The GMB and Unite trade unions have negotiated a major boost to pay for lorry drivers working in waste services for Plymouth City Council in the South West of England. The re-classification from unskilled to semi-skilled means that the workers will be moved up the pay scale resulting in pay increases of 12.6% for some. The two unions argue that this should have major implications across the sector and are trying to win improvements to pay and conditions for waste workers in other local authorities but are having to resort to industrial action to make progress. A 48-hour strike in Coventry in
Recruitment & organising, Local government
Members of the Solidarity trade union employed by the local authority and municipal companies in Szczecin in North West Poland organised a protest on 29 December outside the City Hall calling for a pay rise for the many workers carrying out essential services and often arduous work. The demands cover around 6000 workers providing a range of services from water and waste to early years education and nursing homes. The union has called for a PLN 1000 (€220) pay rise and estimates that some 50% of the 6000 workers are on the minimum wage of PLN 3000 (€660). The action followed an earlier protest
The continuing demands imposed by the COVID pandemic are being addressed by municipal trade unions and employers through a new agreement setting out rules on overtime. The agreement will be applied locally if agreed between the local union and employer and provides for higher overtime rates and limits on overtime hours. Overtime rates are increased to 200% on normal days and 300% on weekends and holidays. The rates also apply to part-time workers above 20 hours a week. The agreement sets a range of daily, weekly and monthly limits to overtime hours.
The Kommunal municipal workers’ union reports that local government workers will get significant new benefits from agreements signed with the SKR and Sobona employer organisations. There will be access to more skills support and student grants to improve professional development, a substantial increase in the occupational pension and greater security for fixed-term employees who will be entitled to transfer to a permanent contract after one year rather than 18 months. A new pension agreement will apply from 1 January 2023 and Kommunal estimates that an increase in the provision of 1.5% will
In a challenging bargaining environment services union ver.di secured a 2.8% pay increase for 1.1 million regional government employees plus a tax-free payment of €1300. Health workers are to get more money through increases in allowances. The lump sum will be paid early in the new year (trainees, interns and students are to get €650) while the pay increase will take effect on 1 December 2022 as part of the 24-month agreement. The union estimates that the combination of the €1300 lump sum, the 1.4% increase in January 2021 (part of the previous agreement) and the 2.8% in December 2022 should
The annual pay negotiations that cover the public sector have resulted in an average pay increase of 3% which will also apply to allowances and other pay additions. Lower paid workers will actually see their pay rise by 3.22% with a 2.91% applied to higher salaries. The increases come into effect on 1 January 2022. The increase is the highest for more than 10 years and ahead of the inflation rate up to September 2020 which forms one of the agreed bases for the negotiations.
The JHL public services union has successfully defended the pay and conditions of workers employed by the Arkea municipal company that provides catering and other services to the Turku local authority. The company had sought to change collective agreements that would have meant significant changes to pay rates with some workers potentially losing out by as much as 30% of their earnings. The strike action led to negotiations with the company which will now stick with the current agreement which is due to be re-negotiated next spring.
Trade unions and employer organisations in public services have reviewed the impact of the crisis agreement that was negotiated to regulate pay and conditions of employees working during critical events such as natural disasters, fires and floods, pandemics or acts of terrorism. It covers approximately 1.2 million employees in municipalities, regions and municipal companies, including healthcare, care, school, infrastructure and emergency services. Initially, negotiated following major forest fires, the agreement has also been implemented during the COVID pandemic. The review found it was
Last week, EPSU held two online, interactive workshops for the EPSU Youth Network and the Recruitment and Organising Network, on one of the most important topic for the future of our unions – organising young workers.
The JHL public services has organised strike action at the Arkea Oy municipal company, owned by the City of Turku. The union is challenging the company’s plans to switch employers' organisation and transfer around 1000 employees to a different collective agreement with poorer pay and conditions. Lower-paid workers could see their pay cut by 15%-30%. The city's group management has given the plan its blessing and discussions between the trade union JHL and Arkea have not yielded any results. The action began on 17 November with measures taken to ensure no risks to safety. The strike will affect
Members of the FNV trade union are in the process of voting on whether to support the agreement covering the municipal sector that was negotiated last month. The agreement provides for a 1.5% pay increase from 1 December 2021 and a further increase of 2.4% from 1 April 2022. There will also be a €1200 lump sum paid, €900 of which is pensionable and €300 of which reflects a COVID bonus. Also the agreement commits municipalities to guarantee a €14 an hour minimum wage from 1 January 2022. There are several other elements to the agreement including a working-from-home allowance and measures
Following the large demonstration in October in support of a pay rise for public service workers, unions are angry and disappointed that the government has failed to respond. Marián Magdoška, president of the KOZ trade union confederation said that unions were presented with the budget for 2022 a day before a tripartite meeting and realised that, despite promises from last year, it didn’t include any provisions to cover even a pay rise to compensate for inflation. The health union is also angry that in negotiations at the end of October the government was effectively blackmailing unions by
As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission launched in February 2021 a new strategy on adaptation to climate change. The objective is to make the European Union a climate-resilient society, fully adapted to climate change by 2050.