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. 15, 2019
The right to strike varies considerably across Europe, often with specific rules and restrictions imposed on public service workers. The European Trade Union Institute has produced 35 country factsheets that explain the latest legal situation. EPSU has also begun to add countries outside the European Union and candidate countries and a total of 41 countries are now covered. A further nine factsheets are planned.
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).
Nov. 30, 2018 EPSU affiliates have had a busy year fighting for pay rises and improvements in employment and working and conditions for their members across Europe. A round-up of key developments highlights some of the major conflicts and calls for solidarity, including the public sector pay dispute in Denmark in the spring, the equal pay strike in Glasgow in November and the support built across the Orpea social care multinational for striking workers in Germany. EPSU's collective bargaining newsletter has covered all these and more in its 300+ articles reporting on health, social services, local, regional and national government, energy, waste and water in over 30 countries.
Nov. 23, 2018 EPSU has joined with the PSI, ETUC, ITUC and other labour movement organisations in calling for an International Labour Organisation Convention against gender-based violence at the workplace. The call comes on the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which takes place on 25 November every year. A draft text is under discussion and could be agreed at the ILO conference next year although the ETUC has concerns that some European governments are trying to get the text watered down.
Oct. 26, 2018 The ETUC has produced a new leaflet on the rights of the 22 million workers in the EU (10% of the total) who are self-employed and have no employees. The ETUC points out that they often have fewer rights than employees. For instance, in some countries they have no right to join a trade union and to benefit from union protection and support. This brochure looks at why self-employed workers need better rights, what unions are doing about this and what the priorities are for the future?