Apr. 05, 2018 The PCS civil service union is calling for a 5% pay increase in its campaign to end the 1% pay cap. The union has called for talks with the government on pay and is urging its members to begin preparations for a possible ballot for industrial action. The union has been petitioning on the issue and organised a rally in early March. As part of its pay campaign PCS is also calling for support for the national demonstration organised by the TUC confederation under the banner "a new deal for working people."
Apr. 05, 2018 The latest issue of the European Trade Union Institute's Collective Bargaining Newsletter provides updates from all European Union countries and more. This month's edition includes news on public service strikes, disputes and negotiations, including in Bulgaria (prisons), Cyprus (waste), Malta (pensions) and Slovenia.
Apr. 04, 2018 Over 70000 workers joined the initial round of warning strikes in support of the negotiations covering federal and municipal workers. The focus was on the North-Rhine Westfalia region but further action is planned around the country, involving a broad range of workers from childcare and water to administration and transport. The services union ver.di is determined to secure a real wage increase for all workers, ensuring that any percentage rise is underpinned by a flat-rate amount to benefit lower paid workers.
Apr. 03, 2018 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations organised a rally outside the Ministry of Justice against proposals that would change the rules on worker mobility. The unions are particularly angry that the amendments have been introduced in parliament without following the correct procedure. They say that if implemented the rules would significantly reduce workers' rights and mean that they could be forced to move to jobs on much lower pay levels. The unions will also use the protest to highlight some of the many other pay and conditions problems that the Ministry has failed to negotiate over, including the introduction of new technology, training and career development, an equality plan and problems with supplementary allowances.
Apr. 03, 2018 Public sector unions brought together over 10000 shop stewards to debate the way forward in the current conflict over pay and conditions. When the employers failed to come up with an offer on pay, negotiations broke down and a mediator was called in. The unions announced that strike action would take place on 4 April if mediation didn't work. The action would be targeted and involve only 10%-15% of public sector workers. In response, the employers said that they would implement a massive lockout on 14 April covering 90% of state workers and 50% of municipal workers. Mediation is continuing, however, and the mediator has requested a delay to the industrial action. This means that no strike action can take place before 22 April and no lockout before 28 April unless the mediator declares an early end to the mediation process. EPSU and many affiliates sent messages of support.
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 Health service unions are consulting their members over whether to accept a three-year pay offer which would mean workers at the top of their pay grade would get a 6.5% increase between April 2018 and April 2020, marking a break with the government's 1% pay cap in the public sector. All but the very highest paid staff would get 3% in April 2018, 1.7% and a 1.1% lump sum in April 2019, and 1.7% from April 2020. However, changes to the pay structure would mean significant increases of 15%-17% for the lowest paid. The government has also confirmed that it will fully fund the pay rises. Most unions are recommending to their members that they accept the deal. However, the GMB union argues that the 6.5% will be inadequate to cover forecast inflation.
Mar. 20, 2018 On 6-7 June, EPSU is holding a second conference in Brussels in the context of its current project on quality employment and quality public services. Along with special sessions looking at the prisons and childcare sectors there will also be debates on pay trends in the public sector compared to the private sector; low pay in sectors dominated by women; young workers and quality employment; a panel on developments in collective bargaining and some initial research findings on the impact of digitalisation on the home care and public employment services.
Mar. 19, 2018 The annual Benchmarking Working Europe study from the European Trade Union Institute includes a section providing the latest data on wage developments, collective bargaining, minimum wage and union density. The study notes that more positive statements about wages are coming from the European institutions with issues of fairness also raised in the European PIllar of Social Rights. However, these were not yet reflected in the Country Specific Recommendations issued last year where the focus was still on decentralisation of collective bargaining and moderation in minimum wage increases. The study found that wage developments had tended to slow down over 2017 while there had been some convergence in minimum wages as increase in Central and Eastern Europe were higher than in the rest of the European Union. Trends in collective bargaining coverage and union density were still negative overall.
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. 14, 2018
Last week public sector employers in Denmark stunned trade unions with the threat of a massive lockout of public sector workers.
Mar. 09, 2018 An analysis by the ETUC reveals the impact of the declining wage share across Europe.If the proportion of GDP made up by wages were the same as in the early 1990s working people in the EU would have earned an extra €1764 in 2017 alone! The proportion of GDP made up by wages has been in decline since the mid-1970s. Wages made up 72% of EU GDP in 1975, and in 2017 made up less than 63%.
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.
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.