Jun. 29, 2018 Public service trade unions have reacted angrily to government proposals to reform the public sector pay system which ignore union submissions on changes to the system. The controversial plans not only include a doubling of the prime minister's salary and increases for top officials but widespread changes that the unions say will not properly reflect the skills and qualifications of their members. The healthcare union points out that medical specialists could end up being paid less that drivers in some institutions and it has threatened strike action if the government doesn't negotiate.
Jun. 29, 2018 The CSC/ACV and CGSP/ACOD unions representing prison workers have taken strike action in protest at government plans to legislate on limiting their right to strike. EPSU sent a solidarity message to the unions highlighting the deteriorating conditions and overcrowding in prisons across the country and the importance of having the right to strike to highlight the need for urgent action to address these problems and reverse the impact of austerity. Rather than attack trade union rights, EPSU argues that the federal government should open negotiations to tackle the critical situation facing the prison service.
Jun. 28, 2018 The three main civil service unions - PCS, Prospect and FDA - have strongly rejected the latest pay guidance from the government. While lifting the 1% cap on public sector pay increases, the latest guidance for negotiations across the civil service are for pay to rise on average by 1.0%-1.5%. The unions argue that the proposed level is derisory and fails to acknowledge the real pay cuts suffered by civil servants in recent years. They are also angry that the government failed to carry out a proper process of consultation with the unions over the pay guidance document.
Jun. 28, 2018 The KKDSz culture workers' union used the "night of the museums" event in Pecs in south-west Hungary to raise the issue of low pay for workers in museums, libraries and other cultural institutions. The union says that there may be scope for public sector negotiations and increases in the minimum wage as the new government prepares its budget for 2019, following discussions in the National Public Interest Reconciliation Council. The demonstration generated considerable interest in the media and support from other trade unions.
Jun. 28, 2018 Recent mobilisations of union members in public administration in Lleida, Logroño, Tarragona y Ceuta mark the end of a first phase of demonstrations organised by the three main public service federations in CCOO, UGT and CSIF. The key aim of the protests has been to keep up the pressure for the recuperation of pay and benefits cut under austerity but also to call for public employees to have the same pay and benefits as civil servants. The unions are also demanding a minimum monthly wage of EUR 1200 across the public administration.
Jun. 28, 2018 Services union ver.di has expressed its regret that a constitutional court ruling on 12 June has confirmed that civil servants do not have the right to strike. Responding to the judgement ver.di executive committee member Wolfgang Pieper argued that it fails to acknowledge the rights to strike and freedom of association that are afforded by the European Convention of Human Rights. The Court ruling is based on the argument that civil servants have a special relationship of trust with the state which on its side has a special duty of care towards civil servants. In the view of the court this relationship would be undermined by the right to strike for civil servants. Pieper points out that unilateral cuts to civil servants' pay and conditions have themselves undermined this relationship and that there is clearly a case to be made for stronger representation and negotiation rights for civil servants.
Jun. 27, 2018 After a range of protest actions and difficult negotiations the FNV and other trade unions are putting forward a new collective agreement covering 118000 civil servants for approval by their members. The agreement will run from 1 January 2018 to July 2020 and include pay increases of 3% on 1 July 2018, 2% on 1 July 2019 and 1% on 1 January 2020. With a one-off payment of EUR 450 on 1 January 2019, the deal is worth around 7%. There are various other measures included that cover employability, options on leave and an individual budget arrangement that allows choice between holidays and bonuses.
Jun. 07, 2018 Trade unions in the prisons sector in Spain - CCOO, UGT and Acaip-Uso - have been running a major campaign of mobilisation to put pressure on prison service management to negotiate to tackle major problems related to pay, understaffing, an ageing workforce and increased violence. However, some of their recent peaceful protests have been broken up by the police even causing injuries, in some cases serious, to union activists (see epsucob@NEWS 11). In a presentation to EPSU's Quality Employment conference, Jose Maria Lopez of CCOO, outlined the situation facing prison service workers, arguing that the government was allowing a managed decline with a view to privatising or outsourcing various parts of the service. The conference adopted a statement of support for the three Spanish unions and their current campaign.
Jun. 07, 2018 Many prison workers across Europe are facing longstanding problems of understaffing, overcrowding and, as a result, significantly increased risks of violence. These were common to three country case studies carried out for EPSU by researchers at the HIVA research unit at Leuven University. In the UK, Italy and Greece the situation of prison workers had deteriorated in recent years with the prison service in Greece in particular having faced the deep cuts to funding and workers' pay imposed across the whole of the public sector. While Sweden presented a contrasting case study, the evidence was that the system was being put under pressure as new public management methods were leading to more administrative work for staff and less direct contact with inmates. The approach to the penal system was also changing with a shift to a harsher societal climate looking more to punishment than rehabilitation of prisoners. Further work would be carried out on the case studies in response to comments from EPSU affiliates. Nadja Salson responded to the debate and indicated the key issues to be addressed by the EPSU prison network.
Jun. 01, 2018 State sector trade unions called off planned strike action following an improved pay offer from the government. The main increase on annual salaries will be a flat-rate rise of NOK 5100 (EUR 535) while workers on higher pay rates will get a 1.25% increase. There will also be 1.9% of the paybill allocated to local negotiations. Abolition of the two lowest pay grades will help lower paid workers while there are also improvements to payments for unsocial hours and a higher threshold for pensionable pay.
Jun. 01, 2018 The GSEE private sector and ADEDY public sector trade union confederations organised national strike action on 30 May in protest at the continuing austerity measures being imposed on workers and citizens, with the prospect of further pensions cuts on the way while public service workers continue to try deliver services despite massive staff shortages.
Jun. 01, 2018 The three main prison officer unions - FSC-CCOO, FeSPUGT and ACAIP - organised a 15-minute stoppage in 84 institutions across the country on 22 May in protest at the violence used against demonstrating prison guards earlier in the month. The three unions had coordinated a series of protests across the country to call for negotiations over pay and working conditions. The demonstrations were carried out peacefully but in Morón in southern Spain police used violence to break up the protest resulting in 20 injuries, including one very serious.