Nov. 07, 2019 On 29 October thousands of people took part in a protest rally outside parliament to call for urgent action in the education sector. The demonstration was supported by EPSU affiliate the Trade Union of the National Ukrainian Academy of Science. The wide range of demands included a call for an increase in education spending to 7% of GDP, implementation of approved pay scales and an increase in the sector minimum wage and action to prevent teacher dismissals, transfer to fixed-term contracts and increases in working hours.
Nov. 07, 2019 The three main trade unions in local government - UNISON, GMB and Unite - came together to lobby employers in advance of negotiations on pay. The unions' pay claim is for an increase of 10% and a minimum pay rate of £10 an hour (€11.60). They are also calling for a two hour reduction in the working week (with no loss of pay), one extra day of annual leave and the ending of the freeze on allowances. The unions argue that local government workers have seen a 22% cut in pay in real terms over the last 10 years.
Nov. 06, 2019 Public service unions younion and GÖD have taken part in the first two rounds of bargaining in the annual pay negotiations. The key data for the negotiations were agreed as an inflation rate of 1.7% and economic growth of 1.5%-1.7%. The unions are looking for a clear increase in purchasing power for all public sector workers along with recognition of the staffing situation with concerns around workers facing heavy workloads and precarious employment conditions. The employers made no pay offer in the second bargaining round on 5 November. The next negotiations take place on 15 November.
Oct. 22, 2019 Public service union ver.di has undertaken a major survey covering over 210000 workers in the public sector and just under 18000 in private and non-profit health and social care. The survey found that 92% of workers thought it important to have a choice between more pay and fewer hours and 57% would actually swap a pay increase for an hours cut. Overall of those wanting shorter hours, 45% wanted to work fewer days while 30% wanted a working time account to allow for more holidays or the option to retire earlier. The union will consult further in the lead up to next year's public sector negotiations.
Oct. 09, 2019 The public service federations of the CCOO confederation have called on the government to confirm the pay increase for 2020 as agreed and to undertake major negotiations over a range of issues including the re-establishment of rights and benefits frozen or removed as a result of austerity measures. The federations underline the need to stabilise employment and tackle the excessive levels of temporary work. They also say that long-standing issues relating to public employment, job classification, career development and equality need to be addressed.
Oct. 02, 2019
On 1 October over 60 trade union representatives from 22 countries took part in a lively conference in Brussels on the European Semester - the European Union's annual process of economic and social policy coordination.
Aug. 21, 2019 The Hizmet-Is public service union has been running a major campaign for the reinstatement of 97 workers sacked by the mayor of the Bolu municipality in North West Turkey. No reasons were given for the sackings and the workers have been protesting for over 110 days and even marched the 200 km to Ankara in protest. EPSU has sent a letter of protest to the mayor asking for the workers to be reinstated. See also the campaign involving Genel-Is, fighting for the rights of workers sacked by the Aliağa municipality, reported in the previous issue of the newsletter.
Aug. 21, 2019 Seven trade union organisations, including the CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA, representing 85% of all firefighters have been taking strike action to demand improvements in pay and for a significant increase in jobs. The joint actions began in June and are running until the end of August. The unions want to see the withdrawal of legislation on public service reform and a number of other measures to improve pay, health and safety, pensions and trade union rights. A key demand is an increase in recruitment on statutory conditions. There are 40000 professional firefighters. This is the same number as in 2009 but callouts have increased by 15% since then.
Aug. 08, 2019 Local government workers employed by the Aliağa Municipality in Izmir are being sacked without justification and the newly elected mayor is also forcing workers to resign from their union, Genel-İş, and to join another one. The number of dismissals reached 187 on July 24 and workers have been picketing since the 20 May, demanding reinstatement and respect for trade union rights and freedoms. Online support is being coordinated by the Labourstart campaigning organisation and promoted by EPSU and PSI.
Aug. 08, 2019 Nine trade unions organising in the public services - CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA, FSU, Solidaires, CFE-CGT, CFTC and FA-FP - have stated that they will continue to oppose the measures that are set to be implemented by the law on transforming the public sector that was voted through by the Senate on 23 July. The unions argue that the legislation will make it more difficult for them to protect workers' interests as it will weaken joint administrative committees and abolish committees dealing with health and safety and working conditions. They also warn that it will lead to more temporary employment and limit workers access to permanent contracts or civil service status. The unions are urging the government to engage in a proper process of social dialogue. The nine organisations are due to meet on 5 September to consider their next steps also in regard to pay and pensions.
Aug. 06, 2019 The Frente Comum group of public service unions has set out its key demands for negotiations next year, many of which focus on restoring pay and benefits cut as a result of austerity. The unions want a minimum wage of EUR 850 a month. They also want to see an unfreezing of career progression, reinstatement of cuts to overtime and other measures relating to annual leave, pensions, compensation for occupational accidents and diseases and action on precarious employment. A complete return to the 35-hour week for all public service workers also remains a central demand.
Jul. 25, 2019 The Frente Comum group of public service unions has criticised the government for failing to respect existing collective bargaining arrangements in the public sector. The government has put forward reforms to public sector pensions without going through the proper procedure for consultation. Instead of negotiating directly with public sector unions the government will use a social dialogue forum that includes private sector employers. The Frente Comum unions are concerned about the impact of the proposed pension reforms which could reduce rights for workers to retire from 60 with 40 years' service, for example.