the government negotiator from the head of the ÖGB trade union confederation. This highlights the massive contribution