2016 August epsucob@NEWS 10
Aug. 15, 2016 (August 2016) The all-out strike in the ambulance service planned by the SIPTU trade union was called off following guarantees on staffing levels, compensation for loss of earnings and the establishment of a working group to deal with other issues relating to the National Ambulance Service (NAS). The commitments include the recruitment of 150 new emergency technicians implementation of recommendations outlined in the NAS capacity review, 461 paramedics to be recruited over a five-year period. Read more at SIPTU and at SIPTU Health.
Aug. 15, 2016 (August 2016) The STAL local government union organised four days of industrial action at the Valorlis solid waste treatment company that operates in the Leiria district of central Portugal. The workers were on an overtime ban on 13, 14 and 15 August, followed by 24 hours of strike action on 16th. The union argues that shareholders in the privatised company have been benefitting from company profits while workers have been denied pay increases as the company claims it has had to follow government austerity measures. Read more at STAL (PT).
Aug. 15, 2016 (August 2016) Following their national action at the end of July (see last issue of epsucob@NEWS), nurses in the SEP trade union have been involved in a series of strikes at different hospitals around the country. Strikes at Barlavento Algarvio, Faro hospital and other institutions took place in the first half of the month and more are to follow with a five-day action planned at Tondela-Viseu in central Portugal. Read more at SEP (PT).
Aug. 15, 2016 (August 2016) Staff at Cardiff Hospital working for the contractor ENGIE stopped proposed cuts to hours and pay enhancements following a 100% vote for strike action. The workers provide portering, catering, security, reception, housekeeping and cleaning staff to St. David’s Hospital could have lost hundreds of pounds a month under the changes, with redundancies also threatened. The company has withdrawn the proposals and also recognised Unison for collective bargaining. Read more at Unison.
Aug. 15, 2016 (August 2016) Unions in the LO trade union confederation, including 3F, HK and Dansk Metal are commited to solidarity action with the FOA public services union with its planned strike at the DK-Pleje care company on 1 September. FOA has called the action in protest at the company's refusal to negotiate and its failure to implement the relevant collective agreement. FOA says the company is paying lower hourly rates as well as cutting back on overtime, on-call and other payments. Read more at FOA (DK).
Aug. 15, 2016 (August 2016) A survey of collective agreements across the Czech Republic for 2014-2015 shows ear-on-year, there was a significant increase in the number of collective agreements containing commitments on overall wage increases and commitments to increase salary tariffs. The survey also looked at salary bonuses and benefits as well as working hours and holidays where there were no significant developments over the period covered. Read more at Eurofound.
Aug. 15, 2016 (August 2016) The European Commission has launched a second-stage consultation with the social partners on potential European level action to improve work-life balance. This could be in relation to maternity leave rights, paternity and/or parental leave as well as carers' leave. More rights to flexible working might also be part of the equation. The Commission has given the European social partners until the end of August to decided whether or not they wish to negotiate on any of these. Read more at DG Employment.
Aug. 15, 2016 (August 2016) Just under nine out of 10 clerical, administrative and managerial workers in the health service have voted for industrial action if a job evaluation scheme is not reinstated. The scheme was suspended during the austerity measures negotiated with the Irish government but with a commitment to reinstate the scheme from 1 June this year but so far the Health Service Executive The scheme can lead to regrading where jobs have changed but all claims have effectively been suspended for the past eight years. Read more at Impact.
Aug. 15, 2016 (August 2016) Services union ver.di is concerned about the impact on workers' rights of the takeover of the AHG group by the Median company. With the takeover Median will become largest rehabilitation company in Germany with 15000 workers but it has taken a stance against collective bargaining under the influence of its main investing company Waterland. It has said to ver.di it will no longer negotiate collective agreements. Read more at ver.di (DE)
Aug. 16, 2016 (August 2016) The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine along with public sector trade unions have called on the government to take urgent action to increase public budgets. The unions argue that there is not enough money allocated to pay public sector wages for the whole year. Healthcare alone requires an extra UAH 2.58 billion (EUR 90 million). The unions argue that the shortfall in budgets is undermining workers’ rights as they are forced to take unpaid leave or shift to a part-time work and are losing out on other payments.
Aug. 16, 2016 (August 2016) The International Trade Union Confederation and trade unions at the G20 summit of leading industrial nations have called for world leaders to take urgent steps to boost the global economy through co-ordinated action to increase wages and their share in national income. The ITUC says that rebuilding strong labour market institutions to create quality jobs and reduce income inequality must be a priority. Read more at ITUC (EN/FR/ES).
Aug. 16, 2016 (August 2016) The public service federations - Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp and Uil Fpl - have sent a letter to the ministers of public administration and economic development protesting at the planned restructuring of the system of chambers of commerce. The unions argue that the plans to reorganise are going ahead without any guarantees for the employees and with the government refusing even to discuss the restructuring with the trade unions. The chambers employ around 7000 workers directly with 3000 in related bodies. The unions plan to organise a national demonstration in September. Read more at Fp-Cgil (IT).
Aug. 16, 2016 (August 2016) The agency set up by the UK government to regulate employment agencies and agency work has seen its budget cut by over 50% since 2010. An investigation by the Labour Party found that staff at the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS) had been cut by 70% and that the body had failed to secure a single prosecution over the past year. Although complaints rose by a fifth between 2011 and 2016, the number of inspections carried out by the EAS fell by more than half. Read more at the Guardian newspaper.
Aug. 16, 2016 (August 2016) Public service union Kommunal has used the findings of a new report on temporary work to call for measures to reduce fixed-term employment in local government. The union says that employers should have to justify the use of temporary contracts and that there should be a commitment to offer permanent contracts to temporary workers. The report reveals that over 60% of nursing assistants were on temporary contracts and the vast majority of all those on temporary contracts want a permanent job. Read more at Kommunal (SV).
Aug. 16, 2016 (August 2016) The NSF nurses' union is hoping that mediation will resolve its dispute with the NHO Service private employers' organisation. The NSF is concerned that the pay and conditions offered by NHO Service employers are falling behind those in the public sector, with pay rises in particular failing to keep up with those negotiated with the KS public sector employers' organisation. NHO Service did not respond to the NSF's claims at the latest negotiations and so mediation is due to take place at the end of August. If the mediation is unsuccesful then the NSF will conside strike action from 2 September. Read more at NSF (NO).