Apr. 24, 2020 The FOA sees it has a huge victory that COVID-19 is now recognised as an occupational disease and has also welcomed the fact that the process of proving infection has been relaxed. While it is already clear that workers in hospitals and care homes will be covered because of the nature of their work, FOA says that there is now the possibility for more groups of workers to be included such as day care workers, parking attendants and others who come into regular close contact with the public. Proof of risk of infection can now be based simply on a description of work and extent of contact with citizens.
Mar. 05, 2020 The FOA trade union highlights figures from the VIVE research organisation that show massive variations in staffing levels in eldercare establishments across the country. The staff to resident ratio at night ranges from 1:8 to 1:41, while the evening shift ratio varies from 1:2.7 to 1:11. The variation of ratios on day shifts is less dramatic but still ranges from 1:1.4 to 1:4.2. FOA argues that the varying needs of residents can't account for such variations and that in many cases homes have failed to increase staffing to cope with the higher demands of older residents with health problems. The union is calling for national standards to tackle the problem.
Feb. 21, 2020 The Co-Industri group of manufacturing unions has negotiated a new three-year agreement covering 230,000 workers in the private sector and setting the pace for the current bargaining round. The agreement includes a number of significant improvements in areas like work-life balance (paternity and parental leave), sick pay (14 weeks on full pay, up from nine), training and education and pensions, with pension accrual starting from 18. The share of salary that workers can exchange for other benefits (pensions, leave etc.) will increase from 4% to 7%. Over the three-year period the hourly minimum rate will increase by DKK 7,50 (EUR 1) from the current DKK 119.65 (EUR 16.02) to DKK 127.15 (EUR 17.02) in March 2022.
Jan. 09, 2020 The HK Kommunal local government union is entering negotiations with the municipality of Esbjerg to discuss moving to a four-day week in the authority's job centre. However, the union is very sceptical about the prospects for the negotiations as it is in the context of the municipality aiming for major cost savings. HK Kommunal clearly states that a four-day week is not about forcing employees to do in four days all that they currently do in five days. The union says that Esbjerg is following the agreement reached in the Odsherred local authority in 2019 but there the focus was not on cost savings but on assessing the potential benefits of a shorter working week and the agreement was only finalised after several years of negotiations.
Dec. 19, 2019 The FOA public services union has around 5000 members who work in the private sector mainly for companies providing social care. There are four key themes in its plans for the first round of bargaining that will start in the New Year. With the economy improving the union sees clear space for a good general wage increase. It also wants workers to have more scope to choose what element of their salary they take as pay, pension contribution or holiday entitlement. FOA will also be looking for measures to improve work-life balance and guarantees that its members will have access to union representatives.
Dec. 06, 2019 A new report by VIVE, the Danish Centre for Social Science Research, provides further confirmation that pay inequality is a major structural problem facing the public services and particularly the care and social service sectors. The research shows that average wages in a sector fall as the proportion of women workers rises and that an annual average salary of DKK 30000 in a sector dominated by men falls to DKK 24150 in a sector dominated by women. Public services unions FOA, BUPL, SL and the cartel of health unions managed to negotiate a specific fund to tackle pay inequality in the 2018 negotiations but they are looking for much more significant funding from the government in the lead up to the next negotiations in 2021.
Nov. 19, 2019 The FOA public services union has warned of the consequences of failing to maintain minimum staffing levels in childcare. It says that a survey of parents using childcare already reveals that 18% of parents have been affected by falling standards and reduced opening hours. FOA also quotes a television documentary that highlights the benefits to children of ensuring the minimum level of one childcare teacher per six children. Apart from the benefits to children the union also highlights the loss in tax revenue as the impact of fewer childcare places and reduced opening times equates to 5000 fewer workers in full-time employment.
Oct. 09, 2019 The FOA public services union has analysed the staffing shortage facing health and social service providers across the country. It estimates that by 2028 the staffing shortage will reach 41000 unless urgent action is taken now. With a third of staff aged 55 and over, there will be a large number of retirements in the coming period, not taking account of staff who may change jobs. FOA argues that the service needs to offer more full-time jobs with greater recognition of the work done by carers and proper time allowed to carry out tasks.
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.
May. 28, 2019 The FOA public services union has warned the Vikapleje private eldercare company that it will face strike action from 15 June unless it ensures that its employees are paid in line with the municipal agreement. The company provides services for the Halsnæs municipality north west of Copenhagen and FOA has been trying for some time to negotiate an agreement with the company along the lines of those it has with many other private companies. The union estimates that Vikaplege is costing workers as much as DKK 90000 (EUR 12000) a year in lower pay and pension benefits.
Mar. 15, 2019 A new opinion poll shows that 77% of voters think that there should be a political solution to the persistent problem of gender pay inequality. The survey was commissioned by several public service unions working together in the Equal Pay Alliance. They argue that while there has been some success in reducing the gender pay gap, currently at around 13%, it would take another 50 years to achieve equality unless more substantial action is taken. The unions highlight historical reasons for lower pay in sectors dominated by women dating from public sector pay changes in the 1960s. They argue this requires a political commitment to fund changes to pay particularly affecting workers in the health and care sectors.
Feb. 27, 2019 The FOA public services union has strongly criticised plans by Copenhagen City Council to cut DKK 47 million (EUR 6.3 million) from the cleaning budget in its children and youth administration services. The union says that 450 workers will be affected either with reduced hours (some going from 37 to 21 hours a week) and others facing redundancy. FOA argues that this is effectively increasing the working poor, with many workers facing the prospect of doing two, three or more jobs to make ends meet. The union also argues it will impact on cleaning quality and health and safety.
Jan. 17, 2019 Public services union FOA has called on municipalities to address the employment shortage in health and social care by offering more full-time jobs. The union has published figures indicating that only 20% of jobs offered in the sector last year were full-time despite the increased demands and despite around 20% of FOA members wanting to work longer hours. The union believes that employers prefer the flexibility of employing two part-time workers rather than one full timer.
Jan. 03, 2019 The FOA public services union has criticised the government for failing to come up with any concrete and urgent measures to tackle the shortage of health and social care staff particularly in eldercare. The government announced a major mapping exercise in July last year that was aimed at identifying the challenges facing municipalities. The resulting report adds little to the facts and figures that the unions have produced over the years to warn of the scale of staff shortages. The FOA also argues that the promised DKK 150 million (EUR 20 million) to help boost recruitment is inadequate, being spread over four years and covering 98 municipalities.
Dec. 03, 2018 It has taken three and a half years and legal action by the FOA public service union to ensure that care workers finally get the money they owed from their employer, Kaerkommen, which went bust in 2015. The 77 workers were owed around DK 12 million (EUR 1.6m) in pay and holiday allowance but the public authorities - municipalities on the one-hand and the wage guarantee fund on the other - refused to take responsibility for the compensation. The court ruled that the wage guarantee fund should pay up and the employment minister has now drafted new legislation to cover such cases and ensure that in future workers don't lose out.