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 Following the massive mobilisation on 30 January (see previous issue of epsucob@NEWS 03, 2018), trade unions in the eldercare sector have called for a second day of strike action on 15 March. The eight trade union organisations have been joined by two further trade unions and again have the support of directors of eldercare institutions. The unions are highly critical of the failure of the government to commit additional funding to the sector. They are repeating their calls for 1:1 staff/client ratio in care homes and more time for home care workers' visits. They also want to see an increase in salaries and improved career prospects.
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. 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.
Feb. 07, 2018 In a number of key cities, ambulance workers, members of the FNV trade union, re-launched their campaign over understaffing and overwork with a work-to-rule. The workers will strictly abide by all relevant rules and regulations related to working time, working conditions and patient hygiene to demonstrate to employers how they are normally forced to cut corners because of the enormous pressure they are under to attend emergencies. The union says that with current staffing levels it is impossible to achieve target response times. See also epsucob@NEWS 02, January 2018 and 21, November 2017.
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 Unions organising in the elder care sector are mobilising for a day of action, including strikes, across the country. The unions are demanding increased funding for the sector in order to ensure the quality of service and for increased staffing. The union demands also include higher pay and improvements in other conditions such as career development, linking quality employment conditions with quality of services. The action is supported by all the major trade union organisations active in the sector.
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.
Jan. 05, 2018 At least 17 public sector unions are planning to take part in a one-day strike on 24 January to demand an end to austerity and to the retention of the single pay system for all public sector workers. The unions are concerned about pay deals with doctors, public sector directors and senior managers in the state holding company that call into question the single pay structure in the public sector. In the meantime, the firefighters' union has called off action planned for 10 January following government agreement to regrading of 14 posts within the fire service.
Jan. 05, 2018 Around 5000 employees of the Paracelsus health company found out just before Christmas that the firm was insolvent. Their trade union, ver.di, said it was a bad day for both workers and patients and blamed mismanagement for the failure. The union said that workers had foregone their Christmas bonuses in 2013 and 2014 but the company had failed to deliver on the new investment promised at the time. This year the collective bargaining committee had refused to give up the bonus but the failure of the company to pay it in November was an early indication of the problems ahead. Ver.di has called on the company to work with it and the works council to provide guarantees for the workers and prevent any danger to patients.