Oct. 22, 2019 Unions representing hospital workers, including FNV and NU'91, are planning the first ever national hospital strike on 20 November when non-urgent facilities will be closed. The unions are trying to put pressure on the employers to improve their latest offer in negotations over a collective agreement covering 200000 workers. The unions want a 5% pay rise for this year plus extra payments for workers who have to work additional hours at short notice. The employers want a longer-term deal, offering the equivalent of a 2.8% increase a year but also want to reduce health insurance and sickness benefits.
Oct. 22, 2019 Public service union ver.di has undertaken a major survey covering over 210000 workers in the publice sector and just under 18000 in private and non-profit health and social care. The survey found that 92% of workers thought it important to have a choice between more pay and fewer hours and 57% would actually swap a pay increase for an hours cut. Overall those wanting shorter hours, 45% wanted to work fewer days while 30% wanted a working time account to allow for more holidays or the option to retire earlier. The union will consult further in the lead up to next year's public sector negotiations.
Oct. 10, 2019 Seven trade union and professional organisations joined with two campaigning groups to organise a coordinated day of strikes and protests calling for urgent action on funding for health and social services. The action on 8 October also linked up with protests by pensioner groups for better pensions and increased funding for care homes. Increased staffing and better pay and conditions were among the key demands from the unions. A second day of action is planned for 15 October which will link up with unions representing firefighters.
Oct. 09, 2019 Trade unions in the health sector are set to take joint strike action on 24 October unless there are positive developments in the sector negotiations that resume on 14 October. Some demonstrations have already taken place but the unions are concerned about the lack of progress on substantial questions such as funding, worsening conditions, excessive flexibility and overworks and staff shortages.
Oct. 09, 2019 Hospital sector trade unions are continuing their work-to-rule action on Sundays and plan further protests over the coming weeks unless the hospital employers shift their negotiating position. The unions have said that a new agreement would be close if the employers turn their offer of a one-off increase into a structural pay rise. The employers, however, have attempted to get works councils involved in the dispute (works councils have no collective bargaining role) and have even tried to influence how the unions present their arguments for a pay increase to their own members.
Oct. 09, 2019 From 1 October the 100000 workers covered by the private health and social care agreement are entitled to a flexibility bonus if they agree to stand in for a colleague at short notice . They will get a EUR 20 bonus for the shift (if only three days' notice) and EUR 10 for further days. The arrangement was part of the 2019 collective agreement negotiated by the vida and GPA-djp private service unions. The unions see this as an important initiative, recognising the high level of workloads, extent of sickness and staff shortages that often need to be addressed with additional shifts.
Oct. 09, 2019 The FOA public services union has analysed the staffing shortage facing health and social service providers across the country. It estimates that by 2028 the staffing shortage will reach 41000 unless urgent action is taken now. With a third of staff aged 55 and over, there will be a large number of retirements in the coming period, not taking account of staff who may change jobs. FOA argues that the service needs to offer more full-time jobs with greater recognition of the work done by carers and proper time allowed to carry out tasks.
Oct. 09, 2019 Over 200 staff at the Schildautal hospital in Seesen in Lower Saxony took strike action on 4 October in defiance of threats from management that they would be dismissed. The hospital is owned by Asklepios, the second biggest private hospital group in Germany. The health union ver.di wants to negotiate a collective agreement that would bring pay in line with the public sector. However, the company not only refuses to negotiate but has threatened strikers with the sack and promised bonuses to strike breakers. The recent ver.di congress sent a message of solidarity to workers at the hospital.
Oct. 02, 2019
On 1 October over 60 trade union representatives from 22 countries took part in a lively conference in Brussels on the European Semester - the European Union's annual process of economic and social policy coordination.
Sep. 27, 2019 Health unions have managed to ensure that the government will honour the current collective agreement that commited it to pay increases of 3% and 4% this year. The unions were forced to organise a high-profile national campaign - "5 to midnight" - when the government indicated it would not implement the increases. The campaign highlighted the state of the health service, understaffing and overwork and the need to recognise health workers' commitment. The unions are now looking forward to the start of the next pay negotiations and will continue their campaign on the need to invest in the health service.
Sep. 27, 2019 Following a meeting with the health ministry earlier this month, negotiations between unions and the private sector health employers have restarted and a timetable of weekly meetings foreseen. The unions were becoming frustrated by the refusal of the two employer organisations to negotiate a renewal of the sector agreement which has been effectively frozen for over 12 years.