Staffing levels, Central government
Trade Union rights project - Defending and strengthening trade union rights across the public services
Many of our members face restrictions on the right to organise, negotiate and take strike action. In some countries the limitations or complete bans impact particularly on uniformed staff –
On 15 June the Labour Court in Bonn rejected an application by the local University Hospital to ban strikes being organised by the ver.di trade union. The strike action is part of what has so far been an eight-week campaign in six university hospitals in the North Rhine Westphalia region to secure a new collective agreement that addresses overwork and understaffing. The union wants a deal that covers all professional groups in the hospitals and has rejected an offer by the employers that would only cover nurses involved in direct patient care. Ver.di wants to see shift-specific minimum numbers
The FNV and other trade unions have negotiated a new two-year collective agreement covering workers in central government that will run from 1 July. The first pay increase of 2.5% plus an amount of €75 will be paid out in September 2022 but backdated to 1 July. From that date there will also be a minimum hourly wage of €14. There will be a further structural salary increase of 3% on 1 April 2023 and another 1.5% will follow on 1 January 2024. In December 2022 and in April 2023, there will be lump sum payments of €450 (gross), adjusted according to number of weekly working hours. There is a
Services union ver.di has strongly restated its demand for needs-based and binding staffing levels across all hospitals, following the publication of new research revealing a shortfall of up to 50,000 full-time employees in intensive care units. The union argues that this is a huge gap that endangers intensive care as well as the health of professional nurses. The study published by the Hans Böckler Foundation, calculates that in order to comply with the Nursing Staff Lower Limits Ordinance alone, the number of full-time positions would have to rise from 28,000 (as of 2020) to 50,800. If the
Five of the six trade unions in the LO Kommune bargaining group agreed to back the mediation proposal for municipal workers that was finally delivered on 24 May, averting strikes across the sector. The largest union in the sector, Fagforbundet, reported that the agreement would deliver increases on annual salaries of between NOK 12000 (€1165) and NOK 16800 (€1635). The settlement was ahead of that achieved in manufacturing this year, as the unions had pushed for a better deal to allow catching up on the lower settlement in 2021. The agreement also provides for increased night and weekend
Negotiations covering around 130,000 civil servants started on 10 May and Marco Ouwehand, the spokesperson for the FNV trade union and chair of EPSU’s National and European Administration Committee has provided some insight into the first steps in the bargaining and the main issues at stake. So far the union side has not put forward a specific claim for a pay rise but it is aiming for compensation for inflation with an emphasis on protecting lower paid workers in particular. One target is ensuring a minimum hourly pay rate of €14. The negotiations will also cover early retirement and measures
The PCS civil service union, meeting this week in conference, has agreed to work towards holding a national statutory ballot on industrial action this autumn over members’ pay, pensions and redundancy terms. The union has rejected yet another “derisory” civil service pay remit that sets the framework for the separate bargaining groups across the civil service. PCS argues that this fails to recognise years of plummeting pay and the spiralling cost-of-living crisis.
The Super and Tehy health unions are maintaining their ban on overtime and shift changes following their rejection of the proposed deal for health and local government. They continue to press for higher pay increases as essential to help tackle the urgent staff shortages in health and social care. Meanwhile, municipal unions JHL and Jyty are also keeping up their industrial action despite their provisional approval of the agreement. They are pushing for the agreement to be finalised and for the expected payments to be made by the summer, arguing that workers could lose out by over €300 if pay
The Super and Tehy health unions have firmly rejected the settlement proposed by the conciliation committee in the current dispute in local government and health. Meanwhile, the JHL and Jyty municipal services union have endorsed the proposal. The health unions argue that the pay increases on offer are inadequate and simply don’t address the urgent staffing problems in health and social care. The unions are now considering a mass resignation to put pressure on health employers to negotiate a better deal. For local government workers, the three-year pay deal should deliver pay increases of 1.9%
The public service federations – Fp-Cgil, Cisl-Fp and Uil-Pa – have negotiated a three-year agreement covering the period 2018-21 that will see pay rise by between 4.2% and 5.6% with the lower pay scales getting the higher increases. The trade unions have also welcomed changes to the occupational classification system and pay structure, strengthening of relations with trade unions, changes to leave arrangements to help victims of gender-based violence and new rules on smart work and telework.
The collective agreement covering central government workers expired at the end of March and the trade unions, including the FNV, and government are about to start negotiations over a new agreement. On the employers’ side there is a commitment to discuss pay for civil servants on the lower pay scales, the design of leave arrangements, rosters and workplace measures to address climate change. On the union side the priority will be purchasing power and salaries, along with several other issues including provisions on early retirement and action to reduce workloads.