Jun. 30, 2020 The FNV trade union reports that all care staff will get a bonus of EUR 1000 net in recognition of their work in coping with the COVID-19 virus. The payment will go to a very broad range of those involved in care across nursing homes, hospitals, ambulance services, disability and rehabilitation services, community and youth care and mental health. Nurses, care workers, cleaners and support staff will all get the payment. The union says that it hopes this will set the scene for negotiations in the autumn to deliver better terms and conditions for care workers and help address staff shortages. Meanwhile, there has been no progress yet with negotiations in central government where the collective agreement expires on 1 July. The next round of bargaining takes place on 6 July.
Jun. 26, 2020 The ver.di services union has given notice of the end of the current agreement covering 2.3 million workers in federal and municipal government on 31 August. This confirms that negotiations will get underway and the union is looking for an appropriate pay increase to recognise the hard work done by its members particularly during the current crisis. At a meeting with employers earlier this month there had been a discussion about the possibility of postponing bargaining until next year and giving all workers a lump sum payment this year as an interim measure. However, the union says the employers are taking a tough line. From 6 July there will be discussions across workplaces about the main bargaining aims which will be finalised at a meeting of the collective bargaining committee on 25 August.
Jun. 17, 2020 The FeSP-UGT public service federation has sent a number of key demands to the public service ministry for a new agreement covering public sector workers. The union wants action on improving employment conditions and reducing precarious employment but also has a number of specific proposals on telework, noting that the estimated impact of COVID-19 has been an increase from 26,000 to more than 450,000 public employees doing telework. Among the key demands are action to balance security and flexibility with increased productivity; voluntary nature of telework; equality of rights with other workers; privacy, confidentiality, risk prevention, training and information; health and safety; working time and consultation. Meanwhile, the FSC-CCOO federation has denounced the fact that, more than a year after the entry into force of agreement covering 40000 workers in state administration, the government is refusing to increase salaries and the payment of accumulated pay arrears amounting to some 35 million euros. There is also a failure to establish new professional classification system. The union has called for an immediate confirmation of funding for the pay increase and says it will consider protests and mobilisation after crisis if this is not addressed.
Jun. 15, 2020 Trade unions in the public sector have written to the government, parliament and public sector employers to call for more staff, better pay and conditions and support for quality services - a new direction for the public sector rather than the austerity measures that are already being hinted at. Meanwhile, as hospitals gradually return to normal, the FNV has underlined the importance of ensuring that the collective agreement is properly applied in terms of working time, on-call, rest time and annual leave. The union has also a negotiated a pay deal in social employment services where workers will get 3.2% over two years.
Jun. 05, 2020 Trade unions, including FNV and NU'91, have agreed a set of guidelines on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in nursing homes and those providing home care. This comes after union concern that existing guidance was unclear and created to confusion at the workplace. The unions and employers are also working together to ensure that there is sufficient PPE available not just to ensure that the guidance is applied in practice but also to provide for those workers who ask for PPE in other circumstances. Meanwhile in the central government sector negotiations on a new collective agreement are due to start on 11 June having been postponed from March. The current agreement will continue to apply even beyond its 1 July expiry date.
Jun. 05, 2020 After four rounds of negotiations it was agreed that two pay rises of 2% foreseen for this year would be postponed and paid in January 2021. The existing collective agreement provided for the pay increases along with increases in other allowances and the Christmas bonus and the government had initially wanted to freeze all pay and allowances. However, the postponement was agreed and other allowances will be increased while the Christmas bonus will be negotiated later in the year.
Jun. 04, 2020 The public service federations of the CCOO and UGT confederations have called on the government to negotiate a new agreement for public employees that will include provisions that allow for the recovery of rights, wages and employment that were cut as a result of austerity measures after the last crisis. The current agreement was signed in March 2018 and expires this year. The federations have three main priorities: the defence of public services; an increase in public employment, including a reduction of the rate of temporary employment and ending the restrictions on replacement of staff who leave; and continued steps to recover purchasing power and labour rights.
May. 08, 2020 Public service union PASYDY is to pursue a legal case on pay and pensions cuts during austerity to the European Court of Human Rights. The union has expressed disappointment with a ruling of the country's Supreme Court that the government was within its powers to cut pay and pensions in the period 2011-13 as part of austerity measures following the financial and economic crisis. PASYDY also raises questions about the conduct of the case which has dragged on for nearly eight years and the fact that the judgement appears to be in conflict with other rulings in relation to judges and pensioners.
May. 08, 2020 Unions representing public service workers have made clear that they do not accept the government’s proposal to suspend this year’s pay increases, along with Christmas and other bonuses. Two pay increases are due to be paid this year, both of 2% in June and October. EPSU issued a statement supporting the unions’ position and criticising the government for pushing for a pay freeze for workers on the frontline of the fight against the pandemic.
Apr. 24, 2020 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have been setting out key demands in relation to the rules that should apply before a return to work in public administration. The FSC-CCOO is highly critical of the return-to-work plan drawn up by the government which it says fails to take account of key advice from the ministry of health. It also points out that there is nothing in the plan in relation to telework which is currently being done by around 60% of public administration workers. The union says that while issue of technical support and health and safety were not fully dealt with because of the crisis, these do now have to be properly addressed.
Apr. 24, 2020 A new collective agreement covering the 75000 workers in the state sector has been agreed, running 23 months from 1 April 2020 to 28 February 2022. The pay rise over the period will be 3.07% in line with other pay increases in the current bargaining round. Negative elements introduced during the so-called competitiveness pact with the then right-wing government in 2016 have been removed. From now on the annual holiday bonus will be paid in full (it was cut by 30% in each of the last three years) and the 24 hours of extra unpaid work each year will also end although there is a provision for extra hours to be worked but at normal pay. Meanwhile, there are major disagreements, including on the overall pay increase, in the negotiations in local government that cover 310000 workers.
Apr. 24, 2020
EPSU has today sent a letter to the prime minister of Poland,Mateusz Morawiecki, protesting agains the so-called Shield Two Act that poses a major threat to the jobs and pay and conditions of civil servants and other workers in public administration.
Apr. 24, 2020 EPSU has sent a letter to the prime minister protesting against the introduction of the so-called Shield Two law that allows for regulations to be passed to cut the jobs and pay and conditions of civil servants and other workers in public administration. Poland has not declared a state of emergency and yet the legislation was rushed through without the normal parliamentary procedure nor consultation with trade unions. Furthermore, parts of the Labour Code and legislation on collective redundancies will not apply if the regulations are implemented.
Apr. 24, 2020 EPSU has sent letters to the prime minister and leaders of political groups in parliament protesting at legislation that will remove public service status from over 20000 workers in libraries, museums, archives, culture centres, theatres and orchestras. This is a group of workers that is mainly low paid and whose pay has been frozen for over 10 years. The additional employment protection of public service status is one of their few main benefits. The government is using its emergency to push through the change at breakneck speed without the usual parliamentary process or consultation with trade unions. This is despite the fact that this permanent change, not taking effect until November, is unrelated to the current crisis.
Apr. 17, 2020
Migrant workers in Europe are on the frontline of the response to the COVID-19 crisis. Now more than ever, the crucial contribution of migrant workers to support European economies, public services and fill labour shortages is crystal clear.