South East European Energy Community, Local government
The JHL public services has organised strike action at the Arkea Oy municipal company, owned by the City of Turku. The union is challenging the company’s plans to switch employers' organisation and transfer around 1000 employees to a different collective agreement with poorer pay and conditions. Lower-paid workers could see their pay cut by 15%-30%. The city's group management has given the plan its blessing and discussions between the trade union JHL and Arkea have not yielded any results. The action began on 17 November with measures taken to ensure no risks to safety. The strike will affect
Members of the FNV trade union are in the process of voting on whether to support the agreement covering the municipal sector that was negotiated last month. The agreement provides for a 1.5% pay increase from 1 December 2021 and a further increase of 2.4% from 1 April 2022. There will also be a €1200 lump sum paid, €900 of which is pensionable and €300 of which reflects a COVID bonus. Also the agreement commits municipalities to guarantee a €14 an hour minimum wage from 1 January 2022. There are several other elements to the agreement including a working-from-home allowance and measures
Following the large demonstration in October in support of a pay rise for public service workers, unions are angry and disappointed that the government has failed to respond. Marián Magdoška, president of the KOZ trade union confederation said that unions were presented with the budget for 2022 a day before a tripartite meeting and realised that, despite promises from last year, it didn’t include any provisions to cover even a pay rise to compensate for inflation. The health union is also angry that in negotiations at the end of October the government was effectively blackmailing unions by
As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission launched in February 2021 a new strategy on adaptation to climate change. The objective is to make the European Union a climate-resilient society, fully adapted to climate change by 2050.
The KOZ trade union confederation organised a national demonstration in Bratislava on 27 October in support of the 13% pay claim by public service trade unions. The government has not offered any pay rise at all for 2022 and the unions are looking to ensure that workers are compensated for inflation, as energy and other prices soar, and for recent years when pay in the public sector has lagged behind increases in the minimum wage. KOZ also used the demonstration to draw attention to the impact of prices rises across the economy and to call for increases in pensions and other social benefits.
The ver.di services union is organising action by regional government workers around the country in support of its negotiating position. The second round of bargaining covering 1.1 million workers ended on 2 November without a result and no pay offer from the TdL association of regional government employers. The union is looking for a 5% pay increase with a minimum increase of €150 but rising to €300 for health workers. Ver.di is astonished that the employers fail to recognise the efforts made by regional government workers, particularly health and care workers, during the pandemic.
Waste and cleansing workers in Sheffield in North East England and Glasgow in Scotland have been involved in industrial action over pay. The dispute in Sheffield is over a below-inflation pay offer from the contractor Veolia and the GMB trade union has called all-out action in response to the employer’s use of agency staff to try to undermine the action. The strike in Glasgow was also over pay and the attempt by the council to use the courts to block the action. It was supported by other workers and activists attending the COP26 climate conference. Industrial action by the UNISON public
The three main local government unions in Scotland – UNISON, Unite and GMB – have given notice of strike action on the five days 8-12 November. Initially members employed in school cleaning, school catering, school janitorial, waste, recycling and fleet maintenance services will be called out at the start of what could be an escalating period of action if the employers do not come up with a better pay offer. Highlighting the increased workloads and risks faced by many council workers during the pandemic, the unions argue that their members are at breaking point and are worth more than what is
The government’s initial offer of a pay increase of 0.9% for public service workers for 2022 is well below the demands of the main trade unions. Trade unions in the Frente Comum federation are calling for a minimum EUR 90 a month increase from 1 January 2022 with a minimum wage set at EUR 850. The SINTAP trade union has claimed an increase of 2.5%. The unions have a range of other demands relating to meal allowances, the pay structure and career development, arduous work, precarious employment, changes to the performance management system and working time.
A national one-day strike planned for 15 September by public services union Fórsa involving school secretaries and caretakers was deferred following significant concessions by the education department. The department finally conceded that all school secretaries should be placed on the public service clerical officer scale, bringing to an end a four-decade old two-tier pay system. The improvements, due to come into effect from 1 September 2021, will also see equalisation of annual leave arrangements on the basis of public service clerical officer provisions. The union said it expected the new
The FeSP-UGT federation and the public service federations in the CCOO confederation have called on the government to enter negotiations on pay and conditions. The last three-year agreement covering three million public sector workers ran from 2018-2020 and for 2021 the government unilaterally implemented a 0.9% pay increase. The unions are calling for a pay rise for 2022 and beyond along with action on jobs to ensure the quality of public services and also measures to reduce precarious employment, particularly in regard to the long-running challenge to reduce temporary employment. They also
The KESK public sector confederation has rejected the offer made by the government for public sector wide pay increases in 2022 and 2023. The Ministry of Labour offered increases of 5% and 6% in 2022 and two increases of 6% in 2023 with further adjustments for inflation. However, KESK has already highlighted the extent to which public sector pay has fallen behind inflation (currently over 17%) and it also questions whether the official inflation figure really reflects living costs for most workers. However, the confederation is also disappointed that the public sector pay talks fail to address