Collective bargaining – trends and developments
Collective bargaining is a core activity of trade unions and EPSU’s affiliates negotiate with public service employers at every level. This can range from national public-sector wide bargaining to sector and local negotiations with public sector employers but also private and non-profit providers of public services. EPSU works with the European Trade Union Confederation to try to improve collective bargaining rights for all workers across Europe. We also act as a European information point so that EPSU affiliates are aware of trends in public service negotiations. EPSU’s collective bargaining newsletter provides regular updates on developments across Europe and this briefing gives an overview of the state of play in the main agreements in each country.
Thirty-six representatives of EPSU affiliates from 17 countries took part in an online working group on 12 January to discuss the European Commission’s draft directive on adequate minimum wages. This was the third working group meeting following the launch of the Commission’s initiative in January 2020.
Last month, the leadership of the UPOZ trade union representing administration, judicial system and civil society organizations met with the minister for labour for the first time. Top of the agenda was the branch collective agreement with the union expressing concerns about its application and in particular a clause about the payment of a holiday allowance. However, the union also raised other issues in relation to the agreement and social dialogue, including its right to be consulted over the state budget. EPSU has written to the prime minister expressing support for UPOZ and calling on him
The Eurofound research agency has published a review on industrial relations developments across Europe in the period 2015-2019. It notes concerns in some sectors that social partner requests for implementation of their agreements through European legislation have been rejected, and that better links between EU and national levels are needed. It also argues that investing in social dialogue in ‘good times’ helps to ensure that it can be depended on in times of crisis. A review of first policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic shows that social partner involvement was generally more robust in
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has highlighted the growth in in-work poverty across Europe in support of its call for a strong and effective directive on minimum wages and collective bargaining. Sixteen countries saw the rate increase between 2010 and 2018 with Hungary, the UK, Estonia and Italy seeing the largest rises. The figures come from the latest annual ETUI/ETUC Benchmarking Working Europe 2020 report which also shows that just four member states have statutory minimum wages above the at-risk-of-poverty wage threshold. ETUC demands for the directive include a minimum
More than 12,000 members of the DSR nursing union took part in a consultation over what should be the main demands in the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations in the public sector. The DSR has selected the main elements focusing on higher pay and better protection of leisure time. The union will aim for as large a percentage wage increase as possible that would recognise the large increase in workload and demands for flexibility during the pandemic and the need to recruit and retain health staff. The DSR recognises, however, the pressure on public finances and the impact of the formula
After intensive negotiations over the weekend, public services union ver.di has negotiated a new collective agreement covering 2.3 million workers in municipal and federal government with specific measures benefiting employees in health and social care.
Press Release ( EN/FR ) - The management of the ORPEA group, Europe’s largest multinational company providing elderly and other forms of care, continues to ignore public health measures put in place by the Fench government to protect citizens’ lives.
With the European Commission expected to publish its draft directive on fair minimum wages on 28 October, the ETUC has put together a range of documents and press releases that cover a wide range of arguments in favour of legislation on minimum wages and collective bargaining. The ETUC argues that initiatives to boost pay and strengthen collective bargaining are essential as part of the response to the pandemic and that it is crucial not to repeat the mistakes following the last crisis when collective bargaining was undermined in some countries as part of austerity measures.
The public service federations Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp and Uil Pa are set to mobilise their members in central government in response to a government decree issued on 19 October which undermines the role of the trade unions in collective bargaining and in dealing with issues such as on smart working and innovation in public services. The unions argue that the decree fails to address the impact of years of underinvestment in central government in relation to technological and organisational innovation as well as training. It will mean a increased management discretion and a reduced role for trade