Health and social care unions in the Basque region have been involved in a series of protests and strikes. Mobilisations in public health during December and January will culminate in a day of strike action on 28 January. The unions are angry about the failure of the public health system to honour basic rights to information and collective bargaining. They are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on the system and the way that management have responded by taking unilateral decisions on working conditions, health and safety and precarious employment. Two days earlier, on 26 January unions
Working Time, Precarious employment
Negotiating and campaigning on working time
After pay, working time is core collective bargaining issue but is also an important area of employment regulated by national and European legislation. EPSU has been very active in defending and calling for proper implementation of the Working Time Directive and is involved in current debates on working time. The why and how of working time reduction is a guide produced for EPSU by the European Trade Union Institute and examines long-term trends in working time, the arguments for reducing it and examples of how this has been achieved.
The FOA trade union, as part of a joint negotiating committee of public service unions, has submitted the main bargaining demands to employers in municipal and regional government with the focus on tackling low pay and pay inequality. The aim is for a flat rate pay increase that will be more beneficial to lower paid workers along with funding to reduce the pay inequalities suffered by occupations dominated by women. The unions also want to ensure a real pay increase that will protect purchasing power over the three years of the agreement that is set to run from 1 April 2021. Other demands
The SEP nurses’ union took part in a week of action (7-11 December) coordinated by the CGTP trade union confederation. For the SEP the key issues are precarious employment, recruitment and working time. The union wants to see all nurses on precarious contracts switched to permanent employment and argues that all nurses, regardless of contract, should accumulate points for their career progression. The SEP is also calling for increased recruitment, an end to 12-hour shifts and action to ensure a 35-hour week. Meanwhile, workers employed by the EGF waste company handed in a petition to the
Negotiations for a new collective agreement covering the state sector will begin in mid-January and the FNV trade union has surveyed members to identify the main priorities. Over 80% of respondents said that it was important for the union to maintain its proposed claim for a 5% pay increase. The feeling was that this was necessary to cover cost of living increases and recruit and retain staff. Members were also keen on an allowance for working from home or support to cover any costs related to home working. Early retirement is also on the agenda while the FNV will be looking for measures to
The Fp-Cgil, Cisl-FP, Uil-Fpl and Uil-Pa public service federations are mobilising for the national strike on 9 December. The unions say that years of recruitment freezes have created staff shortages and mean that public services need around 500000 extra workers. The unions are also calling for action to increase permanent employment with around 170000 workers on precarious contracts. Health and safety are also vital with unions wanting action on personal protective equipment, reduced workloads and measures to tackle harassment. Finally, the federations are calling for a renewal of the
The public sector federations of CCOO, UGT and CSIF have called on the government to take part in urgent talks to ensure the proper implementation of agreements on public sector employment and to negotiate a new agreement to cover the period 2021-23. The unions are particularly concerned to end any restrictions on public sector recruitment and to increase staffing and take action to reduce the level of temporary contracts from the current 24% to the agreed level of 8%. The unions also want to see further steps taken in a new agreement to ensure workers have any rights restored that were
The vpod/ssp public services union, as part of the Health Alliance campaign, has called on the Federal Council to refrain from any watering down of labour legislation and to provide comprehensive protection for health personnel, including special measures for pregnant women and other vulnerable people. The Alliance is also calling for massive financial investment in working conditions, a corona premium for all health workers and action to address structural deficiencies in the healthcare system and tackle precarious work in the sector. vpod/ssp (DE) vpod/ssp (FR)
The Cgil, Cisl and Uil Pa public service federations have declared a one-day strike on 9 December covering public health, and local, regional and central government. New collective agreements are due to be negotiated across these sectors but the unions argue that the government has failed to guarantee funding to cover any negotiated improvements. They also say that there is no commitment from the government to ensure safety at work, to increase employment or to tackle precarious work. Fp-Cgil (IT)
Three trade unions (CGT, FP-CGIL and PCS) representing workers in cultural services in France, Italy and the UK have come together to highlight the urgent need for action to support the sector and tackle poor pay and employment conditions. They argue that the sector has been particularly hard hit by measures to tackle the pandemic and these have been intensified because of the extent of outsourcing and precarious employment. The unions are calling for a strengthening of public culture services, decent and secure employment conditions and action to stop privatisation and outsourcing. CGT (EN
The FOA trade union – the largest in public services – has set out its main demands that will be discussed by public service unions in the lead up to negotiations for the local and regional government agreement that expires at the end of March 2021. The union wants to see a flat-rate rather than a percentage wage increase. An increase set in Kroner would benefit lower-paid occupations which are dominated by women and so contribute to reducing the gender pay gap. Another key demand is increased training provision focused on unskilled workers which will help deliver greater job security. The
The three trade union confederations, TÜRK-İŞ, HAK-İŞ and DİSK, have issued a joint statement condemning new proposals for more flexible labour law. The provisions would allow for a wider use of temporary contracts and discriminate specifically against workers aged under 25 or over 50. The changes would also promote more part-time working. The confederations are particularly concerned about the impact on rights to severance pay, pensions and social security and are calling for a withdrawal of the draft legislation. They have strongly criticised the attempt to push through the legislation with
Ver.di and other public service unions have negotiated what is seen as respectable deal in a challenging bargaining environment that delivers a 1.4% pay rise for all workers on 1 April 2021 with a further 1.8% increase in April 2022. The agreement runs until 21 December 2022. The pay increase in 2021 is backed with a 50 Euro a month minimum which means that the lowest paid workers will see pay increase by 2.59%. Meanwhile, nursing staff will get 70 Euros a month additional payment from March 2021, rising to 120 Euros in 2022. Other payments for health and care workers include an increase in
After intensive negotiations over the weekend, public services union ver.di has negotiated a new collective agreement covering 2.3 million workers in municipal and federal government with specific measures benefiting employees in health and social care.
22 October saw public services union ver.di involved in two major negotiations. The third round of bargaining covering municipal and federal employees was underway with ver.di underlining the importance of a decent settlement in recognition of the work carried out by public service workers during the current pandemic. The union expects the employers to continue to stress the problems facing public finance and to push for a long-term deal with small pay increases. Ver.di mobilised through warning strikes and online action in the lead up to the negotiations. Meanwhile, negotiations covering
ADEDY, the public service confederation, has called a 24-hour strike on 15 October. It has a wide range of demands starting with calls for increased funding for healthcare, filling vacancies and taking appropriate anti-COVID 19 action with provision of personal protective equipment and extension and increase in allowances for dangerous and unhealthy work. ADEDY also wants to see action across the public services to tackle staff shortages and recruit more workers on permanent contracts and to stop privatisation.