Mar. 22, 2018 Many public service unions from across Europe have sent solidarity messages to their colleagues in Denmark for their mass meeting today (22 March). All public service unions have mobilised to bring together an estimated 10000 workplace representatives to discuss their tactics in the current industrial dispute. With negotiations stalled the unions had planned to organise tartgeted strike action in April, should current attempts at mediation fail. In response, the employers have threatened a massive lockout. While the unions had planned to involve around 10% of workers in the action, the employers said they would lock out 90% of state workers and half of all municipal workers. The unions are concerned that the employers are trying to escalate the dispute in order to force the government to intervene, a move that would undermine the whole basis of the Danish collective bargaining system.
Mar. 21, 2018 Services union ver.di is organising warning strikes across the country in the lead-up to the third round of negotiations covering federal and local government which are due to begin on 15 April. With no concrete pay offer from the employers at the second round of negotiations, ver.di argues that the warning strikes are needed to put pressure on them to take a constructive approach at the bargaining table. The union wants a pay rise of 6% with a EUR 200 a month minimum increase to help the low paid. For ver.di it is crucial to increase pay to make jobs in the sector more attractive and keep pay in line with developments in the private sector.
Mar. 19, 2018 Public service trade unions have secured talks with the government to deal with the issue of low pay for new entrants. In 2011, as part of austerity measures, the government introduced two new lower pay grades for new recruits. This was not agreed by trade unions at the time and they have continued to demand action by the government. It is estimated that 60000 workers have been taken on since 2011 and have started on these lower rates of pay.
Mar. 19, 2018 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public sector federations have negotiated a deal with the government which will mean gradual restoration of purchasing power and other rights lost during the years of austerity. Over the next three years salaries will increase by at least 6.12% but this could rise to 8.79% if certain economic and deficit targets are met. There is also a commitment to get temporary employment down from 24% to 8% of the workfoce. Restrictions on recruitment will be loosened with certain priority areas now able to replace all workers who leave. The deal also confirms the return to collective bargaining and among other measures the possibility to negotiate on working hours with a view, where appropriate, to return to a 35-hour week.
Mar. 09, 2018 The European Commission has informed the social partners in central government administrations that it will not propose their information and consultation agreement to the European Council for implementation as a Directive. This is a major blow to the trade unions and employers in the sector who signed the agreement in December 2015 specifically with a view to having it implemented as a Directive and to fill a gap in existing information and consultation legislation at European level.
Mar. 09, 2018 Public service unions are planning two major days of action over the next two weeks. On 15 March 10 trade unions in the eldercare sector, supported by users and families as well as an association of managers, will take their second day of strike action following the widely supported action on 30 January. They are calling for more funding for the sector and improved pay and career development for workers. On 22 March a group of seven unions have called a day of action in protest at government plans to cut 120000 civil service posts and to call for a pay rise for public service workers.
Mar. 08, 2018 The STAL local government trade union and other unions in the Frente Comum federation of public service unions are organising a national demonstration in Lisbon on 16 March. The protest is to underline the unions' main demands for a 4% pay increase with a minimum of EUR 60 a month. While the government has finally unfrozen career development after 13 years, some of the lowest paid workers hardly benefit at all, moving only from below to slightly above the minimum wage. The unions' demands also include action to reduce precarious employment and increased allowances to cover arduous and dangerous work.
Mar. 05, 2018 Public sector unions have negotiated a new public sector-wide pension scheme that they are recommending to members who will vote on whether or not to accept the new arrangements. The scheme will be introduced from 2020 for all workers born in 1963 or later. The unions are pleased with the result which they say produces a gender-neutral scheme and will see members earning pension entitlement on all their earnings from day one of employment. There will also be early retirement provisions for those who need it.
Mar. 05, 2018 Public sector employers have reacted to trade union plans for possible strike action by threatening a lockout across 90% of the state sector and around half of the municipal sector. The unions had announced plans for targeted strike action involving around 10%-15% of the public sector workforce following a failure by the employers to make a decent pay offer. The negotiations cover 750000 workers in the state, regional and local government sector and the unions had been pushing for a modest real wage increase over the next three years. However, employers have not only failed to come up with anything like an acceptable offer but have also rejected union proposals for a special fund to tackle the gender pay gap. A mediation process is now underway.
Mar. 05, 2018 The first round of negotiations covering federal and municipal workers took place on 26 February with the employers' side failing to make a concrete offer. Around a 150 public service workers provided a noisey welcoming committee to the participants, underlining their demand for a 6% pay increase, with a minimum of EUR 200 a month. Services union ver.di stressed that it would be pushing hard for the 6% rise arguing that public service workers should benefit from the current economic situation - the most positive for some 20 years. The union said it would be planning to organise warning strikes during March.
Mar. 02, 2018
The work to crack down on tax dodging must continue: EPSU welcomes decision from the European parliament for a new special committee to investigate tax crimes
Today the European Parliament approved a resolution to set up a special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance.
Feb. 21, 2018 The vpod/SSP public services union has called on the government to ensure it budgets for a pay increase of at least 1.5% for all federal employees. Working with other public service unions, the vpod/SSP says the government should now end its austerity policies towards its employees, particularly in the light of a CH Fr 5 billion surplus. The unions are worried that the government will use the surplus to cuts taxes and argue that federal workers haven't seen a real increase in pay since a 0.7% rise in 2014 and so a pay rise should be a priority.
Feb. 21, 2018 The CCOO and UGT unions in the public sector met with the finance ministry on 19 February to underline their demands for a new agreement on public employment that would include a target of reducing temporary employment to 8% of total employment over the next three years and to end the restriction on replacing employees who leave which has had major implications not just for workers but also the quality of services. The unions are also looking for an above-inflation pay rise and a restoration of the 5% salary cut from 2010. They also want to see a return to the 35-hour week across the public sector.