Social Services, Remunicipalisation
Bringing services back in-house
EPSU has consistently argued in favour of direct provision of public services to guarantee the quality of services and the quality of employment for workers delivering those services. Under the heading of remunicipalisation EPSU supports and promotes any initiatives to bring services back in-house where they have been privatised along with moves to have new services run by municipalities and other public authorities. EPSU is part of a network, coordinated by the Transnational Institute that has published research highlighting recent trends in remunicipalisation and insourcing.
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.
Social Dialogue Training Programme: how to develop independent social dialogue structures in social services
As part of the FORESEE project, EPSU has co-led two trainings on how to develop independent social dialogue structures in social services in the last month, alongside the Social Employers and other project partners.
This week, the EPSU Childcare Network met to discuss monitoring and evaluation of early childhood education and care, the capacity of ECEC systems to welcome Ukrainian children and ECEC staff, and child : staff ratios.
After three days of bargaining the ver.di services union has negotiated an agreement with the VKA municipal employers that goes some way to address the undervaluation and overwork of staff in social and educational services. The union thanked its members for mobilising to achieve the result in the face of considerable resistance from the employers. Over 40,000 ver.di members took action in the week leading up to the latest negotiations. The agreement will provide employees with two additional days off as well as the option to convert part of their salary into two further days off. Educators
The Super and Tehy health unions are maintaining their ban on overtime and shift changes following their rejection of the proposed deal for health and local government. They continue to press for higher pay increases as essential to help tackle the urgent staff shortages in health and social care. Meanwhile, municipal unions JHL and Jyty are also keeping up their industrial action despite their provisional approval of the agreement. They are pushing for the agreement to be finalised and for the expected payments to be made by the summer, arguing that workers could lose out by over €300 if pay
The Super and Tehy health unions have firmly rejected the settlement proposed by the conciliation committee in the current dispute in local government and health. Meanwhile, the JHL and Jyty municipal services union have endorsed the proposal. The health unions argue that the pay increases on offer are inadequate and simply don’t address the urgent staffing problems in health and social care. The unions are now considering a mass resignation to put pressure on health employers to negotiate a better deal. For local government workers, the three-year pay deal should deliver pay increases of 1.9%