EPSU’s Pan-European Conference on Public Utilities is back! Join us online on Tuesday, 10 May 2022 for the opening proceedings and a panel discussion on an issue that is only becoming more important: rising energy prices, and how unions can take action.
The STAL public service union and FIEQUEMETAL industrial union targeted the government in the latest stage of their long running campaign to win improvements to pay and conditions at the AdP water company. The unions were responding to the company’s claim that the government wouldn’t allow it to increase salaries by more than the 0.9% that it had already offered to the unions. The unions are pushing for a range of improvements on top of pay, including a 35-hour week, implementation of an allowance for arduous work, increased recruitment and a better career structure.
January will see further action by the STAL municipal services union and the Fiquemetal industrial union as they continue to campaign to the get the AdP water company to abide by and properly implement the collective agreement negotiated in 2018. The unions are also calling for pay increases for AdP workers and application of an allowance for arduous work. The two unions have been coordinating action and organised a joint national strike in June with a range of demands including a €90 pay increase, measures on career development and cuts to working time.
EC event on the concessions directive – first public information on the implementation of the Directive since 2014!
On 15 November the European Commission organised a stakeholder event on the functioning of the Concessions Directive adopted in 2014 and the assessment of the water exclusion.
The five national trade union confederations sent a solidarity message to the MESZK chamber of healthcare professionals in support of its protest march in Budapest on 31 July. The demonstrators called for pay increases for nurses in line with those already awarded to doctors and argued this was crucial to help stem the migration of nurses to western Europe. Earlier this year the five confederations also came together to file a complaint with the International Labour Organisation over the government’s imposition of new legislation which removes the rights to negotiate and take strike action
The SINTAP public service trade union has negotiated a new collective agreement with the Inova company that provides waste, water and other municipal services in Cantanhede in the Coimbra district. The union highlights in particular the progressive reduction of working hours in 2022 and 2023 to 35 a week; changes to the timing of night work; additional holiday entitlement – an extra day for each 10 years of service and general increase in annual leave to 25 by 2023. There will also be increases to meal and other allowances as well as higher pay. In contrast, the STAL local government union
Poor treatment of employees, outdated equipment and low quality of services – outsourcing and privatisation of municipal services has similar negative effects whether it takes place in Poland or Norway.
Workers at the national water company, AdP, took strike action on 11 June over pay and long-standing problems with working conditions. The STAL trade union reported very high levels of support for the action with workers angry that company profits and investments have been increased while the situation for employees has deteriorated. The union is call for a €90 pay increase and minimum wage of €850; new measures on careers and professional development that value and recognize the knowledge, experience and commitment of workers; a progressive reduction of working hours to 35 hours a week
In the wake of the global financial crisis, neoliberal restructuring has continued unabated across Europe, with the privatisation of public services a key element of both national austerity policies, and European Union (EU) – level economic governance structures.