Environment/Climate Change, Pay settlements
Responding to the challenge of climate change
Climate change, the largest single threat to current and future generations, is posing fundamental challenges for public services and public service workers. In recent years, we have seen extreme weather events, flooding and forest fires for example, leading to loss of life and widespread damage and destruction of buildings and infrastructure. Our members across many services have been part of the immediate and longer term response – in emergency and rescue services, energy and water, local and regional government. EPSU has been working hard to influence policies at global and European level aimed at decarbonising our economies and calling for a shift away from growth at all costs. It is essential that we achieve a more sustainable society is achieved through a just transition whereby no one is left behind.
This briefing, produced for EPSU's 2019 Congress, sets out the federation's recent activity on climate change and current priorities. EPSU has published research focusing on some of the key issues and policy developments including its position on the EU's Green Deal, the failure of energy liberalisation to address climate change and an analysis of action on climate change adaptation.
The five national trade union confederations sent a solidarity message to the MESZK chamber of healthcare professionals in support of its protest march in Budapest on 31 July. The demonstrators called for pay increases for nurses in line with those already awarded to doctors and argued this was crucial to help stem the migration of nurses to western Europe. Earlier this year the five confederations also came together to file a complaint with the International Labour Organisation over the government’s imposition of new legislation which removes the rights to negotiate and take strike action
With forest fires and flooding posing increasing demands on the fire service, the Fp Cgil public service union has called for employee numbers to be increased to 40000. The union argues that the current complement of 35000 is inadequate with many firefighters working double shifts, longer hours and more overtime. Fp Cgil says that excessive workloads leave workers no time for training and is worried that in the next negotiations the fire service will actually push for longer hours rather than address the staffing shortage. The union says that recruitment is crucial to reduce the average age
The FNV and other trade unions have negotiated a collective agreement covering workers in provincial councils that will run to 31 December this year (backdated to 1 January). Salaries rise by EUR 50 from 1 January 2021 with a further increase of 1.2% from 1 July. There will also be a one-off payment of EUR 750 (pro-rata for part timers) on 1 September in appreciation of the flexibility shown during the corona crisis. The agreement also includes provision to ensure sustainability of employment covering parental leave, measures to support older workers and help for employees facing major life
Around 30000 mainly energy workers covered by the AVEU collective agreement will get a 3.8% pay rise over the next two years. Pay will rise by 2.3% from 1 June 2021 and by 1.5% from 1 November 2022 (trainees get two increases of EU 50). The agreement runs for 27 months until 31 August 2023. There will also be a corona payment of EUR 600 paid by January 2022 at the latest with a pro-rata amount for part-time employees and EUR 300 for apprentices. All union members are to get two days off to attend specialist events and training courses. The AVEU agreement covers around 130 companies in Eastern
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.
The SKVNS trade union has signed a new collective agreement in the municipal sector that will deliver a 5% pay increase, reimbursement of travel-to-work costs on public transport, 100% allowance for work on holidays and extra time off for parents. Meanwhile the SPGS firefighters’ union is planning a 48-hour strike on 30 June in protest at the government’s failure to engage in any proper social dialogue over a period of more than 14 months. The union wants to negotiate a collective agreement but also wants a guarantee that the government will also implement existing commitments.
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
In February 2021, the European Commission launched a new strategy on adaptation to climate change as part of the European Green Deal. The objective is to make the European Union a climate-resilient society, fully adapted to climate change by 2050.
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