Feb. 20, 2018 The vida and GPA-djp services unions organised warning strikes involving over 40000 workers in more than 140 private health and social care institutions on 15 and 16 February. The strikes were called in order to put pressure on the employers to come up with an improved offer in the current negotiations over a new collective agreement that covers around 100000 workers in the sector. The unions want a recognition of the increasing workloads faced by many workers, with an appropriate pay increase and a cut in working time to 35 hours a week (see also last issue of epsucob@NEWS 03, 2018).
Feb. 20, 2018 A meeting of services union ver.di's collective bargaining committee covering federal and municipal workers has unanimously agreed to go for a 6% pay increase with a minimum rise of EUR 200 a month. Other demands include increases for apprentices and trainees, re-establishing the rule that apprentices who successfully complete their training should be offered a job and a 20% increase in the night work allowance in hospitals. Ver.di is aiming for a 12-month agreement and wants to ensure that public sector workers benefit from the current positive economic climate. The union estimates that pay for workers in federal and municipal government has fallen 4% behind other sectors since 2000. The claim is also supported by unions representing teachers, police and civil servants.
Feb. 08, 2018 At an early stage of the negotiations in local government the KL employers' organisation has said it will allocate around 500 million krone (EUR 67 million) to tackle major staffing shortages in health and social care. In December, KL and the FOA public services union issued a joint report which revealed that 73% of municipalities faced shortages of skilled staff, particularly in the field of eldercare. FOA gave a positive reaction to the news but underlined that they and other public sector unions still had key demands for tackling low pay and the gender pay gap.
Feb. 08, 2018 The FP CGIL trade union has signed a new collective agreement covering firefighters which has important provisions for a general pay rise, increased overtime pay and increased payments recognising the arduousness of the occupation. With these key pay-related elements agreed, the union says that negotiations will now move on to deal with a wide range of other employment conditions covering health and safety, provisions for firefighters who can no longer manage active service, training, insurance against occupational accidents and diseases as well as the overall organisation of the service.
Feb. 08, 2018 Waste workers in northern Germany, members of the ver.di trade union have criticised their employer, Remondis, for switching to a different sector collective agreement. From the beginning of February the company said it would apply the freight and logistics agreement rather than the private waste agreement. The company argues that this makes no difference but the union points out that it delivers no improvements. Ver.di says that drivers are on a starting wage of EUR 11.95 an hour (less in some areas) and that many don't progress from this level. Meanwhile, the Rethmann Group which owns Remondis, has seen profits increase. The union is aiming for local agreements and a pay rise of 6%.
Feb. 07, 2018 After a march in Vienna on 24 January and a day of action on 30 January, the vida and GPA-djp trade unions warn of further action to support their negotiations covering 100000 workers in the private health and social care sector. The employers increased their original pay offer from 2.1% to 2.25% but the unions say that this completely fails to recognise the new tasks and responsibilities faced by many in the sector. The unions are also calling for a cut in working time. The fifth round of bargaining is due on 12 February and the unions have already indicated widespread support among their members for more action to put pressure on employers.
Jan. 26, 2018 The public sector federations, FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL, have expressed their anger in delays to negotiations covering over a million workers in public health and local government. The unions argue that the basis for negotiations across the public sector were laid out in the framework agreement of November 2016 and there is no justification for not moving forward quickly with the sector-level negotiations. The three federations are planning a mobilisation for 5 February to put pressure on the government and employers.
Jan. 25, 2018 The care and welfare section of the FNV trade union will re-launch its protest campaign among ambulance workers following a failure to secure funding for extra pay. The protests were suspended in November (see epsucob@NEWS 21, November 2017) when a commitment was given to provide EUR 19.5m to deal with major staff shortages in the sector. The FNV says that EUR 13.5m of this should cover higher pay with a demand for EUR 1500 for each worker this year. This is needed to address the massive work overload and attract more workers to the sector where pay is lower than other parts of the health service. The employers have refused to make this commitment, instead retaining some of this funding to boost their finances.
Jan. 24, 2018 Public service workers took strike action on 24 January calling for a pay rise. Pay was cut by 8% in 2012 and has been frozen since then despite growth in the economy, The unions are also calling for the single public sector pay structure to be maintained as a fair way of setting pay across the public services.The strike was supported by nearly 20 unions covering a broad range of workers including health and social services, defence, justice, fire services, education, research and other parts of government.