The European Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the decision by member states to support the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive that it says will help ensure that millions of workers across Europe get fairer wages and improved rights to collective bargaining. The directive is now set for a final sign-off by MEPs and ministers in September. The proposal includes a framework for setting adequate statutory minimum wages and a duty on member states to promote collective bargaining and combat union busting and to produce an action plan to support collective bargaining in states where coverage is
EPSU Collective Bargaining News
The SSM trade union federation organised strike action across the public sector on 22 June. With inflation hitting double-figures, the federation is demanding a 2806 denari net (€45.5) increase for public sector workers in line with the increase in the national minimum wage. The union has been negotiating with the government with a view to achieving a pay increase this year had understood that the government would sign a collective agreement including a pay rise and discussions on future increases. However, it then became apparent that the resources to fund the pay rise had not been included
The three public service federations, Fp-Cgil, Cisl-Fp and Uil-Fpl, have finalised a new three-year agreement covering nearly 550,000 workers in public health care for the period 2019-21. They are generally pleased with the result which delivers higher pay and other improvements, including a new job classification system, setting out the responsibilities and competences of occupations across the sector. Pay rises vary depending on the nature of the occupation but on average, nursing staff will see salaries rise by around €167 a month, with technical staff getting on average an increase of €137
Over 1500 employees of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) took part in a one-hour warning strike on 13 June organised by trade unions in the CITUB and Podkrepa confederations. The unions are calling for an increase on the basic salaries of all NHIF employees and the creation of at least 200 new full-time positions to ensure that the service can copes with new demand on the NHIF. The unions estimate that an extra BGN 10 million (€5.1m) is needed to cover these costs and wants to ensure that this is include in the NHIF budget for 2022. NHIF workers are highly qualified specialists
Trade unions in the health sector have negotiated a new agreement with the Spekter employers’ organisation. Fagforbundet reports that it was an acceptable result, in line with other settlements in the public sector. It was disappointed that it couldn’t make more progress on gender equality but pleased about further progress on ensuring more full-time contracts across the sector and in increases to payments for late shifts and weekend work. The new minimum annual salary in the main pay structure is NOK 350000 (€33320), an increase of NOK 12000 (€1140). Other unions were involved in the
Over 80,000 people joined the national demonstration in Brussels on 20 June organised by the three main trade union confederations FGTB/ABVV, CSC/ACV, CGLSB/ACLVB. The unions want to see a change to the legal framework that imposes limits on the cross-sector pay negotiations and leaves trade unions with little room to bargain on top of the indexation system. EPSU’s Belgian affiliates all joined the march, along with EPSU staff.
Staff in European institutions, bodies and agencies will get a net 2.4 % increase in salaries, pensions, and social allowances backdated to 1 January 2022. This is the result of a formula that has been applied since the early 1980s, when EPSU affiliate, Union Syndicale Fédérale carried out successful industrial action, also defending the gains later through further industrial action. The salaries (and later also pensions) of staff have kept pace with the development in the purchasing power of civil servants working in the national governments of the Member States. This increase reflects the
On 15 June the Labour Court in Bonn rejected an application by the local University Hospital to ban strikes being organised by the ver.di trade union. The strike action is part of what has so far been an eight-week campaign in six university hospitals in the North Rhine Westphalia region to secure a new collective agreement that addresses overwork and understaffing. The union wants a deal that covers all professional groups in the hospitals and has rejected an offer by the employers that would only cover nurses involved in direct patient care. Ver.di wants to see shift-specific minimum numbers
The FNV and other trade unions have negotiated a new two-year collective agreement covering workers in central government that will run from 1 July. The first pay increase of 2.5% plus an amount of €75 will be paid out in September 2022 but backdated to 1 July. From that date there will also be a minimum hourly wage of €14. There will be a further structural salary increase of 3% on 1 April 2023 and another 1.5% will follow on 1 January 2024. In December 2022 and in April 2023, there will be lump sum payments of €450 (gross), adjusted according to number of weekly working hours. There is a
The UNISON trade union is planning strike action at the St.Monica Trust care company in Bristol in south west England over threats to sack staff unless they accept a pay cut. The union says that more than 100 staff were told in March that they must accept inferior new contracts – costing them thousands of pounds a year and watering down their sick pay – or be fired. The first strike will take place on 29 June, with further action planned for 2, 5, 10 and 11 July. The company is threatening to cut weekend pay rates for senior care workers by 21%, while other staff are being asked to take a 10%
Fórsa and other public service unions have invoked a review clause in the current public service agreement in response to the surge in inflation. However, pay talks convened by the Workplace Relations Commission ended without agreement as the government proposals fell far short of 2021 inflation and projected 2022 cost-of-living increases. There are no immediate plans to reconvene the talks. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform had offered supplementary pay rises of just 2.5% for the period 2021-2022, despite expected annual inflation of at least 9% over the two-year period. Another
The public service federations in CCOO and UGT have renewed their call for the government to enter into negotiations over pay and conditions for all public service workers. They argue that the unilateral pay increase of 2% for 2022 needs to be reviewed and a multi-annual agreement negotiated covering pay and other conditions, including the various rights and benefits cut during the period of austerity. Meanwhile, FSS-CCOO and FeSP-UGT have welcomed the court ruling that will require companies in residential care to pay the 6.5% pay increase as established in the sector collective agreement.
The trilogue negotiations between the European Commission, Council and Parliament have produced a provisional agreement on the Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages. It is now up to the Council and Parliament to vote on the proposal with the prospect that the Directive might be law by the autumn. The ETUC believes that the directive’s provisions on both statutory minimum wages and collective bargaining could be game changing, delivering not just vital increases for millions of workers who are facing surging prices but new rights and possibilities for trade unions to strengthen and extend
The FNV trade union has negotiated a new collective agreement with the national grid operator TenneT that provides for a 4.3% pay increase over 16 months, backdated to 1 May. The union reports that the negotiations went smoothly, with the employer recognising the need to respond to rising inflation to remain an attractive employer. There is a structural wage increase of 3.1% and a one-off payment of 1.2%. From 2023, TenneT's employees will get 5 May off each year as opposed to enjoying the official holiday only once every five years. The agreement runs from 1 May 2022 to 1 September 2023. In
Services union ver.di has strongly restated its demand for needs-based and binding staffing levels across all hospitals, following the publication of new research revealing a shortfall of up to 50,000 full-time employees in intensive care units. The union argues that this is a huge gap that endangers intensive care as well as the health of professional nurses. The study published by the Hans Böckler Foundation, calculates that in order to comply with the Nursing Staff Lower Limits Ordinance alone, the number of full-time positions would have to rise from 28,000 (as of 2020) to 50,800. If the