Public sector unions are angry that the government has issued an emergency ordinance to block a pay increase and bonus payments that are due for implementation this year. The pay rise was part of a four-stage increase that was set out in legislation passed in 2017. Unions are particularly concerned about the impact on lower paid workers as some higher paid staff are already benefiting from pay rises. Protests have been organised across the country, including pickets of key ministries. EPSU sent a letter of protest to the president and prime minister and other key people.
On 19 January trade unions in the energy sector took further action in their campaign against the “Hercule” restructuring project in EDF, the main energy provider in France. EPSU and industriAll Europe sent a joint letter expressing their support for the unions, arguing that the plans pose a major threat to the company, its workers and the provision of energy as a public service. Meanwhile, unions representing health and social care also continued their protests on 12 and 21 January. A key issue is ensuring that pay increases awarded last year cover all health and social care workers
Around 55000 will benefit from pay increases in a new 29-month collective agreement negotiated between the Kommunal public services union and the Almega employer’s organisation. Kommunal had threatened to take industrial action when the employers said that they would meet the union’s demand for higher pay for vocationally trained employees but not for other lower paid workers. Following mediation, the union’s demands have been met and the agreement keeps private care workers in line with public sector deals. The union also pushed back the employers’ attempt to increase part-time employment.
The Fagforbundet and FO trade unions have called workers out on strike in the private care sector. The dispute covers a range of services such as substance abuse, psychiatry, child welfare, nursing and care, and includes for-profit and non-profit organizations. The NHO employers’ organisation is refusing to offer pay increases that would ensure that workers are on pay levels comparable to the same occupations in other agreements. The unions are concerned that the NHO agreement is falling behind and say that some employers have switched to the agreement specifically to take advantage of the
The 125000 workers in private health and social care get a 2.08% pay increase this month as negotiated in the three-year agreement that was negotiated last year (EPSU Collective Bargaining News 2020 no.8). The agreement allowed for an increase of inflation plus 0.6% in January 2021 and so ensures that workers in the sector get a reasonable pay rise at a difficult time. The agreement also brought the pay rise forward to January from the normal February. It also provides for implementation of a 37-hour week from next year.
The Fp-Cgil, Cisl-FP and Uil-Fpl public service federations are ready to mobilise their members unless the management at the Misercordie non-profit health and social service provider responds to their main demands. The unions want a resumption of negotiations on the collective agreement which hasn’t been renewed since 2012. They argue that workers deserve a new agreement in the light of all the sacrifices made to cope with the pandemic. The unions are also calling for clarification of the state of the organisation in the light of the resignation of top management and press reports of budgetary
Health and social care unions in the Basque region have been involved in a series of protests and strikes. Mobilisations in public health during December and January will culminate in a day of strike action on 28 January. The unions are angry about the failure of the public health system to honour basic rights to information and collective bargaining. They are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on the system and the way that management have responded by taking unilateral decisions on working conditions, health and safety and precarious employment. Two days earlier, on 26 January unions
Negotiations between the Kommunal public services union and the section of the Almega employers’ organisation representing private care companies have stalled. The union has announced that industrial action will begin on 15 January unless Almega comes up with an improved offer. Approximately 55,000 workers are covered by the agreement which includes eldercare provision and jobs such as assistant nurses, care assistants and catering staff. Initially the industrial action will take the form of an overtime ban. Kommunal wants to ensure that pay and conditions for private care staff are in line
Health and social care trade unions are taking action in January, following mobilisations at the end of 2020, calling on the government to ensure that its “Ségur de Santé” package of measures applies to all occupations in health and social care and across both public and private sectors. The package included two specific pay increases to be implemented in September last year and this coming March. Unions want to ensure that all workers benefit but they also want to see action in other areas such as recruitment and staffing levels.
Public service trade unions have negotiated a new two-year agreement which will now be considered by each union’s national executive and put out to ballot of all individual members. The national executive of the Fórsa trade union has already decided to recommend the agreement to its members. The two-year agreement will run from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022 and there will be a general pay increase of 1% or EUR 500, whichever is higher, in October of both years. In February 2022, an additional 1% will be available in sector bargaining funds. The agreement also provides for progress in
The FOA trade union, as part of a joint negotiating committee of public service unions, has submitted the main bargaining demands to employers in municipal and regional government with the focus on tackling low pay and pay inequality. The aim is for a flat rate pay increase that will be more beneficial to lower paid workers along with funding to reduce the pay inequalities suffered by occupations dominated by women. The unions also want to ensure a real pay increase that will protect purchasing power over the three years of the agreement that is set to run from 1 April 2021. Other demands
A new report by the Eurofound research organisation examines the long-term care sector and the challenges of low pay and difficult working conditions faced by workers, 80% of whom are women. The report indicates that there is good collective bargaining coverage in some countries, but this is often mainly in the public sector with low coverage in the private, for-profit sector and particularly low coverage of home care staff. Low pay, relative to other sectors, even impacts on the more skilled and senior staff and the widespread use of part-time work – double that of other sectors – also means