Jan. 21, 2020 The third round of bargaining in the private health and care sector, covering around 125000 workers, ended without a result. However, the two unions - vida and GPA-djp - are sticking to their main aim of achieving a 35-hour with full compensation in terms of pay and staffing. The unions say there were constructive discussions about a staged implementation of an agreement. They argue that the commitment to shorter hours is vital for the sector to boost recruitment and tackle the long-standing issue of staffing shortages. The unions are planning to convene staff council meetings to report on the negotiations and build support for the claim.
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.
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.
Jan. 08, 2020 The vpod/ssp public services has welcomed two initiatives on working time agreed with the BSH health and social care employers' organisation in the Graubünden/Grisons region. The BSH has agreed to the demand for time taken to change into and out of work clothes to be recorded as working time. This is a key demand in a national campaign being run by the union. Ten minutes a day is allocated to changing clothes but this may be adjusted depending on the outcome of a legal case in the Zürich region. The vpod/ssp also welcomes the decision of BSH to recommend a minimum of 25 days' annual leave to its member organisations, a move which the union sees as important in helping the sector address staff shortages.
Dec. 19, 2019 The Kommunal municipal and health services union has set out some of the main demands that it will pursue in the upcoming collective bargaining with municipal employers. The union will aim for a 3% general pay rise with an extra 0.5% to be used at local level for specific groups of vocationally trained workers in health, child and other care. It wants vocationally trained temporary workers to be offered a permanent contract after 12 months and is calling for a number of measures on working time. Among a range of demands, Kommunal wants to ensure full-time work is the norm and argues that the employer should pay extra if it wants workers to do split shifts. It is demanding an extra day's leave for all workers and a 32-hour working week for night workers.
Dec. 04, 2019 The Sanitas health trade union has managed to negotiate a collective agreement in the sector despite the strict representative rules that make it extremely difficult to negotiate sector deals in Romania. The agreement confirms many of the rights the union has won over the years and ensures that they apply uniformly across the country. Among the most important elements are holiday entitlement (21-30 days depending on length of service), the role of the trade union in personnel policy, collective redundancies and disciplinary procedures and measures to support nurses' further education and training.
Dec. 02, 2019 Workers in the nursing home and home care sector are covered by a new collective agreement running from 1 July 2019 to 31 August 2021. There will be a 3.5% pay rise by 1 June 2020 followed by a 3.0% increase on 1 July 2021. An increase in the end-of-year bonus has been brought forward and workers will get a full 13th month salary this year. The agreement also includes a commitment to have 90% of all employees in the sector on permanent contracts. There are other measures to allow workers to exchange pay for more time off and special measures for more time off in the lead up to retirement. The Ministry of Social Affairs will be asked to make the agreement generally binding for the sector and so covering employers that are not members of the employers' organisation that negotiated the agreement.
Dec. 02, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private service unions have submitted their main collective bargaining claim to the employers for the health and social care sector that covers 125000 workers. The unions' key demand is for a 35-hour week with no loss of pay. They see this as essential for making the sector more attractive to boost recruitment, tackle staffing shortages and address the excessive workloads and stress that are rife in the sector. The unions also point out that part-time workers will benefit with an effective pay increase of 8.6% as their current hourly rate is based on a 38-hour week and the hourly rate will increase with a move to a calculation based on 35 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.
Oct. 24, 2019 The vpod public service workers has called on the federal government to deliver nationwide, binding rules on pay and working time for home care workers. It argues that non-binding, cantonal (regional) agreements are not effective enough, particularly on key issues of working and rest time. Vpod also says that the proposed hourly minimum wage of CHF 19.20 (EUR 17.40) doesn't guarantee a decent income and that a monthly minimum of CHF 4000 (EUR 3630) with a 13th month is necessary.
Oct. 24, 2019 Health and social care unions from all three trade union confederations took strike action on 24 October to put pressure on the employers to resolve issues in the non-profit sector negotiations. Trade unions are particularly concerned to resolve problems around stability and predictability of working hours and contracts, right to annual leave, action to tackle burn-out and training. The unions say that most private hospitals were affected with action also taking place in the social care sector.
Oct. 24, 2019 The JHL public services union says that it will aim to negotiate pay increases for lower paid workers that are higher than those in industry as a step towards reducing the pay gap between the sectors. It says this is essential to tackle low pay in sectors dominated by women. It also wants the 24 hours of extra unpaid work introduced in the Competitiveness Pact to be paid or cut while measures on carers' and paternity leave will also feature in the next bargaining round. The union carried out a survey of 8000 members to help it plan its priorities and gauge support for industrial action.
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 BSRB public service union has called for government mediation in its dispute with local authority employers. In the current negotiations the BSRB has focused on a reduction of the working week to 35 hours with no loss of pay. The employers, however, want to stick to a 40-hour week with the possibility of shorter hours negotiated at workplace level on the basis of concessions in relation to breaks and other benefits.
Oct. 09, 2019 The latest biennial report from the Eurofound research agency finds that there have not been any significant developments in working time across Europe. The average working week remains at 38 hours. Public administration is one of the specific sectors analysed where weekly hours averaged 37.6 in both 2018 and 2017. The report noted some specific sector developments with particularly negative legislation passed in Hungary affecting public administration allowing for longer hours and more flexibility. More positive agreements were noted in Estonia (health) and Greece (local government and waste).