Aug. 17, 2018 Workers at the ECALMA municipal transport company in Almada near Lisbon planned strike action on 17 and 18 August to put pressure on management to negotiate a collective agreement on wages and career development and to implement promised improvements in working conditions. Meanwhile nurses at a number of hospitals across the country are taking strike action in order to secure their rights to career development which have been frozen for many years.
Aug. 17, 2018 Workers at the Vierzon public hospital in central France are involved in strike action to defend services and jobs. The trade unions involved - CGT, CFDT, FO and SUD - have expressed their concern about plans to close surgical, paediatric and maternity services at the hospital leaving local people with long journeys to the nearest facilities. They have called for all services to be maintained, for investment in new facilities, action to tackle the hospital's debt and a stop to any job cuts. Along with strike action the unions organised a human chain around the hospital and have been highlighting the potential impact of the closures to local people.
Aug. 17, 2018 EPSU has sent solidarity greetings to members of the ver.di services union who are taking strike action against the Celenus care company, a subsidiary of the French multinational Orpea. The company has sacked worker representatives, has threatened to outsource cleaning jobs and refuses to negotiate a collective agreement.
Aug. 17, 2018 The FNV union is planning a new round of actions in the ambulance sector as it continues its long-running campaign to improve pay and conditions and address excessive workloads. The union has called on the employers to negotiate a plan with concrete measures including a commitment to a specific deadline to deal with staff shortages; reducing overtime and additional work; complying with the collective agreement in relation to breaks and the reduction of external hiring and subcontracting; and an agreement to increase salaries in line with other parts of the health sector.
Aug. 16, 2018 The Fagforbundet trade union has reported the Aleris Ungplan and Boi private care company to the authorities for possible breaches of labour, health and safety, tax and even criminal law. The union has taken up cases for a number of workers who have been denied their rights on pay, sick pay and pensions and forced to work excessive hours. The cases mainly involve workers who were taken on as "consultants" rather than employees so that the company could avoid paying pension, sickness and other costs. The company is a subsidiary of a major private sector health and social care provider, Aleris, and Fagforbundet says this is one of the worst cases of social dumping in the welfare sector it has seen and also wants action by regional government which is responsible for health and social care provision.
Aug. 16, 2018 The three main unions representing the 20000 employees of the ANPAS non-profit national emergency and social assistance organisation have negotiated a new collective agreement covering the period 2017-2019. With a basic increase of EUR 85 (worth around 5.7% for emergency drivers) the agreement follows the pattern in the public sector. There are several other key provisions including improvements related to training, sickness and injury, quotas for fixed-term contracts, and rights for women who are the victims of violence. The unions hope that this will help push forward other agreements in the non-profit sector.
Aug. 16, 2018 A planned three-day strike by UNISON members at the Mid Yorkshire National Health Service (NHS) Hospitals Trust has been called off after the trust’s management lifted the threat of creating a wholly-owned subsidiary. In line with other NHS bodies around the country, the trust had intended to set up the company and transfer the contracts of cleaners, maintenance workers, IT and canteen staff to it. The subsidiary would have made it possible to put staff on non-NHS terms and conditions and to make it easier for it to be sold to a private company. UNISON is campaigning around the country to block these kinds of initiatives.
Aug. 16, 2018
The French multinational company ORPEA specialising in elderly care, psychiatry, rehabilitation, home care and other assistance to dependent people is massively violating trade union rights of workers in the clinics of Celenus, one of its subsidiaries in Germany.
Aug. 15, 2018 Health services union ver.di is considering all-out strike action following the refusal of management at the Düsseldorf and Essen university hospitals to negotiate an agreement to tackle excessive workloads (see two previous editions of epsucob@NEWS). The union had been discussing various measures to tackle staff shortages and overwork and it had welcomed an initiative by the employers to take on 100 extra staff. Further talks were expected but then to ver.di's surprise on 14 August the employers announced that they wouldn't be seeking to negotiate an agreement. Ver.di will continue to press for the negotiations to resume. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Aug. 07, 2018
The official auditing body, the Cámara de Cuentas, has challenged the privatisation of hospitals in the Madrid region, arguing that there has been no evidence provided for any increase in efficiency or improvements in healthcare arising from the privatisation.
Aug. 02, 2018 The ADEDY public service confederation and health workers' union managed to secure a meeting with the Minister of Finance earlier this month and a commitment to further meetings. However, on one of the main issues of the meeting - extending the allowance for dangerous work to all sectors - the Minister didn't agree and suggested that some workers might see cuts in order to make the allowance available to others. In response to calls to increase the number of permanent staff and reduce flexible contracts the Minister acknowledged the problem of underfunding, particular in healthcare, and indicated that the confederation would be consulted on the allocation of EUR 3.5 billion. The unions remain concerned about the government's plans in the light of the recent bailout deal which they see as locking the country into long-term austerity.
Aug. 02, 2018 Municipal workers' union Kommunal is highlighting a new report that contrasts workers' views of pay and conditions in the female-dominated care sector with those of workers in the male-dominated construction sector. In a wide range of assessments the views of care workers are much more negative than their counterparts in construction. While more than half of care workers have thought about changing jobs this applies to only 38% in construction while only 33% think that staffing levels are adequate in the care sector compared to 60% in construction. Half of care workers wouldn't recommend their career compared only 25% in construction while 80% of care workers say their employers don't do enough to raise the status of the profession compared to 25% in construction. The report's findings are being discussed within the union which will take them up with employers and politicians.
Aug. 02, 2018 A new collective agreement covering 9000 maternity nurses has been agreed by the FNV and NU'91 unions with a 5.75% pay rise over two years along with 10% increases for those in their first and second years in order to make the sector more attractive to young workers. Pay will be increased in four stages: 1% (backdated to April 2018); 1.5% (October 2018); 1.5% (January 2019) and 1.75% (May 2019). There will also be an end to 24-hour on-call shifts and other measures are foreseen to reduce workloads and improve work-life balance. A committee will be set up to monitor compliance with the collective agreement.
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.