The vpod public services trade union has welcomed the award of a COVID-19 bonus at the Cantonal (regional) hospital in Zug. The allocation of CHFr 1.2 million (EUR 1.1m) will mean the 1000-strong staff will get about CHFr 1000 each (EUR 1080). The union argues that such payments should be applied more broadly across the sector and launched a campaign at the end of February targeting 300 health institutions in three other cantons – St Gallen, Thurgau and Appenzell. The vpod stresses the fact that this is a special payment and doesn’t deflect from the need for much better pay and conditions for
The OSYE prison services union took six days of strike action at the end of February and beginning of March over key demands on safety and staffing. The union is particularly concerned about staff on long working hours and the massive backlog of rest days and holidays that are owed to workers who have done extra shifts to compensate for understaffing. EPSU sent a message of solidarity.
A new study of the impact of the pandemic in social care in eight countries reveals the problems faced by social care workers and the extent to which trade union action has helped to address issues around personal protective equipment (PPE), sick pay, working time and understaffing. There has been a shortage of PPE in all countries, but it was only in Sweden that a trade union had to take legal action for its members' right to use personal protective equipment. Increased overtime was a challenge in all countries but with split shifts being a particular problem in Sweden. The pandemic exposed
The OSZSP health workers’ union and LOK doctors’ union have written a joint letter to the prime minister warning of the continuing crisis in healthcare, particularly in some regional hospitals. The unions say that services are at bursting point in some hospitals not just with the high-level of patients with COVID-19 but also with patients with longer-term symptoms. The unions have also called for additional funding to ensure that all health workers entitled to a COVID-19 bonus get their payments without delay and to avoid a repeat of the problems of payments during the first outbreak. They
Workers in the SEPE public employment services are set to take two days of strike action in March to demand urgent action to address understaffing and overwork. The workers are represented by the FAC-USO public service union which has written to the Minister of Labour warning of the exhaustion faced by staff who have faced the massive increase in work over the past year in dealing with additional benefit payments and processes related to ERTE company restructuring schemes. So far, the ministry has acknowledged the problem of staffing but has not proposed a concrete solution. The union
After the surge in remote working as a result of the pandemic, trade unions in Ireland, Russia and Spain have welcomed new initiatives, including legislation and collective agreements, that regulate telework. Research by the Eurofound research agency also looks into the negative and positive implications of telework for workers’ autonomy and work-life balance raising again the challenges to ensure that workers have control over their working time and underlining the importance of current discussions at European level on the right to disconnect.
The ambiguous effects of telework In 2017, a joint report from the Eurofound research agency and the International Labour Organization observed that advances in digital technology were making it easier to work anytime and anywhere. The phenomenon of telework and mobile work has been increasing
Around 35000 energy workers are getting a 2.3% pay increase backdated to 1 January. This is part of a 27-month agreement that runs until 31 March 2023 with a second pay rise of 1.5% in June 2022. Apprentices will get increases of EUR 50 in 2021 and EUR 45 next year. In March this year employees will get a EUR 1000 on-off payment (EUR 600 for apprentices) in recognition of their work during the pandemic. The agreement also commits employers to offer jobs to all apprentices who pass their training at least until 2024. The agreement covers various companies in the EON and TenneT groups and was
For the first time in 40 years trade unions and employers have negotiated a cross-sector collective agreement. The agreement includes rules for tests for COVID-19 and for mask-wearing at work. It says that employees who require a negative test for their work can have this arranged during working hours or the time taken for any test carried out before or after work will be counted as working time. The agreement also guarantees protection – no dismissal or detriment – where employees test positive for the virus. Employees who are obliged to wear masks at work are entitled to a 10-minute break