Aug. 31, 2018 The OSZSP health and social care union issued a strike alert on 17 August following lack of progress in negotiations on wage and salary increases and the failure of the Ministry of Health to fulfil earlier promises. The union believes action on pay is essential in order to ensure recruitment to the health service and the effective functioning of hospitals. OSZSP argues that the staffing crisis threatens the extent and quality of the care provided, particularly in some smaller hospitals. The union will coordinate the next steps with the Medical Trade Union - the Association of Czech Physicians, as well as with other Trade Unions.
Aug. 30, 2018 The head of the younion public services union, Christian Meidlinger, representing workers in local and regional authorities, has written to the Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Public Services calling for the annual public sector pay negotiations to start as soon as possible. Noting the good performance of Austrian public services in international comparisons, Meidlinger argues that the work of public service workers should be recognised, particularly where they have managed to maintain services while facing pressure from staffing shortages. He has also underlined the need for a pay rise covering the whole of the public sector. Meidlinger concedes that recent negotiations have allowed for some local variation in pay systems but that it is important that the annual pay negotiations deliver an increase for all public service workers.
Aug. 17, 2018 A new national conciliator has been appointed and has already created concern among trade unions following a TV interview. Vuokko Piekkala comes from the church employers' organisation and told the YLE channel that the first agreement reached in the upcoming bargaining round will, under her guidance, set a pay rise ceiling for the rest of the agreements. Public services unions TEHY and JHL, along with the SAK confederation, immediately expressed their concerns about Piekkala taking a position in line with the employers rather than showing strict impartiality.
Aug. 03, 2018
Twenty-nine participants from EPSU affiliates in 16 countries met in Kiljava in southern Finland at the beginning of July in a two-and-a-half day seminar on public services and privatisation.
Aug. 02, 2018 The trade union-linked research organisation WSI reports that negotiated pay increases across the economy reached 3.1% in the first half of the year, up on the 2.4% recorded in the comparable periods in the last two years. With inflation at 1.7% this means a real increase of 1.4%. The highest increases came in construction (5.2%), metal (4.0%) and the public sector (3.75%), with the last including 4% increases for new starters, lower paid and some specific occupations.
Aug. 01, 2018 The ETUC has published the priorities for its Collective Bargaining and Wages Coordination Committee. These cover four main areas - (re)building and enhancing collective bargaining; pursuing upward wage and social convergence; combating in-work poverty, particularly through increasing wages for the lower paid; and increasing solidarity and reducing inequalities. The detailed policy document sets out how the ETUC will follow up on its Pay Rise campaign and includes provisions for a two-year project where the ETUC will aim to support initiatives at national level to boost sector-level bargaining.
Aug. 01, 2018 The FP-CGIL trade union federation has met with public administration minister Giulia Bongiorno to set out four urgent priorities for action. These involve tackling precarious employment, increasing employment, negotiating the next collective agreement that will cover the years 2019-2021 and ensuring increased investment in staff training. The union argues that it is not enough to simply end the freeze on recruitment as more needs to be done to boost employment or run the risk of a further decline in the quality of services. FP-CGIL also wants a limit on health spending lifted to allow for extra staffing and a guarantee that the upcoming budget will include provisions to cover the costs related to any new collective agreement.
Aug. 01, 2018 A ballot for strike action carried out by civil service union PCS has produced a massive majority (86%) in favour of strike action over pay. However, the vote is invalid because of restrictions on public sector strike action introduced two years ago by the Conservative, centre-right government. Under the rules public service unions need to achieve a 50% turnout in the ballot and on this occasion it was 41.6%. This was the highest majority and highest turnout for a strike ballot in the union's history. PCS will use the high majority for action to strengthen its pay campaign. It is also considering legal action against the government over its refusal to allow electronic voting in strike ballots.
Jul. 19, 2018 A new ETUI publication, Multi-employer bargaining under pressure: decentralisation trends in five European countries, investigates developments in the shift from centrally coordinated multi-employer to decentralized collective bargaining in a number of EU Member States where the former has been traditionally stronger (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Spain). It also looks at whether company level bargaining can play a useful new role in setting working conditions, without paving the way for social dumping and widened inequalities.
Jul. 06, 2018
Equality between men and women, precarious work for young people, transitions in the labour market triggered by climate change and digitalisation: these were among the main themes debated during a ETUC Summer School on 4-5 July in Montepulciano, Italy.
Jul. 05, 2018
Tackling gender segregation, low pay and (un)equal opportunities through collective bargaining and inclusive public services
Low pay in female dominated sectors, gender-differences in precarious employment, uneven distribution of unpaid care work, persistent pay gap