The FNV trade union has negotiated a new collective agreement with the national grid operator TenneT that provides for a 4.3% pay increase over 16 months, backdated to 1 May. The union reports that the negotiations went smoothly, with the employer recognising the need to respond to rising inflation to remain an attractive employer. There is a structural wage increase of 3.1% and a one-off payment of 1.2%. From 2023, TenneT's employees will get 5 May off each year as opposed to enjoying the official holiday only once every five years. The agreement runs from 1 May 2022 to 1 September 2023. In
Working Time, Energy
Negotiating and campaigning on working time
After pay, working time is core collective bargaining issue but is also an important area of employment regulated by national and European legislation. EPSU has been very active in defending and calling for proper implementation of the Working Time Directive and is involved in current debates on working time. The why and how of working time reduction is a guide produced for EPSU by the European Trade Union Institute and examines long-term trends in working time, the arguments for reducing it and examples of how this has been achieved.
After several weeks of conflict, rallies and the threat of strike action, the HSMCTU health union, with the support of the GTUC confederation, secured an agreement from the Ministry of Health that it would not introduce a 12-hour work schedule for paramedics. The Ministry also agreed to remunerate employees’ overtime work and to have further meetings with the union to discuss how to increase salaries. The dispute had arisen following the Ministry’s decision to remove a wage supplement that had been introduced during the Covid pandemic and its plan to introduce a 12-hour work schedule
The energy federations of the CGT, CFDT, FO and CFE-CGC report widespread and strong support for their strike action on 2 June. The unions want energy sector employers to agree to immediate negotiations over pay. The unions regard the 0.3% pay increase implemented in January of this year as completely unacceptable and that an immediate increase of 4.5% is needed to help compensate for increased prices but negotiations are also needed to address several years of below-inflation pay rises. The unions issued a joint statement indicating the strength of feeling among workers and the unions’ clear
The HK Kommunal local government union reports that negotiations are underway to make the four-day week permanent at the Odsherred municipality, north west of Copenhagen. An experimental scheme began in 2019 with the standard 37 hours worked on Monday to Thursday, leaving Fridays off. The view of staff is generally positive and the negotiations may involve the option for greater flexibility in terms of the weekly day off. Meanwhile, there are new developments in the global 4-day week campaign with the launch of pilot projects involving over 3300 workers in 70 companies in the UK. In contrast
Trade unions in the energy sector are planning strike action on Thursday 2 June over the erosion of purchasing power of their members. In a joint statement, they criticise the employers in the sector for failing to agree a timetable to negotiate and for applying an increase of only 0.3% on the basic national salary in January this year when inflation was already at 4.5%. The unions also highlight the fact that energy sector pay has not kept pace with inflation over many years and they are demanding an immediate increase of 4.5%.
Municipal unions are pushing for the right to full-time work across the sector to tackle what they see as excessive use of part-time contracts. The FOA trade union has calculated the financial implications of full-time (37 hours a week) work for different occupations working different hours. For example, a social and health care assistant, who today is 41 years old, can increase their lifetime income (including all allowances and pensions) by DKK 5.3 million (over €700,000) by working full-time instead of 25 hours. Even older workers would see a real difference with a 51-year-old cleaner able
Services union ver.di has negotiated a collective agreement with the AWO non-profit care provider in Augsburg in Bavaria that includes a 35-hour week without loss of pay for nurses and other workers in the social and educational services provided by the organisation. The union sees this as setting an important example for the rest of the care sector. AWO said it wanted to work with the union to provide concrete solutions to address stressful work and to make care jobs more attractive by improving working conditions. The collective agreement provides for a two-hour reduction in weekly working
Public services union Fórsa has welcome the government’s decision to accept an independent body’s recommendation for working time to be restored to pre-austerity levels for virtually all public servants from 1 July 2022. The additional working hours were imposed in July 2013, increasing the standard working time of civil and public servants to 39 hours for those who previously worked between 35 and 37 hours, and to 37 hours for those who previously worked 35 hours or less. The hours of those working 39 hours or more per week were unchanged. The independent body said it had taken account of the
EPSU’s Pan-European Conference on Public Utilities is back! Join us online on Tuesday, 10 May 2022 for the opening proceedings and a panel discussion on an issue that is only becoming more important: rising energy prices, and how unions can take action.