Sep. 14, 2018 EPSU and affiliates in the social services sector across Europe have been sending solidarity messages to colleagues at the Celenus clinic in Germany. The clinic is part of the French multinational Orpea which runs residential homes and provides care services. The solidarity will be an encouragement to members of the ver.di services union as they continue to put pressure on the Celenus management to abide by their legal and collective agreement obligations and negotiate a pay increase. The union is also challenging the company over its dismissal of two trade union activists. EPSU affiliates from Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, where Orpea has subsidiaries, all sent messages of support.
Sep. 14, 2018 The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has published two reports on collective bargaining and social dialogue. A working paper on social dialogue in public services was published to mark the 40th anniversary of ILO Convention 151 on labour relations in the public services. It covers three of the European social dialogue committees in which EPSU is involved along with examples of how social dialogue works in Italy, Denmark and the Czech and Slovak Republics. The ILO's report on extension of collective agreements provides evidence on the important role that this process can play in reducing inequality and countering unfair competition by providing a level playing field at sector level.
Sep. 14, 2018 Four unions representing nurses - SEP, ASPE, SERAM and SINDEPOR - are all supporting national strike action on 20-21 September. Their protest is over the failure of the government to respond to a series of demands on improving the career and pay structure for nurses. These demands cover salaries that properly reflect nurses' job content, with particular concern for specialist nurses and nursing managers, confirmation of 35 years' service and 57 years of age as retirement age, provision of measures to compensate for the arduousness of shift work and the recruitment of more nurses.
Sep. 14, 2018 Workers in public administration and some other public services will see their pay rise by at least 5% in 2019, with higher increases for low-paid workers in some areas including the departments of justice, culture, labour and social administration. There will higher increases of 15% and 10% for teachers and non-teaching staff in education while the security forces will get between 2% and 6%. The increase for health workers has yet to be confirmed. The OSZSP health union wants a pay rise of 10% across the board which it argues has been promised by the prime minister. However, the health minister has proposed a 10% increase in the wage bill but with different increases for different groups of workers. In a recent meeting with OSZSP, the Czech Nurses' Association confirmed its support for a 10% increase.
Sep. 13, 2018 A survey by the ver.di services trade union and DGB trade union confederation reveals sharp differences between occupations when it comes to workloads and stress. Four out of five nurses say that they often feel harassed because of excessive workloads. This is higher than the 69% of eldercare workers and well above the 55% registered across all occupations. There are similar differences when it comes to employees saying that have to cut corners on quality to ensure service delivery. This was the case for 49% of nurses, 42% of eldercare workers but only 22% of all occupations. Not surprising then that only 23% of nurses and 20% of eldercare workers can imagine staying to normal retirement age compared to 48% of all workers. Ver.di has called on the government to legislate on safe staffing levels but has rejected the latest proposal on this from the health minister.
Sep. 13, 2018 The latest stage of the long-running conflict between the FNV trade union and the ambulance service will see ambulance employees working to rule from 8am on 24 September. This means that workers will stick strictly to the collective agreement and so there will be no overtime, all breaks will be taken and no additional tasks will be taken on. The union has set out demands for higher pay and action to reduce workloads but the employers failed to respond to these by the union's 29 August deadline. The FNV argues strongly that the sector faces a major staffing problem and that action on pay and working conditions is urgently needed to improve recruitment and retention.
Sep. 13, 2018 Workers from three psychiatric hospitals in Paris took strike action and joined a demonstration on 6 September to show their anger over plans to introduce new working time arrangements. The joint action was called by the CGT, CFDT, FO, CFE-CGC and SUD trade unions who argue that the management plans for working time for the 5000 employees will mean that workers will lose between five and 10 rest days a year. The trade unions argue that this would be unacceptable in normal circumstances but is even worse in a situation where many workers are already exhausted as a result of excessive workloads.
Sep. 07, 2018
Trade unionists from all over Europe agree to step up efforts to build networks in health and social care multinationals
On 4 September, more than 40 trade union representatives from 15 European countries met in Brussels to discuss how to coordinate their activities in multinational enterprises in the health and social care sectors.
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. 31, 2018 The LVSADA health union has managed to negotiate an agreement to tackle problems arising from a restructuring of the ambulance service. A reduction of night shifts meant an increase in waiting times particularly in the Latgale, Vidzeme and Zemgale regions, creating problems for staff and difficulties for patients. The union formally announced a dispute with the ambulance service management, highlighting the constitutional commitment to emergency medical care as a human right. However, it was possible to resolve the situation before the union took any action.
Aug. 31, 2018 The three main unions representing health workers - FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL - have issued a joint call demanding urgent action to tackle doctor shortages across the health service. The three federations are particularly concerned about precarious employment, the need for more specialists and for a recruitment plan for doctors to be put in place as soon as possible. They made their case at a meeting with the Ministry of Health on 30 August where they highlighted the impact of austerity and recruitment freezes which have impacted emergency services above all. The unions have warned for many years about the impact of doctor shortages and want to see a boost to recruitment of permanent staff and increases to both specialist and general medical training.
Aug. 30, 2018 Workers at University Medical Centres (UMC) are involved in a series of actions to push for a new collective agreement, including a 3.5% pay increase and measures to reduce excessive workloads. Negotiations have been stalled since the end of May and members of the FNV and NU'91 unions have organised demonstrations and worked-to-rule to underline the strength of feeling to employers. The UMC agreement covers 60000 workers. Meanwhile, youth care workers have also been active over excessive workloads and outsourcing. Around 2500 youth care workers are expected for a national demonstration on 3 September. The workers, members of the FNV, are calling for an extra EUR 750 million for the sector - EUR 450m to compensate for previous cuts and EUR 300 million to deal with increased demand. Youth care workers say it is increasingly difficult to deliver a proper service to young people and their families.
Aug. 29, 2018
The Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive – What we need for a global EU strategy against work related cancer
EPSU shares the view of ETUC concerning the different elements needed for a global EU strategy against work related cancer. We want to insist on the need to provide better prevention for more than 12.7 million healthcare workers in Europe.
Aug. 29, 2018 Health union ver.di has suspended its strike action in university hospitals in Düsseldorf and Essen to allow mediators to help resolve the conflict over workloads and staffing (see previous three issues of epsucob@NEWS). It agreed to the initiative following the intervention of the labour minister of the North Rhine Westfalia region. Earlier in the year ver.di was successful in negotiating a key agreement on staffing and workloads covering hospitals in Freiburg, Heidelburg, Tübingen and Ulm in the Baden-Württemburg region. The agreement set out a procedure for determining staffing levels in different sections and what should be done when staff numbers fell below the agreed quota. It also committed the institutions to create 120 full-time posts between them and established certain basic rules including a minimum of two workers per night shift one of whom should have at least three years' training.