The EAKL trade union confederation has called for real wage increases for frontline workers, particularly in the light of all their efforts during the pandemic. Negotiations on health workers’ pay are now continuing through a national conciliator and EAKL is particularly concerned that the pressures on the service need to be addressed and particularly the low levels of pay that is driving workers away from the sector. Meanwhile the confederation reports that negotiations on the salaries of emergency service and police officers have not even started and is concerned that the state budget is not
Respect for trade union rights, collective bargaining and social dialogue part of our democratic values – say North East European constituency unions
The EPSU affiliates of North East Europe expressed their concerns about developments in the region in the online meeting of the North East European constituency on 3 March. They received information about the situation in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.
The changes to the labour codes, reform of social protection and health systems and the experience with privatization were some of the issues addressed by the union leaders of the constituency.
An analysis by the European Trade Union Institute shows that wage convergence between East and West in Europe was steady up until 2008. However, since then the trend has either stalled or gone into reverse. Taking national average pay as a percentage of the average across the pre-2004 EU15, Croatia and Hungary show the largest increase in the pay gap since 2008. There were also increases in Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.Most progress was made in Bulgaria but from a very low level (11.8%) to 17.7%, still less than a fifth of average pay in the West.
(July 2017) The energy workers' union has achieved a significant victory in negotiating a new collective agreement covering the Narva power plants in Eastern Estonia after the company had indicated that it wanted to end collective bargaining. The union managed to retain all existing rights and benefits as well as negotiate a 3.5% pay increase backdated to 1 March 2017. The pay deal covers this year while the collective agreement overall runs until the end of 2018.
(April 2017) The Estonian energy workers' union organised a picket of the Eesti Energia power company on 18 April supported by the EAKL trade union confederation and several other trade unions. The protest was over the threat by the company to end collective agreements and leave workers on legal minimum standards. The company also wants to consolidate various payments into the basic salary and effectively end collective bargaining. The union has also called on the public conciliation office to intervene and help resolve the dispute. Further information is in the attached union statement.
Equality, organizing, PSI congress and social rights discussed in North East European constituency in Yerevan
The discussions with the representatives of the Armenian ministry of social affairs and social protection became very animated when the issue of the right to strike was considered.