Local and federal negotiations to go to mediation
Despite a major strike across the public transport network involving 500,000 workers, in the lead up to the third round of bargaining, federal and local government employer organisations failed to come up with an improved pay offer for the 2.5 million employees covered by the agreement. Ver.di and the other unions involved in the negotiations had been seeking a 10.5% pay rise with a minimum increase of €500 which they argue is essential to protect the purchasing power of those on lower and medium rates of pay. The breakdown in negotiations will mean the process moves to mediation.
Two-year pay deals in municipalities, health, social care and churches
The JHL, JYTY, SuPer and TEHY have negotiated new two-year agreements on pay covering workers in municipalities and health and welfare services. The agreements include both general and local elements to the pay increases. For municipal workers the combined increases will mean rises of 4.1% in 2023 (plus a €467 lump sum) and 4.0% in 2024. There will be higher increases for health workers who are set to benefit from various elements that go towards a 6.7% increase in 2023 (plus a €467 lump sum) and 6.5% in 2024. Meanwhile, negotiations involving JHL and JYTY will mean that church employees will
Strike in private hospitals and across public services
Nurses in Portugal have been involved in strike action in both private and public sectors. The SEP trade union organised a one-day strike on 16 March over pay, hours and other conditions in the private sector and it joined a larger strike across public services on 17 March with similar demands and involving other public service trade unions, including STAL.
Higher pay and shorter hours across public services
After seven years with no update to the main public sector framework agreement the Histradut trade union organisation reports that negotiations have delivered a salary increase of 11% over the next four years up to April 2027 along with a lump sum of NIS 6,000 (€1575) designed to help cope with the cost of living. Workers will get a two-hour cut in working week from 42 to 41 hours in June 2023 and from 41 to 40 hours in January 2025. There will also be special salary adjustments for a range of occupations, particularly in health and social care. Meanwhile, the union has negotiated an agreement
Health workers plan action while municipal deal agreed
Workers in over 50 hospitals are set to take part in industrial action this month as unions, including the FNV and NU’91, put pressure on the employers FBZ employers’ organisation to come up with a decent pay offer. The unions will be organising a “Sunday service” on the day of protest in support of their claim for a 10% increase for the 200,000 employees in the sector. They are also calling for improved travel allowances and greater control over work schedules. Meanwhile, following a campaign of strike action in local government, the FNV has agreed a pay rise for the 180,000 workers in the
Strike campaign to be stepped up in federal and local government
The ver.di trade union is organising further warning strikes following what it regards as a wholly inadequate pay offer from employers in federal and local government. The union is seeking a 10.5% pay increase with a minimum of €500 a month for the 2.5 million workers covered by the agreement. The employers, however, have offered only 3% by the end of 2023 and 2% in mid-2024 in what would be a 27-month agreement. There would also be lump sum payments of €1000 and €1500. The next steps in the campaign of warning strikes involve trainees and local transport workers. The third round of bargaining
Public service unions coordinate week of action
The three main federations in the public services – ACV/CSC, CGSP/ACOD and SLPF/VSOA – have called for a week of action from 6 to 10 March to highlight the staffing and funding crisis facing all parts of the sector. The federations will be coordinating a series of actions with calls to strengthen public services with more public investment and funding and end the push for privatisation. They also want to see improvements to pay and conditions to make public services more attractive to work in and especially to stop the attacks on public service pensions. Finally, the federations want to see
Federations continue their campaign for statute for forest firefighters
On 28 February the FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations organised a demonstration outside the Ministry for Ecological Transition in the latest stage of their long-running campaign to secure a coherent, national statute covering the 20,000+ people who work as forest firefighters. The long-promised statute should be confirmed in the coming months but the trade unions want to keep up the pressure to ensure that there are no delays and that some of their remaining issues of concern are addressed. These include qualifications and competences covered by the statute, retirement issues
Municipalities experiment with working time initiatives
The HK Kommunal trade union reports that there are now new initiatives or experiments around working time in one in five municipalities. From the focus on working time flexibility to testing of the four-day work, there is an increased willingness, particularly since the pandemic, to move away from the more fixed and traditional patterns of work. The union stresses that any such change or experiment needs to be negotiated at local level and within the framework of the national agreement. HK Kommunal says that employee concerns need to be addressed and full consideration taken of the potential
Strike action to hit private hospitals as public sector unions take action
The SEP nurses’ union has called for a day of strike action on 16 March in the private hospitals that are part of the APHP employers’ organisation. The main demands include a 35-hour week for all, a pay increase of 10% and similar increases on allowances, 25 days’ paid leave a year, improved unsocial hours payments and a higher meal allowance. Public sector unions in the Frente Comum are also continuing their campaign for better pay with a strike in public administration on 17 March and national demonstration on the 18th.
No let-up in strike action across public services
With the UK government still refusing to negotiate on pay, the RCN nursing union is planning its biggest strike action so far for 48 hours from the morning of 1 March to the morning of 3 March. It will impact 128 NHS employers across England and involve all members in workplaces with a mandate to strike. This follows the two days of strikes on 6-7 February which were already a step up from the level of action in December. In the same week ambulance workers also maintained their campaign over pay with action spread over several days involving UNISON, Unite and the GMB and with more areas voting
Union steps up strike campaign in municipalities
The FNV is taking further action in support of its demand for a 12% pay rise in the municipalities sector. A six-day strike by refuse collection staff in Rotterdam was set to begin on 15 February and a national demonstration was organised in Utrecht. The union has rejected as wholly inadequate an offer from the employers that would have delivered only 5% in February 2023 and 3% in April 2024. Meanwhile, action may follow in the hospitals sector if the NVZ employers’ organisation fails to meet a deadline to come up with a better pay offer. The FNV and NU’91 trade unions are calling for a pay