Strike, Local government
Members of the PCS central government union have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in over 120 areas of government activity. The average majority “yes” vote of over 86% is the highest in the union’s history. The union is calling for a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security and no cuts to redundancy terms. With no response from the government on these issues PCS has agreed an initial programme of targeted action in the ministries covering ports, borders and all areas of transport among others. Meanwhile, more health workers in range of areas including blood and transplant services
The younion and GÖD public sector unions have negotiated a 7.15% pay rise from 1 January next year with a 7.32% increase on allowances. However, the minimum guaranteed increase of €170 a month wiil mean that the lowest paid workers will see pay rise by 9.41%. Meanwhile, the vida and GPA private services unions have concluded a new collective agreement covering 130,000 employees in the private health, social and care sector. The two unions welcomed the 8% wage increase from 1 January 2023 along with the guaranteed minimum rise of €175 a month that means an increase of 10.2% for the lowest paid
After a month of strike action, the Fagforbundet, Delta and education trade unions have been able to secure an agreement with the PBL private childcare employers’ organisation on new pension arrangements. Workers will be able to build up a lifetime contractual pension from 1 January 2025 which will be comparable to that available to municipal employees. In addition, the percentage rate paid by employees for their own occupational pension will be reduced from 3% to 2.5% per cent in 2023, then down to 2% per cent when the new scheme is established. The employer's share is increased accordingly.
The ADEDY public service and GSEE private sector trade union confederations report strong support for their nationwide strike action and national protest on 9 November. ADEDY was calling for an increase in wages to compensate for inflation along with several other improvements to employment conditions, including re-establishing the 13th and 14th month salaries, an increase and extension of the allowance for dangerous and unhealthy work, negotiating collective agreements in the public sector, a boost for public health care funding, and massive recruitment of permanent staff to tackle staffing
A mid-term evaluation of a working time experiment in the Esbjerg municipality in South West Denmark reveals high levels of satisfaction among those compressing their hours into a four-day week according to union HK Kommunal. Some 90% of job centre employees who chose the 4-day week two years ago are very satisfied with the scheme. The experiment began in January 2021 and runs for another year with those switching to four days working 35 normal hours with two hours dedicated to improving competences. Workers remaining on the five-day week work 37 normal hours. A detailed evaluation was carried
The RCN nursing union has voted for industrial action for the first time in its history and strikes over pay across the health service could spread as other unions’ ballot results are announced in the coming weeks. UNISON is recommending strike action to its 350,000 members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the ballot due to end on 25 November. Members of the GMB union in Northern Ireland have already voted for strike action there. Meanwhile Unite plans to ballot its members in England and Wales and is already carrying out ballots of its members in the ambulance service, as is the
The three trade union confederations ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB organised a day of action and strikes over pay, prices and welfare benefits on 9 November. The confederations are calling on the government and employers to negotiate pay increases to help address the cost-of-living crisis and in particular to changes in the law to provide trade unions with more room to manoeuvre when negotiating on pay rises. The unions also want government support to help with energy bills and for increase social security payments. The confederations are determined to defend the system of pay indexation
The vpod/ssp public services trade union is mobilising its members around the country in support of action to secure higher pay. The union is organising a rally in Bern on 18 November where the regional government is proposing a pay rise of only 2% leaving workers with an effective pay cut. A day of strike action has already taken place in Geneva on 12 October and further action is planned for both 3 and 24 November. Vpod/ssp members in Fribourg are demanding a 4% pay rise in the face of the 2.3% on offer. The union is collecting signatures for a petition which will be handed in on 4 December
The public service unions Fagforbundet and Delta, along with the UF teachers’ union, are stepping up their industrial action to secure better pension rights for workers in private kindergartens. The action began on 17 October when mediation with the PBL employers’ organisation failed. More workers were due to join the action on 27 October which aims to ensure that workers covered by the PBL agreement have the same pension rights as childcare workers in municipalities. The action is getting widespread support, including a delegation from EPSU and its affiliates, and has helped boost union
The annual negotiations on public sector pay began on 20 October with the younion and GÖD public sector unions endorsing the key data that will form the basis of the negotiations. As with past negotiations the agreement is to apply the inflation rate for the year to September 2022 and this is 6.9%. The other key figure agreed is the 4.75% economic growth rate for 2022. The negotiations are normally concluded before the end of the year so that the pay increase can be applied from 1 January. The union side have not yet put forward a specific demand on the level of the pay increase. The next
The SINTAP public service union has signed an agreement with the government that will see pay increase by €52.11 a month in each of the years 2023 to 2026. The agreement also includes an increase in the food allowance and a range of pay improvements for selected occupations as well as commitments on career development. Meanwhile, the STAL local government union and other unions in the Frente Comum are planning a national strike on 18 November as they believe the proposed pay increases are inadequate.
The ZSVS health union reports that an agreement covering public sector pay and other benefits for 2022 and 2023 was signed by the majority of unions on 13 October. Pay rises range between 4.5% and 8.5% and there are increases to compensation for annual leave and food allowances. As part of the agreement, the government undertakes to adopt systemic changes to the wage system by 30 June 2023, addressing issues relating to the wage gap in the lower third of the pay scale and the minimum wage. The union is continuing to negotiate on pay for health and social care workers and to close the gap with