2020 EPSU Collective Bargaining News February 04
IN THIS ISSUE
- Germany: Strikes and solidarity push health company to negotiate
- Austria: Further warning strikes in private health sector
- France: Health and social service unions mobilise on 14 February
- Ireland: Long-running disputes in community services continue
- UK: Local government unions reject pay offer
- Italy: Unions launch joint platform of claims in health and local government
- North Macedonia: Major breakthrough with first collective agreement in 25 years
- Croatia: Nursing organisations call for action on jobs, staffing and training
- Spain: Care worker trade unions plan action in March
- Netherlands: Waste processing workers get 3.75% pay rise
- Europe: Pay rises lag productivity increases in 15 EU countries
- Denmark: Key private sector deal sets pace for bargaining round
Feb. 18, 2020 Strike action, a major demonstration, political support and international solidarity have combined to bring the Ameos health company to the negotiating table. Members of the ver.di services union have been on strike to get a collective agreement and the reinstatement of 14 colleagues who were sacked at the end of last year by the management of Ameos in the Saxony-Anhalt region. International solidarity was channelled through a labourstart campaign with over 6300 signatures calling on the company to negotiate. The strike action has now been suspended to allow time for negotiations which were due to start on 20 February.
Feb. 18, 2020 The vida and GPA-djp private service unions will be coordinating further warning strikes on 26 and 27 February to put pressure on the employers in the negotiations covering 125000 workers in private health and social care. This follows the sixth round of bargaining which ended again without a concrete proposal from the employers. The unions are determined to press on with their central demand of a 35-hour week while maintaining pay and with an appropriate increase in staffing.
Feb. 18, 2020 Thirteen trade union organisations and health campaigning groups came together on 14 February to strike and join demonstrations calling for urgent action on the funding and provision of health and social services. This follows the previous national action on 17 December (EPSU CB News 24, December 2019). The key demands are for an increase in funding, action on recruitment and training, recognition of the arduousness of work in the sector, a stop on closures of facilities, opening up governance of hospitals to workers and patients and ensuring equal access to quality services.
Feb. 20, 2020 The Forsa and SIPTU trade unions are continuing to protest and organise industrial action in long-running disputes involving their members in health, social and community services. Many workers in so-called Section 39 publicly-funded organisations provide health and social services but have been denied the kind of pay restoration provided to directly-employed public sector workers in these services. Meanwhile, community employment advisors took strike action on 14 February in the latest step in their campaign for the implementation of a 2008 Labour Court recommendation on their rights to occupational pensions. Selected strike action in Section 39 organisations was due to take place on 21 February.
Feb. 20, 2020 The three main unions in local government - Unison, Unite and GMB - have rejected a 2% pay rise as a wholly inadequate offer from the employers. The unions have submitted a joint pay claim that aims to provide some redress for years of pay freezes and below-inflation increases. These have left local government workers some 22% worse off in real terms. The aim is for a new minimum rate of GBP 10 (EUR 12) per hour and a 10% increase for all workers.
Feb. 20, 2020 The public service federations of the CGIL, CISL and UIL confederations have come together to set out their platform of key demands for negotiating the next three-year agreements in local government and health. The unions have underlined the need for urgent action to boost recruitment and reclassify jobs in recognition of the value of the work of public service employees. They are also calling for measures to reduce precarious work, currently affecting some 350,000 workers across the public sector. The unions also want to see improvements to industrial relations in the sector and measures to strengthen collective bargaining at both national and local levels.
Feb. 20, 2020 The UPOZ state administration and justice union is celebrating the signing of the first new collective agreement covering its members for 25 years. The agreement covers staff in administration and justice and related agencies and includes detailed provisions on pay and conditions that deliver improved rights for workers over and above legal rights and the general public sector agreement. It has 10 sections that cover a broad range of rules including on working time, sick pay, annual leave and other special leave arrangements, travel allowances and rules on the role of the trade union.
Feb. 21, 2020 The HSSMS-MT nursing union has joined with other nursing organisations in submitting a series of demands on the government to address the urgent problem of understaffing resulting from emigration and retirement. The joint document highlights the increased pressure that the health service faces and the failure of recent governments to provide solutions. The unions and associations want to see proper recognition of qualifications and responsibilities in the job and pay structure and recruitment of more staff. They are also calling for clear plan to address training and education needs.
Feb. 21, 2020 The health and social service federations - CCOO-Sanidad and FeSP-UGT - are planning to mobilise workers in the care sector in March to put pressure on employers to negotiate a collective agreement. The unions will organise protests outside the head offices of the main companies in the sector highlighting the problems in relation to low pay, health and safety and inadequate staffing that face the 250,000 overwhelmingly women workers. The unions are also calling on the government to tackle underfunding of services and to ensure decent working conditions through procurement.
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.
Feb. 21, 2020 The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has released figures showing how pay increases in many countries across Europe have lagged behind productivity developments over the period 2010-2019. Wage rises in 15 European Union Member States have been anything from 0.2% to 35% lower than productivity increase over that period. The ETUC is calling for "action to support stronger collective bargaining. When workers can bargain for their fair share of productivity gains the median wage increases which makes it more likely that 60% of the median wage amounts to a minimum wage from which workers can make a living."
Feb. 21, 2020 The Co-Industri group of manufacturing unions has negotiated a new three-year agreement covering 230,000 workers in the private sector and setting the pace for the current bargaining round. The agreement includes a number of significant improvements in areas like work-life balance (paternity and parental leave), sick pay (14 weeks on full pay, up from nine), training and education and pensions, with pension accrual starting from 18. The share of salary that workers can exchange for other benefits (pensions, leave etc.) will increase from 4% to 7%. Over the three-year period the hourly minimum rate will increase by DKK 7,50 (EUR 1) from the current DKK 119.65 (EUR 16.02) to DKK 127.15 (EUR 17.02) in March 2022.