The main item on the agenda was the response of the ETUC to the First Phase Consultation of Social Partners under Article 154 TFEU on a possible action addressing the challenges related to fair minimum wages.
Low pay/minimum wages
Feb. 10, 2020
Feb. 04, 2020
Thirty-five participants from 18 countries met in Brussels on 30 January to discuss the European Commission’s consultation document on fair minimum wages and the ETUC’s draft response.
Feb. 03, 2020 As the debate continues during the first phase consultation over the European Commission's proposals on fair minimum wages, the ETUC is highlighting the need for a major boost to legal minimum wages across Europe. It argues that in most of the 22 EU member states with a statutory national minimum wage it fails to meet even the minimal at risk-of-poverty wage threshold of 60% of the median wage. In 10 member states, the statutory minimum is 50% or less of the national median wage.
Jan. 22, 2020
On the National Day of Hungarian Culture, Hungarian workers in the cultural sector demand better pay!
EPSU affiliates KKDSZ are holding a demonstration to protest the unacceptable low level of pay across the culture sector and the lack of any pay increase for their members for over 10 years.
Jan. 21, 2020 On 14 January the European Commission published a document on fair wages, launching a six-week consultation process with trade unions and employer organisations. The ETUC welcomed some key points in the document such as the acknowledgement that wage in many countries were too low and that collective bargaining is an essential element of a social market economy. However, it was also disappointed that the document was very short on concrete measures, particularly in relation to strengthening and extending collective bargaining. The ETUC is drafting a response that will be discussed at its collective bargaining committee on 31 January and EPSU has convened a working group on 30 January to discuss the document.
Jan. 20, 2020 The KKDSZ culture workers' union has launched a petition highlighting low pay in the sector and plans to hand it to the minister of human resources on 22 January, the national day of culture. The union will highlight the contradiction of government claims that national culture is important while failing to increase pay for museum, library and other culture workers for over 10 years or engage in proper collective bargaining. The union is planning a number of events in Budapest and other cities. EPSU send a message of solidarity.
Jan. 20, 2020 Trade unions across Europe have been sending messages of solidarity to Ukrainian unions as they step up their campaign against planned reforms of labour law. Proposed legislation would abolish the most important legal and social guarantees for workers and trade unions covering minimum wages, pay and leave for hazardous work, weekly rest periods, overtime pay and limits, restrictions on night work for women, dismissal rights and protection of workers with disabilities. It allows for more flexible contracts, including zero-hours and weakens trade union rights. A national day of action has been called for 30 January.
Nov. 22, 2019 The FSS-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service unions mobilised members working in care across the country on 7 November to put pressure on the employers to agree to a EUR 1000 minimum monthly wage for the sector (14 payments). Demonstrations took place outside several of the regional headquarters of the CEOE employers' organisation. The unions are demanding urgent action to improve pay for the overwhelmingly female workforce that faces challenging working conditions with significant risks of musculo-skeletal and psycho-social disorders. The next action is planned for 14 December.
Nov. 21, 2019 Both public services union UNISON and the RCN nursing union have voted for strike action in Northern Ireland over low pay and staffing levels. Members of both unions voted 92% in favour of strike action. The RCN’s action short of a strike will begin on 3 December building up to a strike on the 18th while UNISON will start its campaign on 25 November, also leading up to a strike on the 18th. The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance is currently balloting its members on action, again over low pay, and the result will be announced on 25 November.
Nov. 21, 2019 Around 5000 protestors joined a demonstration on 14 November organised by the FPSU trade union confederation. The trade union demands concerned the draft Budget for 2020 and the Labour Code. Unions are concerned about changes to the law that deprive civil servants and public sector workers of rights to social protection upon dismissal and planned changes that contain discriminatory rules on the employment rights of employees and threatens their collective protection. The unions also have specific demands on minimum and living wages and pensions.
Oct. 24, 2019 The trade unions representing care workers - FeSP-UGT and CCOO-Sanidad - are planning two days of mobilisation on 30 October and 7 November to put pressure on the two employer organisations (CEOE and CEPYME) to negotiate on pay. The union federations are angry that the employers have failed to negotiate the introduction of a EUR 1000 minimum wage (14 payments) for the sector even though it had been proposed in the last collective agreement. The unions put forward a proposal for reaching the level in stages up to 2021 but the employers failed to respond.
Oct. 24, 2019 The Kommunal municipal workers' union has decided not to follow the wage coordination policy agreed by the LO trade union confederation. The union says that urgent action is needed to tackle staff shortages in childcare, health and other welfare services and that if it followed the LO target then workers in those sectors would only get an extra SEK 17 (EUR1.60). For Kommunal it is also important to address low pay in sectors dominated by women and the LO guideline would reduce the gender pay gap by only 0.1%.
Oct. 24, 2019 The OSZSP health and social care union met with ministry of health officials earlier this month to discuss staffing levels in the social care sector. The union has been pushing hard for the government to introduce safe and effective staffing levels. It underlines the need for this to be done on the basis of real assessment of needs and not on the basis of current staffing levels as many institutions are understaffed and staff overworked. The union also wants increased funding for providers which it sees as necessary to increase staff and tackle low pay in the sector where the average wage is CZK 5000 (EUR 195) lower than the national average across the whole economy.