Solidarity, Central government
Supporting campaigns, strikes and protests
Solidarity is a core area of our joint European trade union work There are common elements to many of the actions of public service unions as we fight for better pay and working conditions or when we defend trade union rights or protest against privatisation and attacks on public services. Any expression of solidarity is welcomed by unions and it can be a real boost to their campaign when EPSU, its affiliates and other trade union organisations, not only send messages of support but also messages of protest to companies, employers and governments. This briefing gives examples of our solidarity work in recent years.
The government’s initial offer of a pay increase of 0.9% for public service workers for 2022 is well below the demands of the main trade unions. Trade unions in the Frente Comum federation are calling for a minimum EUR 90 a month increase from 1 January 2022 with a minimum wage set at EUR 850. The SINTAP trade union has claimed an increase of 2.5%. The unions have a range of other demands relating to meal allowances, the pay structure and career development, arduous work, precarious employment, changes to the performance management system and working time.
The three public service federations – Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp and Uil Pa – organised two days of protests on 13 and 14 October in Naples, Milan and Rome. The mobilisation was about the crisis facing the justice sector with serious staffing shortages and excessive workloads, compounded by inadequate facilities and equipment. The unions argue that workers have been left out of the justice debate as politicians focus on legal reform while ignoring the situation facing the staff who are supposed to uphold and implement the law. Further mobilisations are planned if there is no response from the minister
A new collective agreement covering state workers is now subject to a vote by members. The FNV trade union is pleased with elements of the agreement which it says is better than the previous offer but argues that the final pay offer from the employers is too low. The main elements of the deal include: a 2% wage increase as of 1 July 2021; a one-off payment of €300 in December; a one-off and structural work-from-home allowance; the integration of cleaners into the pay structure and an extra amount for employees on irregular shifts. Union members will now have until the end of the month to
The public service federations in the CCOO and UGT have been angered by the government’s decision to call a meeting at short notice on 5 October rather than initiate a proper process of collective bargaining. The unions argues that the government simply wanted union endorsement for next year’s budget without taking account of key trade union demands relating to the recovery of purchasing power, the 35-hour working week and elimination of the replacement rate that is hampering efforts to reduce temporary employment. The unions also reject the government pay offer of 2% for 2022 which they say
On 27 August the KESK public services confederation organised a national strike in protest at the collective agreement signed by the government and the Memur Sen trade union. KESK has a range of key demands which the agreement fails to address and is angry that it was shut out of the negotiations. The confederation argues that the pay rises foreseen in the agreement are inadequate to ensure protection against inflation and it doesn’t include any measures to deal with employment security, workplace democracy or the right to proper collective bargaining. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
The FeSP-UGT federation and the public service federations in the CCOO confederation have called on the government to enter negotiations on pay and conditions. The last three-year agreement covering three million public sector workers ran from 2018-2020 and for 2021 the government unilaterally implemented a 0.9% pay increase. The unions are calling for a pay rise for 2022 and beyond along with action on jobs to ensure the quality of public services and also measures to reduce precarious employment, particularly in regard to the long-running challenge to reduce temporary employment. They also
EPSU calls on Ukrainian parliament and government to address trade union concerns over Labour law reform
The Ukrainian Parliament, the Verkovna Rada, is considering reform of the labour law. Many of its amendments would be regressive for workers’ rights and would not be compatible with international labour standards.
(Brussels, 2 September 2021) Today, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its verdict on the case EPSU (the European Federation of Public Service Unions) brought against the European Commission.
Solidarity with Turkish Public service workers on strike for higher pay, better conditions and more workplace democracy
The Turkish Public Services Confederation KESK and its affiliates are on strike 27 August. EPSU supports the strike and the demands of the unions for decent wages and fair working conditions.