Public sector unions have welcomed the outcome of negotiations with the employers and government which have delivered a package of pay-related measures backed with DKK 6.8 billion (€910 million) of funding. A number of different groups of workers across the public sector will benefit, particularly those affected by major staff shortages. Around DKK 1.3 billion (€170 million) will go into health and elder care, for example. The package will have a wider impact than anticipated as, in addition to the higher pay for occupations like nurses, care workers, social educators and prison staff, a much
EPSU Collective Bargaining News
Public sector unions, including those in the PSSJS confederation, were set to organise a national rally in Ljubljana on 7 December to push for government action on a range of key pay and conditions issues. The unions want the government to commit to implementation of wage indexation in 2024 and completion of the reform of the public sector wage system by 30 June 2026. They are also calling for the elimination of wage discrepancies across different parts of the public sector which should ensure that large parts of the public sector get the level of wage increases already agreed for some groups
The CMKOS trade union confederation coordinated a day of protests and warning strikes on 27 November in a campaign against government policies. The unions are concerned that the government wants to impose a new round of austerity, including pay freezes for public service workers. The key CMKOS demands also cover pensions and retirement age, protection for real wages and the funding and provision of quality public services. Health and care union OSZSP mobilised around the country and the OSSOO state workers’ union was one of five CMKOS affiliates that organised hour-long warning strikes.
Following a third round of bargaining the younion and GÖD trade unions are pleased to have negotiated pay rises of between 9.71% and 9.15% for public sector workers with a minimum increase of €192. Pay additions and allowances will also rise by 9.15%. This is the highest increase for many years and the unions believe that along with the compensation for the recent surge in inflation, there is also recognition by employers that action is needed to tackle the staff shortages affecting most public services. There is also an acknowledgement of the extra efforts made by workers as they shoulder the
Public service union ver.di is mobilising to put pressure on the regional government employers in the lead up to the next round of collective bargaining on 7-8 December. Workers at university and psychiatric hospitals, educational and social institutions, universities, road and water management, theatres, courts and other services are involved in one-day warning strikes. The employers have yet to come up with a pay offer in response to the trade union demands for a 10.5% pay increase with minimum of €500. The negotiations cover 1.1 million public employees and ver.di will be pushing for the
The FNV trade union has negotiated a new agreement covering workers in the water sector which is now out for approval by members. It provides a 4.25% increase as of 1 January 2024, along with €50 on the full-time salary. There will be a further pay increase of 2.5% in January 2025. This marks an improvement on the employers’ previous offer and follows some extra pressure from the presentation of a workers’ petition. The new salary structure now has a minimum wage of €16 an hour – a key union target. The collective agreement runs until 1 July 2025.
The Fagforbundet trade union has secured another legal victory against a care company cutting employment costs by misclassifying workers as self-employed. Three of the union's members in the private care company Recoveryakademiet have been awarded NOK 7 million (€600,000) in back pay (salary, overtime and holiday pay). The three, classified as “consultants” by the company, worked for several weeks without a legal working hours scheme being established, and were therefore paid much less than they were entitled to. They were also denied their right to holiday pay and sick pay. This follows a
The UNISON trade union has secured upgrading and back pay for 60 healthcare assistants employed in accident and emergency services at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust in North East England. This is part of the union’s national campaign to secure the appropriate grading for workers on band two of the national pay scale, but who have been undertaking clinical duties falling under band three. In this case the workers are set to receive around £3,000 (€3.500 in back pay). Managers at the Trust have also agreed to enter negotiations with UNISON in the new year aimed at re
A new report from the Eurofound research agency, Measuring key dimensions of industrial relations and industrial democracy, provides concrete evidence for policymakers to promote the strengthening of industrial relations. It found that six Member States (Austria, Germany, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden) show how mature systems of industrial relations can combine efficiency, equity and voice. Top of the overall Industrial Relations Index, these countries are among the highest seven performers on the Industrial Democracy Index and Industrial Competitiveness Index, as well as coming
In the week that the private sector employers at European level blocked an agreement and potential directive on telework and the right to disconnect, the Eurofound research agency published a report showing why action is urgently needed on this issue. Its new survey found that workers who telework are more likely to work longer than is contractually required and close to one fifth of respondents reported working additional hours because they are contacted outside of working hours. Eight out of 10 workers surveyed in companies with and without a right to disconnect policy reported that they
Following the strike action on 17 November, the Fp-Cgil, Uil-Pa and Uil-Fpl trade union federations were set to organise a national protest outside the Ministry of Economy and Finance on 7 December. The unions are calling on the government to change the budget law for 2024 to ensure funding for renewing collective agreements and providing protection for workers’ purchasing power. They also highlight the failure of the government to tackle staff shortages or make any preparation for the fact that around 700,000 workers are due to retire by the year 2030. Meanwhile, both Fp-Cgil and Uil-Fpl
The three trade union confederations – SAK, Akava and STTK – have issued a joint statement condemning the proposed reform of the law on collective action. They argue that the changes are designed to upset the balance of the labour market, increase unilateral action by employers and will not improve industrial peace. The confederations say that they will not accept the reforms and that there is no need for a further tightening of rules as existing regulations already impose a range of restrictions. The government wants to limit the rights to political strikes and solidarity action and proposes
A national demonstration of health workers foreseen to take place in Belgrade on 23 November was cancelled as the GSZSZ Nezavisnost trade union reached agreement with the government on a number of key demands on pay. The aim is to get the ministry of health to sign a new regulation on salary coefficients that would define the common basic salary for all workers in the healthcare sector. The union argues that this would be a significant improvement on the current situation where the five basic salaries for different professions in the healthcare are not viable. The union is also calling for
On 2 November, around 4,000 health workers in the southern canton of Herzegovina-Neretva began strike action in support of a demand for a 30% salary increase over the next two years. During the strike action only urgent cases are being admitted to the facilities affected. The workers’ union blames the government for the poor state of the health sector and low salaries and is committed to striking until a comprehensive collective agreement is signed. The cantonal government appointed a negotiation team to address the workers' demands. Despite a tentative agreement to a 30% salary increase
Public service union ver.di has welcomed the fact that the federal government has finally confirmed that the April 2023 collective agreement for employees in federal and local government should now be applied retroactively to federal civil servants, judges, soldiers and pension recipients. The union has been frustrated about such a long delay at a time of high costs for food, energy and housing. It wants to ensure that at the end of the current negotiations covering employees in regional government, its provisions are applied immediately to the 1.4 million civil servants and 1 million pension