2019 August epsucob@NEWS 15
IN THIS ISSUE
- Ireland: Health support staff to vote on Labour Court recommendation
- France: Nine union organisations condemn public service legislation
- Italy: Social workers to strike over staff shortages and overwork
- Turkey: Calls for solidarity with sacked municipal workers
- UK: Hospital support staff take strike action to get NHS pay and conditions
- Germany: Union working towards collective agreement in university agency
- Netherlands: Independent living assistants push for overdue evaluation
- Czech Republic: Union calls for more funding for social service jobs and pay
- Switzerland: Union continues campaign for changing time to be working time
- Spain: Unions set to mobilise over failure to implement agreement
- Portugal: Unions set out bargaining priorities for 2020
- UK: Union support secures key legal victory on annual leave
- Germany: Pay deals maintain higher trend
- Italy: Union criticises agency for lack of progress with negotiations
Aug. 06, 2019 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations say they will organise action in September unless there is progress in implementing a key agreement covering workers in the state administration. The unions say that two months after signing the agreement no progress has been made in attributing occupations to the new pay structure and so there is a delay in paying workers their new salaries and any back pay. The FeSP-UGT also raises concerns about the failure to fully implement other agreements covering state workers, including ones on additional funds, mobility and temporary work.
Aug. 06, 2019 The FP-CGIL public service federation has criticised the employers' negotiating body, ARAN, for failing to make progress on a new collective agreement covering managers and professionals in public administration. The union has a clear set of demands relating to trade union representation, salary protection in cases of restructuring, severance pay, the salary structure and working hours. It hopes that these will be addressed by the new president of ARAN.
Aug. 06, 2019 The Frente Comum group of public service unions has set out its key demands for negotiations next year, many of which focus on restoring pay and benefits cut as a result of austerity. The unions want a minimum wage of EUR 850 a month. They also want to see an unfreezing of career progression, reinstatement of cuts to overtime and other measures relating to annual leave, pensions, compensation for occupational accidents and diseases and action on precarious employment. A complete return to the 35-hour week for all public service workers also remains a central demand.
Aug. 07, 2019 Public services union UNISON has won a significant victory at the Court of Appeal that will benefit hundreds of thousands of employees working part-time and irregular hours. The case involved a part-time teacher and it clarifies that all workers are entitled to a minimum of 28 days of paid annual leave, even if they do not work or are not paid for parts of the year. The ruling also confirms that this leave must be paid at the rate of a normal week’s pay, or based on the average payment for the preceding 12 weeks if pay is irregular.
Aug. 07, 2019 The FP-CGIL public services federation has called a strike of social workers in Naples on 27 August in protest at the failure of the local administration to address the drastic shortage of staff in the city. There are only 126 social workers serving a population of just under a million and the union says that at least an additional 55 are needed. The administration has said it will only recruit around 40 staff in 2021-22 whereas the situation is set to worsen before then as some of the current staff retire.
Aug. 07, 2019 Health support workers, members of the SIPTU services union, will be balloted over a Labour Court recommendation that could see them getting pay increases of between 6% and 13% as a result of job evaluation. The union organised strike action in June as the government had failed to take action to implement the job evaluation results (epsucob@NEWS no.12). The court has also recommended a timetable to ensure that job evaluations are carried out for staff who have not already gone through the process.
Aug. 07, 2019 Services union ver.di has managed to organise and make progress towards a collective agreement in the uni-assist agency that checks applications to universities from overseas students. The agency was set up in 2003 and now has 300 employees, with ver.di membership now at 60% of those on permanent contracts. The union is aiming to secure an agreement in line with the public sector agreement and is focusing on a number of specific issues including a reduction to a 38.5 hour week from 40 hours. The agency is now a guest member of the Berlin municipal employers' organisation but without committing to sign up to the sector agreement. Ver.di has drafted a collective agreement and hopes to make progress in negotiations with the agency but doesn't rule out action, including warning strikes, to put pressure on the employers.
Aug. 07, 2019 The vpod/ssp public services union has been campaigning since last September for hospital workers who need to change into and out of their uniforms to have this changing time recognised as working time. In the latest development, the management of the Limmattal hospital in Zürich has refused to recognise changing time as such but has guaranteed one of two 15-minute break periods that it had not previously endorsed. In the meantime the vpod is busy using legal means to challenge other hospitals for unpaid wages for changing time.
Aug. 07, 2019 The OSZSP health and social service union met with employers and the government last month to discuss funding of social services. Employers in the non-profit sector agreed with the union about the importance of ensuring adequate and reliable funding for the sector. There were some concerns about the ability to pay the 2019 pay increase and employers said that the uncertainty of funding was causing problems for maintaining jobs and decent pay levels. The union called for 20 billion crowns for 2020 and a 10% pay increase. It also underlined the need for 1 billion crowns to fund investment in residential care buildings.
Aug. 07, 2019 Around 300 hospital support workers, including catering, cleaning and portering staff, took strike action on 31 July in their campaign to get pay parity with National Health Service employees. The workers at three hospitals in North West England are employed by the multinational Compass and many of them are on the lowest pay rate of £8.21 (€8.95) an hour which is £0.82 (€0.90) less than the £9.03 (€9.85) minimum for NHS workers. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Aug. 07, 2019 The FNV trade union has delivered 1450 cards to the directors of the Fokus disability care group to demonstrate the anger of workers over the company's failure to carry out a promised evaluation of their jobs and pay. Fokus employs around 3000 social care assistants who provide support to people with disabilities. Following a restructuring three years ago management responsibilities were cut and teams left to organise themselves. The company made a commitment to review the situation after three years. The union believes that the workers are due compensation for their extra responsibilities and wants to see the evaluation carried out as soon as possible or it will organise further action.
Aug. 08, 2019 Nine trade unions organising in the public services - CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA, FSU, Solidaires, CFE-CGT, CFTC and FA-FP - have stated that they will continue to oppose the measures that are set to be implemented by the law on transforming the public sector that was voted through by the Senate on 23 July. The unions argue that the legislation will make it more difficult for them to protect workers' interests as it will weaken joint administrative committees and abolish committees dealing with health and safety and working conditions. They also warn that it will lead to more temporary employment and limit workers access to permanent contracts or civil service status. The unions are urging the government to engage in a proper process of social dialogue. The nine organisations are due to meet on 5 September to consider their next steps also in regard to pay and pensions.
Aug. 08, 2019 The WSI trade union-linked research organisation has published its half-year analysis of pay settlements and noted that the average increase of 3.2% is slightly up on last year's 3.0%. With inflation averaging 1.6% this means average real wage increases of 1.6%. WSI says this confirms an upward trend in pay and notes that in the first half of this year some of the large agreements have registered the highest increases, including engineering (4.1%), iron and steel (3.9%) and regional government (3.6%).
Aug. 08, 2019 Local government workers employed by the Aliağa Municipality in Izmir are being sacked without justification and the newly elected mayor is also forcing workers to resign from their union, Genel-İş, and to join another one. The number of dismissals reached 187 on July 24 and workers have been picketing since the 20 May, demanding reinstatement and respect for trade union rights and freedoms. Online support is being coordinated by the Labourstart campaigning organisation and promoted by EPSU and PSI.