Mar. 28, 2019 The 2019 edition of Benchmarking Europe, published by the European Trade Union Institute, reveals the continuing impact of austerity with data showing that workers in eight countries are, on average, worse off in real terms than they were 10 years ago. The eight countries are Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Hungary and the UK. In a further two countries - Finland and Belgium - average wages are at the same level as 10 years ago, taking account of inflation.
Mar. 15, 2019 The European Trade Union Institute suggests that prospects for a European minimum wage could move up the political agenda when Germany takes over the EU Presidency next year. The German government has indicated its support for a debate on the issue which is supported by the DGB, the national confederation. A new report by the trade union-backed WSI research institute confirms that there have been significant increases in several minimum wage rates across Europe but that the majority of countries still have rates that are well below the 60% median wage target,
Mar. 01, 2019 The European Trade Union Institute has published updates on several countries in its Reforms Watch database. Latest news covers Greece (minimum wage), Slovenia (public sector pay), Portugal (strike activity) and Ireland (legislation to ban zero-hour contracts). There are also updates on Luxembourg, Malta, Belgium, Cyprus and Hungary.
Feb. 28, 2019 The Eurofound research agency has published a short analysis of recent minimum wage increases ahead of its more detailed annual report. The largest increases were recorded in Spain (+22% to €1,050), Greece (+11% to €758, 14 payments of EUR 650) and Bulgaria (+10% to €261). However, in Greece, it represents only the first increase since 2012 when the rate was slashed as part of austerity measures. Lithuanian workers saw a rise of 7.5% but with changes to taxation the take home pay of those on the minimum wage has risen by 39% (to €555).
Feb. 15, 2019 The January issue of the European Trade Union Institute's Collective Bargaining newsletter includes over 70 articles covering more than 30 countries. This edition has several reports on developments in the public services, including action in prison services in Bulgaria, pay in the public sector in Slovenia and several stories on health and social care workers in Ireland, Italy, Malta and Poland.
Feb. 15, 2019The ETUC is calling on the European institutions to swiftly adopt the agreement on setting up a European Labour Authority (ELA). The ETUC believes the ELA will strengthen workers’ rights by helping national authorities apply and enforce European labour law and to fight abuses in labour mobility, social security and the posting of workers. The Authority will also have a role in providing information to workers and employers on their rights and obligations, coordinate and support inspections and facilitate cooperation between Member States in applying and enforcing EU law.
Feb. 15, 2019 With hundreds of thousands of public service workers taking strike action across Europe in recent weeks - in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, the UK, Austria and Germany - it is timely that EPSU is publishing factsheets on the right to strike in 35 countries. The factsheets have been produced for EPSU by the European Trade Union Institute. Some groups of public service workers often face bans or restrictions on their right to strike and these factsheets set out the main rules. They also cover international case law and list international standards, such as International Labour Organisation conventions, and whether each country has signed up to them.
Feb. 14, 2019 The ETUC has welcomed elements of the latest version of the draft Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions but is disappointed that some hoped-for rights, such as a ban on zero-hours contracts, have not materialised. It notes the new rights in relation to training, probation, payment for cancelled shifts and working for more than one employer. The ETUC was also calling for the right for precarious workers to transfer to more secure forms of employment and is disappointed that workers on fewer than 12 hours a month will be excluded. EPSU reacted similarly but also underlined its concern that the Directive includes a loophole that would allow a broad range of public service workers to be denied certain rights.
Jan. 17, 2019 The latest collective bargaining newsletter from the European Trade Union Institute includes articles on all European Union member states and candidate countries and more. Among the public sector news items are reports of legislation in Latvia providing for 20% pay increases for health workers and a court victory in the UK for the FBU firefighters' union over changes to pension ages.
Jan. 04, 2019 On 17 December the European trade unions and employers in central government administrations signed guidelines on tackling violence and harassment. This extends coverage to 8.9 million public employees and civil servants in addition to the millions of workers who are already covered by the guidelines adopted in 2010 in local and regional government, hospitals, education, commerce, and private security. While not legally binding, the guidelines provide basic yet fundamental guidance on how to put in place a policy and a procedure to prevent and deal with harassment and violent acts, in close consultation of workers and their trade union representatives.
Dec. 05, 2018 The ETUI research organisation has published a new report and issue of its health and safety magazine, HesaMag, that both cover the risks of workplace cancers. As many as 100000 deaths a year are linked to workplace carcinogens but it is not just hazardous substances that are of concern. The ETUI publications also cover other risks such as night work which has been linked to higher risk of breast cancer with some specific cases affecting hospital staff. HesaMag also looks at the problems of getting proper recognition of the risks faced by workers in sectors like cleaning, maintenance and waste-recycling.
Dec. 03, 2018 In a case involving a Russian railworker who was dismissed after a one-day strike over pay, the European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that the right to strike falls under the protection of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights as an important aspect of the right to freedom of association. The court based its arguments on conclusions of the International Labour Organisation's supervisory bodies, which take the right to strike as an indispensable corollary of the freedom of association.
Nov. 30, 2018 EPSU has published a report that compares pay developments in the public and private sectors in 44 countries over the period 2003 to 2017. One of the main findings of the report, written by the Labour Research Department, is the greater impact of austerity on public sector pay trends in the European Union compared to countries outside the EU. The survey found 10 states where there was similar pay growth in both the public and private sector before the crisis, but since then the public sector has fallen behind (eight EU states and two outside the EU) and there were four states where public sector earnings were already growing more slowly than private sector earnings and the financial crisis made this worse (all in the EU).