The UK trade union movement has been angered by the government’s rushed draft legislation to impose minimum service levels on public service strikers. The government claims it is bringing the UK into line with countries like Italy and Spain but fails to acknowledge the different systems in those countries that guarantee the right to strike and impose no requirements on balloting for industrial action. The UK legislation, if passed, would not ensure that trade unions can negotiate minimum service levels and would allow employers to dismiss workers who failed to comply with the requirement to
Picketing and strike action by the Dev Sağlık-İş trade union, with support from EPSU and PSI, helped address bullying, harassment and anti-trade union behaviour by management at the Koç University Hospital in Istanbul. Although the dismissed union members were not reinstated, the employer paid increased compensation in recognition of the discriminatory action against union officials. The union also secured the dismissal of the manager responsible for the bullying, the end to harassment and withdrawal of false accusations against union members. Both PSI and EPSU sent protest letters.
Meeting in Skopje in North Macedonia on 22 September, public service trade unions from across Europe agreed to continue to work together to defend and strengthen trade union rights for employees, civil servants and all uniformed staff, from firefighters and health workers to police and military personnel.
Factsheets on the right to strike in public services in 48 countries are available on the EPSU website, with most updated during 2021. The initiative began in 2019 with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) coordinating the research and writing of 35 factsheets, all of which have now been updated. EPSU has separately commissioned a further 13 factsheets on countries outside the ETUI’s remit. Each factsheet sets out the main rules on who has the right to call a strike; the definition of a strike; who may participate in a strike; procedural requirements and the legal consequences of
EPSU, along with the trade union federations representing police and military personnel – EuroCOP and EUROMIL, is organising a conference on trade union rights in Skopje in North Macedonia on 22 September. The conference is the final event of a two-year, European Commission funded project that has been investigating the challenges facing public service unions in defending and strengthening their rights to organise, negotiate and take collective action. The conference will include speakers from the ETUC, Council of Europe and European Commission and the presentation of research carried out