Sep. 19, 2018
Pension reform, low wages, concerns of young workers and more addressed in the Russia-Central Asia Constituency meeting
The unions of the constituency met in a situation of much turmoil in Russia. Protests have taken place across the country against proposed reforms of the pension system.
Sep. 14, 2018 The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) says that the proposals for Pan-European Personal Pensions (PEPP) should include stronger protection for workers' savings. The ETUC welcomed some improvements voted through by the European Parliament related to regulation and preferential treatment of schemes with good governance. However, it underlined that initiatives like PEPP should not be used to undermine collective and publicly-provided pension schemes which need to be maintained and strengthened.
Sep. 14, 2018 Four unions representing nurses - SEP, ASPE, SERAM and SINDEPOR - are all supporting national strike action on 20-21 September. Their protest is over the failure of the government to respond to a series of demands on improving the career and pay structure for nurses. These demands cover salaries that properly reflect nurses' job content, with particular concern for specialist nurses and nursing managers, confirmation of 35 years' service and 57 years of age as retirement age, provision of measures to compensate for the arduousness of shift work and the recruitment of more nurses.
Aug. 16, 2018 The Fagforbundet trade union has reported the Aleris Ungplan and Boi private care company to the authorities for possible breaches of labour, health and safety, tax and even criminal law. The union has taken up cases for a number of workers who have been denied their rights on pay, sick pay and pensions and forced to work excessive hours. The cases mainly involve workers who were taken on as "consultants" rather than employees so that the company could avoid paying pension, sickness and other costs. The company is a subsidiary of a major private sector health and social care provider, Aleris, and Fagforbundet says this is one of the worst cases of social dumping in the welfare sector it has seen and also wants action by regional government which is responsible for health and social care provision.
Jun. 28, 2018 The SOMK education, culture and media union organised demonstrations in Zagreb and Rijeka to protest against plans to raise the retirement age for childcare workers from 65 to 67. The union argues that the change fails to recognise the nature of work in the sector and the increasing mental and physical demands made on childcare workers. EPSU sent a message of solidarity as did the BDDSz childcare workers from Hungary.
May. 18, 2018 The three main trade union confederations organised a national demonstration in Brussels on 16 May in protest at government plans to reform the pensions system. The estimated 70000-strong march was nearly three times the size of a similar demonstration in December, showing the strength of opposition to government policy which includes raising the pension age from 65 to 67. Some of the key demands include a minimum pension that delivers an adequate standard of living, gradual alignment of private and public sector pensions and proper account taken of arduous jobs and sickness and injury in calculating pensions.
Apr. 12, 2018
On 6 April 2018 SIPTU organised in Dublin the seminar "Meeting the Challenges – Winning Respect". It brought together about 40 members and workers’ representatives working in the National Ambulance Service.
Apr. 04, 2018 Waste workers in the UK and France are taking or planning industrial action over a wide range of issues. Public and private sector workers in France, organised by the CGT union, are taking action over major demands on pay, pensions and health and safety. Meanwhile, in Hull in North East England workers employed by the FCC multinational are protesting over sick pay and inThurrock in South East England the issue is one of surveillance. Workers there are objecting to live streaming to management from cameras in all refuse lorries.
Mar. 08, 2018 The STAL local government trade union and other unions in the Frente Comum federation of public service unions are organising a national demonstration in Lisbon on 16 March. The protest is to underline the unions' main demands for a 4% pay increase with a minimum of EUR 60 a month. While the government has finally unfrozen career development after 13 years, some of the lowest paid workers hardly benefit at all, moving only from below to slightly above the minimum wage. The unions' demands also include action to reduce precarious employment and increased allowances to cover arduous and dangerous work.
Mar. 05, 2018 Public sector unions have negotiated a new public sector-wide pension scheme that they are recommending to members who will vote on whether or not to accept the new arrangements. The scheme will be introduced from 2020 for all workers born in 1963 or later. The unions are pleased with the result which they say produces a gender-neutral scheme and will see members earning pension entitlement on all their earnings from day one of employment. There will also be early retirement provisions for those who need it.
Feb. 22, 2018 The FNV trade union has negotiated a new collective agreement with Fokus, a provider of care for people with disabilities, with 2400 employees. The one-year deal includes a 2.8% pay increase from 1 January and special provisions for older workers to reduce their hours. Those within four years of pensions age can reduce their hours by 20% with a pay reduction of only 10% and the employer will ensure their pension contributions remain at the previous level. The hours made available will be reallocated, including to new employees. The agreement also means that workers aged 58 and over no longer have to work night shifts and it allows time off for union members to attend at least four union meetings a year.
Feb. 08, 2018 The FP CGIL trade union has signed a new collective agreement covering firefighters which has important provisions for a general pay rise, increased overtime pay and increased payments recognising the arduousness of the occupation. With these key pay-related elements agreed, the union says that negotiations will now move on to deal with a wide range of other employment conditions covering health and safety, provisions for firefighters who can no longer manage active service, training, insurance against occupational accidents and diseases as well as the overall organisation of the service.
Feb. 08, 2018 Negotiations have begun over changes to the public sector pensions scheme. The Fagforbundet trade union is particularly concerned about addressing gender equality issues and for pensions to take account of the arduousness of many jobs in health and social care which are dominated by women. The demands of many of these jobs often mean that workers cannot stay at work until normal pension age and so there have to be suitable arrangements for early retirement. The union also wants to see improvements in the rules covering the combination of work and retirement.