2018 October epsucob@NEWS 19
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Germany: European solidarity for action at social care company
- Turkey: Unions protest over dismissals and minimum wage
- Spain: Prison unions unite in strike action over pay
- Hungary: Unions launch public service pay campaign
- Portugal: Unions to strike over pay, pensions and working time
- Russia: Pension changes implemented despite union opposition
- Italy: Doctors and health managers protest and strike over funding
- Cyprus: Civil service union takes action on pay
- Latvia: Union pickets ministry over pay and conditions of bus workers
- Ireland: Unions achieve progress on pay restoration
- Finland: Cross-sector actions against weakening of dismissal law
- Netherlands: More regions covered by ambulance workers' action
- Europe: Report sets out arguments for pension cost transparency
- Europe: Report analyses collectively negotiated wage and productivity trends
Oct. 10, 2018 Unions across Europe sent their solidarity messages to members of ver.di who organised a day of action against CELENUS, the German subsidiary of the ORPEA social care multinational. The protest in Berlin on 28 September follows months of protests and strike action as ver.di members attempt to secure their trade union rights and right to organise and the reinstatement of sacked activists. The union is also fighting for demands for safe staffing levels and decent pay and conditions.
Oct. 10, 2018 On 3 October unions in the DISK and KESK confederations organised a half-day work stoppage in the city of Izmir in western Turkey. The strike called for the reinstatement of workers who have been arbitrarily dismissed by the government in its continuing indiscriminate actions following the attempted coup in 2016. The unions also called for an increase in the minimum wage and for municipal workers to be treated the same as civil servants in relation to the government's recent legislation to end outsourcing.
Oct. 10, 2018 On 9 October the KTAMS civil service union organised a day of strike action in all workplaces in which it organises in protest at the sharply falling purchasing power of workers' pay. A steep decline in the Turkish Lira has led to much higher inflation, leaving the minimum wage effectively below the poverty level. The union wants to see legislation that will ensure the increasing cost of living is reflected in workers' pay on a monthly basis. During the day's strike action, KTAMS is organising a march to the parliament to present its proposals.
Oct. 10, 2018 Unions representing public service workers have secured important pay improvements that reverse some of the main changes introduced as austerity measures. Changes to public service pay scales meant that workers taken on from 2010 were at a disadvantage as they had to work two years longer to reach the top of the pay scale. Pay progression for these workers will now be adjusted by cutting out two points of the pay scale. Meanwhile, workers in social services in the non-profit sector (Section 39 organisations) will get a EUR 1000 increase next April in the first stage of a three-year process to bring their pay in line with public sector workers.
Oct. 10, 2018 Unions across the public and private sectors have been taking various forms of industrial action including strikes on 3 October and overtime bans in protest at government plans to make it easier to dismiss workers in businesses employing 10 or fewer people. The three union confederations have rejected the proposals which they say are unfair and will do nothing to boost employment. They are also angry at the government's action, failing to undertake any consultation or negotiation with the trade union movement.
Oct. 10, 2018 A new report from the Committee on Workers' Capital reveals the obscure way in which many fund managers charge costs to pension funds. It makes suggestions and provides guidance on how these costs can be made public and how this contributes to better pension fund performance and ultimately to higher pay-outs.
Oct. 10, 2018 The KKDSz culture workers' union and BDDSz childcare workers' union have been instrumental in getting the SZEF public sector confederation to launch a campaign on public service pay. The confederation is highlighting low pay and understaffing across the public services and the need for negotiations on long-term pay development in the public sector. It calls for action on corruption and the need for a redistribution of government spending to workers to ensure a fully staffed and professional public service delivering quality services.
Oct. 10, 2018 EPSU affiliate LAKRS organised a picket of the ministry of transport on 4 October calling for better pay and conditions and a collective agreement covering bus workers. The union wants to see a minimum wage of EUR 7 an hour for drivers and action to tackle the widespread problem of long working hours.
Oct. 10, 2018 Earlier this month parliament approved government plans to gradually increase pension ages by five years starting from next year. The change has been widely rejected by trade unions with public service workers joining recent demonstrations to show their opposition. The issue was discussed at last month's meeting of EPSU's constituency covering Russian and Central Asia which agreed a statement expressing concern not just about the impact of the change but also about the failure of the government to carry out a proper consultation with trade unions.
Oct. 10, 2018 A new report from the Eurofound research agency analyses trends in collectively negotiated wages compared to productivity over the 2000-2017 period. The report says that: "From an employee perspective...applying harmonised consumer prices, wages per employee have grown more slowly than productivity since the beginning of the millennium and the gap has been widening, despite hourly wages having been more aligned." It adds that: "In most countries with available data (14 EU Member States), there has been a positive wage drift since the early 2000s, indicating that actual wages have grown more than collectively agreed pay."
Oct. 10, 2018 The industrial action by ambulance staff has been extended to more regions as members of the FNV continue their campaign to secure improvements in the collective agreement to deal with overwork, understaffing and to increase pay. The action began across seven regions on 24 September and consists of a work-to-rule with ambulance workers refusing overtime and sticking rigidly to their breaks and normal working time. Workers in a further four regions have now joined the action which the union plans to extend, with the possibility also of work stoppages, unless the employers agree to negotiate.
Oct. 10, 2018 Prison sector unions are planning a series of 24-hour strikes beginning on 24 October in protest at the withdrawal of a pay offer by the prison service. The unions have been campaigning together for several years to secure improved pay as a key measure to tackle staff shortages in the sector. Following the installation of a new government, the prison service offered to increase the prison pay bill by EUR 122.6 million over the next three years. The unions were angry and astonished when, at a meeting on 25 September, the head of the prison service announced that the offer was withdrawn on the basis that it hadn't been authorised by the government. The unions have called for an urgent meeting with the Minister of the Interior and they will begin their actions with a protest outside the Ministry on 17 October.
Oct. 10, 2018 The STAL local government union and other public service unions in the Frente Comum have called a one-day strike in public administration on 26 October. The unions have a range of demands including a 4% increase on pay (with a minimum increase of EUR 60) and pensions, measures to tackle precarious employment and also to ensure that all public service workers have the right to the 35-hour week.
Oct. 10, 2018 Trade unions representing doctors, health managers, veterinary and other health staff have called a national demonstration on 17 October and a national strike on 9 November. The unions want to see additional funding for the health service in order to address the urgent need to recruit new staff, provide training, tackle precarious employment and renew the collective agreement.