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.
Jun. 01, 2018 Unions and the government have returned to the negotiating table after a series of actions by civil servants showed the strength of feeling among workers for a decent pay rise. The government had offered a pay rise of 7% over three years, below the unions' target of 3.5% over one year. The agreement covering 118000 civil servants expired in December 2017.
May. 31, 2018 Nine public sector federations came together on 22 May to organise protests and strike action with a national demonstration in Paris as well as 140 other mobilisations across the country. The day of action was in protest at government plans to cut 120000 jobs and the continuing pay freeze imposed on civil servants and public sector employees. Unions are looking for a pay rise for all workers across the public sector and for the government to confirm that it will not interfere with the statutory rules covering civil servants.
May. 18, 2018 The ADEDY public sector confederation will be joining with the GSEE private sector confederation and other trade union and professional organisations in a 24-hour general strike on 30 May in protest at the continuing austerity being imposed on workers and citizens. ADEDY says that public sector workers are still suffering from pay cuts of up to 40% while more precarious working conditions have spread across the public services and there are critical staff shortages in important areas of health and social services.
May. 18, 2018 Public service trade unions mobilised on 15 May for a demonstration outside the ministry for public service in protest at the spread of contractual employment and the erosion of civil service status. With over a million contractual workers making up a fifth of total civil service employment, the unions are concerned that the government's current plans, which include the prospect of increased use of contracts for public service workers, will further undermine civil service status. The unions argue that the poorer employment conditions of contractual workers are leading to increased inequality in the public service including a widening of the gender pay gap. This is one of the key issues behind the national day of strikes and protests on 22 May.
May. 18, 2018 After two weeks of industrial action short of a strike, employees of ACAS, the national service providing conciliation and employment advice, took strike action on 11 May in protest at management changes and excessive workloads.The workers, members of the PCS civil service union, are unhappy about the downgrading of their conciliation work and are faced with a big increase in workload following a surge in employment tribunal cases. Further strike action is planned for 6-7 June if management doesn't take action to resolve the dispute.
May. 15, 2018
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is to take the European Commission to the European Union General Court on 15 May 2018 for failing to implement a Social Partners’ agreement by legislation.