Migration, Central government
Fighting for the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers
Migration has major implications for public services not least because of the significant contribution of migrant workers to the provision of public services in many European countries. Thousands of public service employees across Europe work in areas related to migrations and asylum-seeking. Unfortunately, the European and national response to asylum-seekers has often fallen pitifully short of what should be expected from one of the wealthiest regions in the world and EPSU has been arguing hard for a change of approach, criticising the European Union’s policies which continue to focus on tightening borders, pushing back refugees and outsourcing asylum duties to third countries. EPSU, along with PSI, has also been calling for an end to privatisation and increased public investment in the public services that are vital to ensure the safe and effective integration of migrants and asylum-seekers into society. This briefing, prepared for EPSU's 2019 Congress provides some background on EPSU's activities in this area.
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 –
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
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 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.
At the end of April the OSSOO state workers’ union issued a strike threat in order to put pressure on the government to negotiate on pay for workers in the Czech labour office. The union said that workers were facing heavily increased workloads as they were dealing with processing of refugees from Ukraine as well as compensation payments to cover for increased energy costs. Strike action was due to take place at the beginning of May but the government agreed to negotiations that are due to start on 25 May.
The trade unions in the state sector represented by Lo Stat, Unio and YS Stat broke off negotiations at the end of April and are waiting to see what mediation delivers on 23 May. The three groups of unions want to see action to compensate for recent pay trends where pay in the state sector has not kept pace with developments in the private sector. LO Stat unions have already set out plans for industrial action if mediation fails to deliver. Along with a general pay increase they also want to see action to reduce gender pay inequality and are concerned that the state sector’s preference for
The FeSP-UGT and FSC-CCOO called off strike action on 30 March following a number of concessions by the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate. The unions had organised a major and highly successful nationwide mobilisation on 23 March and following this the Inspectorate put forward proposals for €6m in productivity payments, additional staffing and changes to job classifications. The unions will look at the proposals and consider their response and have not ruled out the possibility of strike action.