As the trend towards public sector pay cuts began to take hold across Europe, EPSU decided it was important to monitor the impact of those cuts and the way they were being implemented. Two major reports produced by the Labour Research Department set out not just the facts and figures in 10 countries where cuts were imposed but also provide case studies to show what those cuts have meant for individual public sector workers.
Collective Bargaining, Low pay/minimum wages, Public Services, Embassy and household staff, Economic Policy
(June 2017) Embassy, tourist office and other international staff around the world are taking strike action to secure pay rises and end a long-term pay freeze that has seen wages in some countries fall to below national minima. Unions are looking for a 20% pay increase, arguing that in some countries inflation has meant a 40% loss of purchasing power for some workers. Action has taken place or is planned in several countries including Canada, Sweden, the United States and Argentina.
EPSU has joined with its Hungarian affiliates in calling for a long overdue pay rise across the public sector. While different groups of workers have seen some increases in pay in recent years, there has been no across-the-board pay rise for all workers for nine years.
The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have called a strike on 16 October involving workers in the government's overseas services. The strike is in protest at the freezing of salaries for the 7000 workers in the service and increasingly precarious employment conditions. The unions say that the strike is necessary as there has been no response to their demands since a meeting a meeting in June and despite a number of other protests and actions so far in 2017.
The European Institutions signed the EU Pillar of Social Rights at the EU Social Summit on 17 November 2017 in Gothenburg. The Pillar, which sets out the commitment of Member States and the European Union to develop a Social Europe.
Tackling gender segregation, low pay and (un)equal opportunities through collective bargaining and inclusive public services
Low pay in female dominated sectors, gender-differences in precarious employment, uneven distribution of unpaid care work, persistent pay gap – what connects these issues is that they are all linked to and/or are reinforced by gender segregation on the labour market.
Equality between men and women, precarious work for young people, transitions in the labour market triggered by climate change and digitalisation: these were among the main themes debated during a ETUC Summer School on 4-5 July in Montepulciano, Italy.