Aug. 02, 2017 Around 30000 workers employed by the health institutions federation in Vienna will see their pay and conditions protected following an agreement that removes the threat of privatisation. The deal will also mean higher starting salaries for new workers and a minimum wage of EUR 1670 a month. The younion representing the health workers regards this as a positive example of social partnership and a valuable contribution to social justice.
Jun. 26, 2017 Public service unions bargaining for better pay across Europe A pay rise for public service workers across Europe is the message that EPSU has sent out today – 23rd June – Public Services Day. Supported by the European Trade Union Confederation and in cooperation with the ETUCE teachers' federation, EPSU has highlighted some of the countries where public service workers continue to suffer from the effects of pay cuts and pay freezes. This special issue of EPSU's Collective Bargaining newsletter reports on some of the latest developments in pay negotiations and affiliates' campaigns, protests and other actions in support of those negotiations. Ireland: Public service workers suffered significant pay cuts in 2009 and 2010 with take-home pay also affected by a pensions levy. Unions are in the process of considering and consulting over a potential three-year pay deal which, if agreed, would mean a significant step towards pay restoration. The positions of the various unions can be seen at IMPACT, SIPTU, INMO, PSEU, CPSU and AHCPS. Czech Republic: The OSZPS health and social care union launched a campaign earlier this year exposing the pressing problem of low pay and overwork, with many workers leaving for better paid jobs in other sectors or other countries. The union has negotiated pay increases and new pay arrangements which will provide pay increases of between 9% and 23.5%. The highest increases will go to the lowest paid, following the abolition of the lowest three pay grades in the pay scale. UK: Public sector unions have been pressing for some time for an end to the 1% cap on public sector pay. This, combined with earlier pay freezes, has meant a major loss of purchasing power. Local government workers in Scotland are currently balloting over industrial action while in England and Wales they have launched their pay claim for 2018. Health workers are also angry over pay restraint and civil servants have seen their pay progression blocked as well as pay frozen. Latest updates can be found at: UNISON, Unite, GMB, RCN and PCS. Spain: The main federations in the public sector, FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT, are mobilising around the country to secure a pay rise and other changes to employment conditions to restore cuts implemented since 2010. The most recent action was in Valladolid. Meanwhile, both federations are also supporting protests and strike action around the world to improve pay for the thousands of workers in embassies, consuls and other bodies. More information on the action in public administration can be read at FSC and FeSP while updates on the international campaigns can be found here and here. Belgium: The non-profit/social profit sector is a major employer in Belgium and covers a wide range of health and social services. Unions have been campaigning and negotiating for some time to secure improvements to pay, hours and to increase employment in a sector facing major pressures from overwork. The latest action took place at the beginning of June and while some concessions have been made the unions say they are still a long way from achieving their key demands. Read more at CSC-CNE/LBC-NVK, CGSP/ABVV and CGSLB/ACLVB. Austria: The two main unions in the private health and social services sector, vida and GPA-djp, have been negotiating and campaigning for higher minimum wages in their sector agreements. They are aiming for all sector agreements to have a minimum of at least EUR 1500 and then going for higher targets as this minimum is achieved. Further information can be read at vida and GPA-djp. Netherlands: The FNV trade union has just negotiated a new 27-month deal covering 55000 workers in welfare and social services. There will be a 3.65% increase in pay over the course of the agreement and a one-off payment worth 0.5% in January 2019. There are also provisions to deal with increasing work pressure. For further details check FNV. There are plenty more reports on recent pay settlements on EPSU's website. Here you'll find updates on some of the main bargaining outcomes in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden and Turkey and further updates from Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands. And there's lots of other bargaining news that can be searched by sector, subject and country.
May. 11, 2017 (May 2017) The four unions that organise care workers in the public (GÖD and younion) and private (vida and GPA-djp) sectors have come together to organise a national demonstration on 12 May. The key demands of the protest are for better funding for care and action to deal with the excessive workloads, stress and long working hours of many care workers. The unions want to see action to tackle staff shortages and national legislation on staffing levels.
Apr. 14, 2017 (April 2017) Services union vida is continuing its campaign to secure federally agreed minimum staffing levels in the health and care sectors. The union took part in a parliamentary hearing on the future of care and said that increasing patient numbers and widespread staffing shortages were creating major problems. Increase workloads were putting pressure on staff who are often stressed and overworked, posing a threat to the quality of care.
Feb. 28, 2017 (March 2017) Around 20000 workers in the private electricity sector saw their pay increase by 1.55% from 1 February following a new pay deal negotiated by the GPA-djp and PRO-GE trade unions. The increase is above the 0.9% average inflation rate for 2016. Trainees will also get the increase. The agreement includes a commitement to contiinue discussions about pay and job content, working in difficult circumstances as well as shift work and arduous work at different phases of the working career.
Feb. 17, 2017 (February 2017) The vida and GPA-djp service unions have negotiated a new agreement covering 5000 workers employed by Diakonie Austria, the church-based care provider. The pay increase of 1.9% is ahead of the 0.9% average inflation rate recorded in 2016. In addition there are improvements to and protection of the rights of workers taking parental leave which the unions say will particularly benefit the significant number of part-time women workers with childcare needs.
Jan. 27, 2017 (January 2017) The vida private services union is calling for a EUR 1500 minimum wage in collective agreements across the private sector. The union says that over 350000 workers are covered by collective agreements where the minimum wage is below EUR 1500, two thirds of these workers are women. The agreements include some in the private care and health service sectors. Once the EUR 1500 is reached then the next step will the the EUR 1700 target set by the OEGB trade union confederation.
Dec. 20, 2016 (December 2016) The minimum wage for childcare assistants in private sector institutions will increase by 2.3% from 1 January 2017, reports the vida services union. This will take the minimum monthly wage to EUR 1469, a further step towards the union target of EUR 1500. The rate was negotiated with the federal administration and will apply to around 5300 workers across the country.
Dec. 20, 2016 (December 2016) After the third round of negotations, public sector unions have agreed a 1.3% pay increase for 2017, implemented from 1 January. With inflation at 0.75% this means an real increase of 0.55%. The main public sector unions, GÖD and younion, are please with the outcome which they say provides a share of economic growth, estimated at 1.7%, for workers.
Nov. 23, 2016 (November 2016) The GPA-djp and vida services unions have indicated the main collective bargaining aims as negotiations get underway in the private health and social care sector which covers over 100000 workers. The unions want a real increase in pay for all workers and particular for a range of care professions where additional competences have been outlined in revised legislation. The unions also want shorter hours for many workers to establish the 35-hour week in the sector while at the same time allowing the many, mainly women workers, on part-time contracts to increase their hours if they want to.
Oct. 27, 2016 (October 2016) Services union vida is calling for urgent action to tackle serious understaffing in health and social care. The union says that lack of finance often means that while demand has increased significantly while employment has remained the same or even fallen. Employees are overworked and around 30% of workers in the sector are at risk of burnout.Vida wants to see statutory minimum staffing levels for health and social care taking out also of qualifications.
Oct. 07, 2016 (October 2016) Unions organising in the private social care sector (vida and GPA-djp) delivered a 6.4 km scarf to the finance ministry to make their point about the need for more social warmth. The scarf was knitted by unions members and some of the peopel they care for and the messages from the unions was that the sector needs increased funding and action to tackle below average earnings, inadequate staffing, irregular working hours and excessive physical and mental burdens.