The Tehy and SuPer trade unions have agreed to a mediated settlement to their long-running dispute with municipal employers that includes pay developments over five years, COVID compensation payments and other improvements to working conditions. The average salary in the health and social services sector will increase by at least 17.3% over five years, with an increase of 15.3% in the first three years. There will be a separate one-off payment of €600 for those who involved in treating COVID patients. The unions say that a practical nurse will see their salary rise from the current €2,255 to
Safe and effective staffing levels
Quality public services depend on having safe and effective staffing levels. This is crucial in health and social services but is also important in a range other public services. It is also about ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff who are otherwise overworked and under pressure to cover for staff shortages. Recruitment and retention and training and continuous professional development are key elements in working to achieve and maintain safe and effective staffing levels.
Following their action in July, employees of the Ministry of Defence mobilised again on 28 September to voice their concerns over understaffing and the threat of privatisation. The public service federations – FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-PA – coordinated the action which called for an emergency recruitment plan and measures to address concerns about restructuring, changes to pay tables, implementation of the collective agreement, agile work (form of telework) and proper consultations with and participation of the trade unions.
A survey by the health and services union ver.di has revealed that the already high burden on employees in the emergency medical service has increased significantly since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Around 7,000 workers replied to the questionnaire with 39% saying they would change professions immediately if they had the opportunity. There are serious problems with working hours, work intensity, physical and psychological stress and risk of physical assaults. Almost all respondents reported problems balancing work and private life. Staff shortages mean that 61% of employees are (very)
The OSZSP health workers’ union and LOK-SČL doctors’ union organised a joint press conference on 29 September in response to the government’s intention not to increase health workers’ pay in 2023. The unions underlined the sacrifices that workers had made during the pandemic and that the government’s failure to deliver improved pay would create further problems in the recruitment and retention of staff. The unions are unconvinced by a government plan to offer bonuses instead of higher pay scales and they are calling for a 15% increase to pay rates. They also argue that the government had
The TEHY and SuPer nurses’ trade unions have condemned the new law that imposes tougher requirements on industrial action in the care sector. Despite the law, further action as part of the unions’ continuing campaign to secure higher pay took place on 27 September and the unions are determined to pursue their claims with SuPer considering declaring mass resignations in home care. The unions also point out that existing legislation already regulated strike action and so the new law imposes a further burden that targets the care sector specifically. They also argue that, in contrast to the rules
The public service federations in the UGT and CCOO confederations welcome the fact that their demands for public sector pay negotiations have been agreed by the government. The unions want a multiannual agreement that allows for the maintenance of purchasing power and, in particular, an increase this year on top of the 2% pay increase imposed by the government. CCOO and UGT want to see action to correct the long-term decline in purchasing power across the public sector, with foreign service personnel, for example not seeing an increase for 14 years. The unions want to ensure that the new
The FP-CGIL, CISL-FP, UIL-FPL and UIL-PA public service federations are mobilising their members in protests in two sectors – health and social care and the justice ministry. The national health and social care protest on 29 October will be calling for increased funding, more jobs and better pay and conditions. The unions argue that it is all very well for the EU-backed national reform and resilience plans to support investment in new facilities, but the challenge will be to find the workers to staff them. Meanwhile, the federations have declared a state of agitation in the justice ministry as
The vida and GPA services unions have just launched their main demands in the “social economy” sector negotiations that cover 130,000 in private health and social care. The unions are calling for a pay increase that not only covers inflation (currently topping 9%), but also takes into account the hard work put in by employees over the past year. The unions also want to see more staff recruited and more free time, with the pandemic exposing the impact of staff shortages. They have a range of specific demands relating to overtime, job classifications and mileage allowances – all elements that
The FESAP federation of public service unions, including the SINTAP trade union, has written to the prime minister calling for a state budget in 2023 that would allow for pay increases across the public sector and a wide range of improvements in other employment conditions. Alongside the need to address the scourge of low pay across the public sector, especially for workers with long service, the federation also wants action on career development, precarious contracts and health and safety – all measures it says are necessary to address staff shortages. Meanwhile, the STAL local government
Firefighters’ unions, including Fp-Cgil-Vvf and Fns-Cisl have called a national demonstration in Rome on 14 September with urgent demands on pay, staffing, equipment and safety. With services stretched to the limit to tackle the increasing number of forest fires, flood and other emergencies, the unions argue that the number of active firefighters needs to be increased from 33000 to 40000 and professional and technical staff from 2000 to 5000. They are also concerned about inadequate and out-of-date equipment which not only hampers their response to emergencies but exposes firefighters to
Services union ver.di has welcomed the federal government’s statement that it wants to tackle skills shortages but argues strongly that in doing so it needs to address the big challenges in the public sector itself. Ver.di points out that education in kindergartens, schools – especially vocational schools – and universities, is key but the shortage of skilled workers in these sectors has long been a problem. Additional jobs and better working conditions in the public sector are needed. This not just about pay but about providing more training opportunities, better equipment and increased
The FOA trade union has sent a wake-up call to politicians from all sides about the need to address pay in the welfare sector. The union brought together 1200 of its shop stewards from across the country in a two-day conference to discuss pay in health, social care and other services and to really gauge the feeling at the workplace. The message from the conference was a mounting concern that society does not recognise the value of welfare work. FOA warns of increasing frustration and discontent among workers if action is not taken. It is already extremely difficult to recruit workers to the
The NSF and Fagforbundet trade unions have been considering the findings of a major survey of over 5000 nurses, nursing auxiliaries and assistants in their 50s and 60s, that reveals the pressure they face in terms of physical and mental stress and the main reasons why they tend to leave before retirement age. Increased staffing is seen as an essential measure to address the problem and help ensure that more of this skilled and experienced group of workers stay in work for longer. The unions also focus on the extent of part-time work and that while some nurses opt for fewer hours because they
EPSU has sent a message of solidarity to nurses' unions in Finland in the face of the government’s threat to ban strikes in health and social care. The federation has also written to the Finnish prime minister urging her to withdraw this unacceptable threat to the right to strike.