2019 July epsucob@NEWS 13
IN THIS ISSUE:
- France: Emergency health staff take action
- Czech Republic: Health union challenges government over pay and funding
- Spain: Another bargaining breakthrough for health union
- Ukraine: Unions criticise massive threat to local government jobs
- Sweden: Union negotiates agreement covering critical situations
- Italy: Unions continue fight for new private health agreement
- Switzerland: Union sets out demands after women's strike
- Netherlands: Mental health care workers get 8.38% increase over 2.5 years
- Austria: More pay, holidays and allowances for emergency workers
- Norway: Municipalities work with unions to tackle social dumping
- Germany: Unions secure 3.7% increase for energy workers
- Europe: Right to strike updates - many countries infringe social charter
- Europe: ETUC calls for European action on workplace temperatures
- Europe: International workers protest over threat to pensions
Jul. 09, 2019 Staff working in accident and emergency services across the country took action on 2 July to call for urgent measures on jobs, beds and pay. The day of action, including a national demonstration in Paris, came the day before trade unions were due to meet the government to discuss pay across the public services. The CGT, FO and SUD unions organising emergency staff are calling for additional staff, more beds so that patients don't get stuck on trolleys and higher pay to recognise the arduousness of the work in accident and emergency services.
Jul. 09, 2019 The ver.di and IG BCE energy unions have negotiated a new 18-month agreement covering around 20000 workers. The TG Energie negotiations include EON Energie and a range of other electricity and gas companies. The main element of the agreement is a 3.7% pay increase. There will also be a 75 EURO a month increase for trainees along with a commitment that they will be offered a job once they successfully complete their training. This commitment will be in force until 2022.
Jul. 09, 2019 The CCOO-Sanidad health union has negotiated another new collective agreement following on from its success reported in the last issue of the newsletter. Around 900 workers employed by the CIBER network of biomedical research institutions will be covered by a new agreement that will run until June 2022. The agreement will mean standardisation of pay and conditions for this group of workers and it will set out their rights in relation to pay, leave, relocation, working time and telework, the right to training and the target of limiting temporary contracts to 8% of the workforce.
Jul. 11, 2019 The Fagforbundet public service union reports that over a third of the country's municipalities have adopted a variety of measures to reduce the risk of social dumping. These include requirements to employ permanent employees, for pay and working conditions that correspond to the sector agreement in the industry and specific numbers of skilled workers and trainees. They also cover tax matters and the prohibition of cash payments, limits on the number of subcontractors, regular monitoring of contracts and the right of local authorities to audit the contractor and sub-contractors.
Jul. 11, 2019 As reported by the newsletter in March, the municipal workers' union Kommunal has been negotiating a new agreement with the SKL employers' organisation to cover work during major emergencies. This initiative was taken following last summer's spate of forest fires. The agreement was finally signed at the end of June. It provides for an additional 120% of pay for each hour worked during the crisis and there is 150% for emergency overtime. There is a special procedure for determining what counts as a crisis. The agreement replaces the requirements of the Working Hours Act and will apply to all workers whether existing municipal employees or those taken on for the emergency.
Jul. 11, 2019 The FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL public service federations are continuing their campaign to force the AIOP and ARIS private health employer organisations to negotiate a collective agreement 12 years after the last one was signed. The latest initiative follows a meeting with the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces where the unions secured a commitment to push for a change in legislation on the accreditation of private providers that would require them to negotiate a collective agreement with the three recognised trade unions in line with the negotiations in the public sector.
Jul. 11, 2019 Employees of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and a number of other international bodies, including NATO and the Council of Europe, joined a protest in Paris on 2 July in opposition to threats to change pension arrangements. The Member Countries of the Coordination System are calling for changes to the CPS pension scheme that was closed 17 years ago. This could involve raising the age of pension entitlement; adjusting pensions to inflation and not to salaries; and removing entitlement to the education allowance for pensioners. The OECD staff association and other union organisations are concerned that if the changes are pushed through there would even be a risk of further cuts.
Jul. 11, 2019 In a recent tripartite meeting the OSZSP health union made the case for increased funding for health and social care and for initiatives to recruit more staff. The prime minister and health minister made claims about the need to focus more spending on investment in health rather than pay and argued that pay rates should only increase by 2-3% and suggested that pay was no longer an issue for many staff. The OSZSP said that a recent survey showed that 75% of health workers saw increased pay as a key factor in retaining workers in the sector. The union also argued that overall health funding was the question and not the allocation of spending between investment and salaries.
Jul. 11, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private service trade unions have negotiated a new agreement covering around 600 medical and health emergency staff. Workers in the Vienna region will get a 3.2% increase backdated to 1 February while increases will be set according to the appropriate arrangements in other regions and backdated to 1 January. After five years' service all workers will get an additional day of paid holidays. There is also an increase in the cleaning allowance and a child allowance of at least EUR 15 for each child from 2020.
Jul. 11, 2019 Following the national women's strike last month, the vpod/ssp public services union has set out a range of demands to tackle gender inequality across the public services and with particular measures in the childcare, health and education sectors. The union wants to see equal pay auditing of all public employers with the involvement of the union and an across-the-board pay increase for occupations and sectors dominated by women - particularly care jobs. Along with this the union underlines the importance of stable and reliable working hours and a range of measures in relation to maternity and parental leave and leave to look after sick dependents. It is also calling for action to tackle harassment and violence.
Jul. 11, 2019 The latest collective agreement covering 89000 workers in the mental health sector includes a 8.38% pay increase over 2.5 years (3% in October 2019, 3% in August 2020 and 2.1% in June 2021). Workers will also get a EUR 500 lump sum payment. The agreement includes a number of measures to address training needs and a 7% higher starting salary to attract new workers to the sector. There will also be measures to address stress-related sickness and employees who work in particularly intensive care situations will get an extra 16 hours of leave.
Jul. 11, 2019 Trade unions are highly critical of the government for planned measures that could see a 50% cut in district state administrations which could mean the dismissal of 27000 workers by January 2020. The unions say that there has been absolutely no consultation over the proposals, no review of local government services and no information provided on any possible social plan, (re)training initiatives or early retirement arrangements. The unions point out that there are few appropriate private sector job opportunities for many of the skilled workers who could be made redundant.
Jul. 11, 2019 The ETUC has call on the next European Commission to introduce a legislative instrument that recognises this increased risk to workers of increasing temperatures and provides a framework for protecting workers. The ETUC argues that weather conditions do not respect national borders and so European action is required. Other parts of the world have legislation but Europe has no binding law on safe maximum working temperatures. The ETUC says that currently maximum (and minimum) permissible working temperatures vary widely across different Member States and across sectors and companies.
Jul. 11, 2019 Earlier this year the Council of Europe published its latest assessments of countries' compliance with its social charter and particularly article 6 on the right to strike. The report reveals that many continue to fail to conform with the requirements of the article and this is often related to significant restrictions on the right to strike particularly affecting public service workers. The latest list of countries not in conformity include: Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and the UK. Further details can be read in the relevant country factsheets which have been drafted by the ETUI and are available on the EPSU website.