Following the comments of Ursula Von den Leyen in her State of the Union address and the comments of other DG SANTE officials on the issue of the health and care workforce, EPSU wants to point out that political speeches need to be followed by concrete policies and concrete proposals.
Social Services, Union Rights
Members of the Fórsa, INMO and SIPTU trade unions, employed in community and voluntary sector agencies funded by the state sector will begin indefinite strike action in a range of workplaces from Tuesday 17 October. The action, involving workers mainly in the health and social care sectors, is coordinated by the ICTU confederation and was overwhelmingly supported by members in ballots that took place following the breakdown of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission in July. The long-running dispute is over the failure by employers to address pay disparity between these workers and their
The three main trade union confederations – ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB – are taking further steps to defend trade union rights and particularly the rights to strike and protest. They will be joining other civil society and campaigning organisations on 5 October in a national demonstration against the Van Quickenborne law which will make it increasingly difficult to organise protests. The unions have already challenged attacks on trade union rights and particularly legal action taken against trade union strikers and protestors in the recent long-running Delhaize dispute in the retail
On 20th September 2023 the EPSU Childcare network met to discuss monitoring and evaluation in early childhood education and care, and the results of a survey on working conditions and professionalisation.
The group discussed recent developments on worker protection in the EU and beyond, an interactive risk assessment tool in healthcare, and the revisions of directives on Carcinogens and Mutagens and Reprotoxins (CMRD 5) and asbestos.
The three national trade union confederations – SAK, STTK and AKAVA – are extremely concerned about the new centre-right coalition government’s wide-ranging programme of attacks on trade union and workers’ rights and are planning events and protests in response. The government, which includes representatives of the far-right Finns Party is planning to impose restrictions on sympathetic and political strike action, a €200 fine for individual strikers when a strike is found to be illegal and a dramatic increase in fines on trade union for illegal action. It is also likely that further
After the persecution of several FNME-CGT trade union leaders, including the General Secretary Sebastien Menesplier, CGT and other French unions gathered in front of Montmorency gendarmerie, where Menesplier was summoned, on 6 September.
The vpod/ssp trade union is busy building support for a national demonstration in Bern on 16 September with a key demand for a 5% pay rise. The union highlights recent data on price increases, particularly for energy, while average real pay has fallen for three consecutive years – the first time this has happened for over 70 years. The data also show how the low paid have fared the worse with women forming the majority of this group. Vpod/ssp points out that not only are big private sector employers making large profits but public authorities also have the funds to cover pay rises for their
EPSU and the ETUC have written to prime minister Viktor Orbán to protest about draft legislation that undermines the right of public sector trade unions to collect union membership dues by check-off. The draft law is about reducing the administrative burdens of the state but will clearly pose major problems for trade unions and increase their own administration as they take on the task to collect fees. The public sector confederation SZEF along with the four other national confederations are supported by the ETUC and EPSU in calling for the proposals to be withdrawn and for negotiations to
The JHL trade union reports that the next efforts to resolve the dispute over a new collective agreement for personal assistants will take place at the Office of the National Conciliator on 28 August. Negotiations began in January and the union organised industrial action in the spring but negotiations were interrupted in June without a solution in sight. Pay is a key sticking point with JHL arguing that the special characteristics of the work of personal assistants have not been sufficiently taken into account in the negotiations and that specific measures are needed to improve the
The European trade union federations, EPSU and industriAll Europe, have written to the French government to strongly condemn the prosecutions of leaders and activists in the FNME-CGT energy trade union. The federations argue that the legal actions are politically motivated, with a view to suppress trade union opposition to government policy. On 6 September, Sébastien Menesplier, the General Secretary of FNME-CGT will be summoned to the gendarmerie in Montmorency in connection with energy workers’ protests against the recent pension reforms. As EPSU and industriAll Europe argue, these were
The ver.di trade union has welcomed the recommendation of the Care Commission to increase minimum wages for long-term care workers but the union also calls for more measures to ensure decent pay in the sector, particularly the negotiation of comprehensive collective agreements, as essential for trying to address the major staff shortages. The three hourly wage rates (skilled, one-year trained and semi/unskilled) will increase by between 6.8% and 9.5% in May 2024 and then by 3.9% to 5.1% in May 2025. So from May 2025 skilled workers will earn at least €20.50 per hour, one-year trained employees