The Publisind trade union federation organised a protest rally on 17 August outside the Ministry of Labour to highlight a range of issues relating to the pay and pensions of its members in prisons and police services. The union is angry that a key law on salaries has not been fully implemented and is calling for a 15% pay rise for prison and police staff. The union points out that its members were essential to the efforts to tackle the COVID pandemic with many staff working very long hours to try to maintain services in the face of staff shortages of around 25%.
Government proposals to reform the pension system have yet to convince the three main trade union confederations – the ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB. While they welcome achieving the aim of a minimum pension of €1500 (monthly amount will reach €1630 by 1 January 2024), they are concerned about the tougher rules applying to the 20 years of work required to achieve the minimum and the fact that periods of unemployment will not be taken into account. With the plan to increase the retirement age to 67 by 2030, the unions are also disappointed that there are no proposals on early retirement or
Trade unions Fagforbundet, NTL and Creo working with the LO confederation are in negotiations over a pension scheme for the culture sector. This follows last year’s strike where the unions achieved a commitment from the employers for a hybrid scheme that ensured payments for life and equal treatment of men and women. The main sticking point is that the Spekter employers’ organisation is talking about a defined contribution scheme but the unions argue that this will make it impossible to determine what individuals will actually get at retirement. The negotiations will form part of the spring
The Kommunal municipal workers’ union reports that local government workers will get significant new benefits from agreements signed with the SKR and Sobona employer organisations. There will be access to more skills support and student grants to improve professional development, a substantial increase in the occupational pension and greater security for fixed-term employees who will be entitled to transfer to a permanent contract after one year rather than 18 months. A new pension agreement will apply from 1 January 2023 and Kommunal estimates that an increase in the provision of 1.5% will
The JHL public services union has successfully defended the pay and conditions of workers employed by the Arkea municipal company that provides catering and other services to the Turku local authority. The company had sought to change collective agreements that would have meant significant changes to pay rates with some workers potentially losing out by as much as 30% of their earnings. The strike action led to negotiations with the company which will now stick with the current agreement which is due to be re-negotiated next spring.
The JHL public services has organised strike action at the Arkea Oy municipal company, owned by the City of Turku. The union is challenging the company’s plans to switch employers' organisation and transfer around 1000 employees to a different collective agreement with poorer pay and conditions. Lower-paid workers could see their pay cut by 15%-30%. The city's group management has given the plan its blessing and discussions between the trade union JHL and Arkea have not yielded any results. The action began on 17 November with measures taken to ensure no risks to safety. The strike will affect
On 3 September, employees in the opera, theatre and orchestras sector went on strike to demand a pension scheme that works equally for women and men and lasts a lifetime. On September 8, the strike escalated further and then more workers joined the strike after an unsuccessful mediation on 30 September. Another escalation occurred on 18 October before the dispute was finally resolved on 25 October. A new hybrid pension scheme will now be introduced ensuring equal treatment of men and women. In the employers’ original offer women would have lost out by as much as NOK 1000 (€100) a month and NOK
The Fórsa public services trade union has rejected what it described as a ‘derisory’ offer from the Department of Education in a long-running dispute over the pay and conditions of school secretaries. The union has been campaigning for years to end the unequal treatment of school secretaries employed by the Department of Education and those employed by schools. The latter are on much lower pay rates and have inferior rights to sickness and annual leave. Fórsa has not ruled out the possibility of industrial action. Meanwhile, social care workers in intellectual disability services have voted
The GMB energy and general union declared an end to the long and bitter dispute with British Gas over its aggressive policy of firing and rehiring workers. GMB members voted three to one to accept a new deal. Around 7,000 British Gas engineers staged 44 days of strike action after the company threatened to sack them if they didn’t sign up to detrimental changes to their terms and conditions. The new deal offers improvements to overtime rates and unsocial hours payments, places limits on the amount of unsocial working undertaken, reverses the decision to close the defined benefit pension scheme
Trade unions in the electricity and waste sectors reported very high levels of support for their industrial action and protests on 30 June. The unions want article 177 of the procurement code to be deleted as they argue that it requires widespread outsourcing across their sectors, posing a major threat to jobs and working conditions. They say that if the article is not deleted there will be increasing fragmentation of these industries and it will undermine initiatives towards a circular economy and low carbon energy sector. Meanwhile, the three main confederations have also been mobilising to
Poor treatment of employees, outdated equipment and low quality of services – outsourcing and privatisation of municipal services has similar negative effects whether it takes place in Poland or Norway.
Public sector unions have negotiated a wage settlement with the Virke employers’ organisation that includes private and non-profit companies delivering public services. The deal is in line with the settlement in the government sector, with a 2.7% pay increase but with a flat rate payment of NOK 1,500 (EUR 145) at all salary levels, backdated to 1 May. In addition, there is NOK 4,000 (EUR 390) for the lower paid and an equal pay supplement starting at NOK 3,800 (EUR 370) and falling by NOK 200 (EUR 20) for each move up the salary scale. A further 1.8% is set aside for local negotiations, with
After a final, lengthy round of bargaining, the cross-sector negotiations covering the private sector ended in the early hours of 8 June. The three trade union confederations are in the process of consulting with their members on the outcome. The main development is the proposed increase in the minimum wage – the first since 2008 – which will see an increase in the monthly amount from EUR 1625.72 to EUR 1702 in April 2022. There will be further increases in 2024 and 2026 which along with changes to taxation will mean net increases of EUR 100 and EUR 150. The deal also includes some