COVID-19, Low pay/minimum wages
The SIPTU trade union has called for the pay rates of workers in early years education to keep pace with the Living Wage following the announcement that it is to increase by €0.95, taking it to €13.85 per hour. Childcare professionals secured an historic first pay deal this year, establishing a minimum rate of pay of €13 per hour. This was €0.10 cent over the Living Wage at the time. The union is now calling on the government and employers to deliver a pay increase to reflect the rise in the cost of living otherwise all the work done to address low pay, high staff turnover and the recruitment
The LO, mainly blue-collar workers’ trade union confederation, has put specific figures to its proposed pay coordination formula that it has drafted for the pay bargaining round in early 2023 with a key aim of supporting lower paid workers. The general pay claim would be for a 4.4% increase but with a minimum increase of SEK 1192 (€110) for those earning less than SEK 27100 (€2500) a month and with an increase of SEK 1371 (€126) on minimum wages in collective agreements. The majority of LO member organisations backed the plan although there are some concerns that the overall target is too low
New project to examine relationship between Covid-19, mental health of care workers and trade union responses
Healthcare and nurses trade unions across Europe, represented by the European Public Service Union (EPSU), are very concerned about the short and long-term mental health effects of Covid-19.
The ETUC coordinated a demonstration in Strasbourg on 5 October followed by a meeting with MEPs to highlight the catastrophic consequences of huge price increases on working people and their families. The confederation is calling for decisive action from the EU and national governments including increased wages and income support, a tax on profits and a cap on prices, all covered in a six-point plan. The ETUC wants to see support for collective bargaining, increases to minimum wages and targeted emergency payments for low-paid people struggling to afford their energy bills, along with a ban on
The trade union confederations of the Czech and Slovak Republics – CMKOS and KOZ – have called national demonstrations on 8 October to call for action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. They argue that their respective governments need to undertake urgent measures to support households in the face of soaring inflation and particularly high energy costs. They want to see increases in wages in general and particularly minimum wages and assurance that government budgets will include provisions to cover pay rises in public services.
The FNV and CNV trade unions have reacted angrily to government proposals to offer health workers a one-off payment of €15000 as compensation for contracting Long COVID. The unions are unhappy that it has taken so long – over two and a half years – for the government to come up with a proposal and that the offer, announced without consultation with the trade unions, now has to be confirmed by the council of state.
The health and social care federation, FSS-CCOO, is closely monitoring companies in the care sector to expose those that fail to apply the salary increase of 6.5% from January 2022, in line with an earlier court ruling. The union has denounced the companies for their treatment of care workers and the wage freeze imposed since 2020, despite the provisions of the agreement. The union also points out that even with 6.5% wage increase, some workers will still be left on pay rates below the minimum wage – a situation made much worse by soaring prices. FSS-CCOO underlines that this only goes to
The FESAP federation of public service unions, including the SINTAP trade union, has written to the prime minister calling for a state budget in 2023 that would allow for pay increases across the public sector and a wide range of improvements in other employment conditions. Alongside the need to address the scourge of low pay across the public sector, especially for workers with long service, the federation also wants action on career development, precarious contracts and health and safety – all measures it says are necessary to address staff shortages. Meanwhile, the STAL local government