Oct. 09, 2019 From 1 October the 100000 workers covered by the private health and social care agreement are entitled to a flexibility bonus if they agree to stand in for a colleague at short notice . They will get a EUR 20 bonus for the shift (if only three days' notice) and EUR 10 for further days. The arrangement was part of the 2019 collective agreement negotiated by the vida and GPA-djp private service unions. The unions see this as an important initiative, recognising the high level of workloads, extent of sickness and staff shortages that often need to be addressed with additional shifts.
Oct. 09, 2019 The FOA public services union has analysed the staffing shortage facing health and social service providers across the country. It estimates that by 2028 the staffing shortage will reach 41000 unless urgent action is taken now. With a third of staff aged 55 and over, there will be a large number of retirements in the coming period, not taking account of staff who may change jobs. FOA argues that the service needs to offer more full-time jobs with greater recognition of the work done by carers and proper time allowed to carry out tasks.
Oct. 09, 2019 Over 200 staff at the Schildautal hospital in Seesen in Lower Saxony took strike action on 4 October in defiance of threats from management that they would be dismissed. The hospital is owned by Asklepios, the second biggest private hospital group in Germany. The health union ver.di wants to negotiate a collective agreement that would bring pay in line with the public sector. However, the company not only refuses to negotiate but has threatened strikers with the sack and promised bonuses to strike breakers. The recent ver.di congress sent a message of solidarity to workers at the hospital.
Oct. 02, 2019
On 1 October over 60 trade union representatives from 22 countries took part in a lively conference in Brussels on the European Semester - the European Union's annual process of economic and social policy coordination.
Sep. 27, 2019 Health unions have managed to ensure that the government will honour the current collective agreement that commited it to pay increases of 3% and 4% this year. The unions were forced to organise a high-profile national campaign - "5 to midnight" - when the government indicated it would not implement the increases. The campaign highlighted the state of the health service, understaffing and overwork and the need to recognise health workers' commitment. The unions are now looking forward to the start of the next pay negotiations and will continue their campaign on the need to invest in the health service.
Sep. 27, 2019 Following a meeting with the health ministry earlier this month, negotiations between unions and the private sector health employers have restarted and a timetable of weekly meetings foreseen. The unions were becoming frustrated by the refusal of the two employer organisations to negotiate a renewal of the sector agreement which has been effectively frozen for over 12 years.
Sep. 27, 2019 Hospital unions, including FNV and NU'91 - are extremely disappointed by the latest offer from the employers in the negotiations that cover 200000 health workers. The employers offered a one-off payment in 2020 (worth around 4% of pay) and a 4% pay increase in 2021 with an additional payment for irregular work. However, at the same time they want to reduce their social contributions and workers' payments when off sick. The unions are aiming for a 5% in a 12-month agreement and want to see pay improved for all workers not just the 50% who work irregular hours. The unions are also calling for action on working time and breaks. Various actions around the country are continuing.
Sep. 26, 2019 The ver.di health union at the KfH, a national institute for dialysis and kidney transplants employing around 7000 workers, is planning its next pay claim with a view to closing the pay gap with the main public sector agreement which is between 5%-11% depending on the occupation. The union is also aiming to negotiate several improvements in pay and conditions that will apply only to ver.di members. The main demand will be for an 8% pay rise covering the 12-month period from 1 January 2020. The union also wants a system of variable payments to be replaced with a single fixed holiday payment of ERU 1500, again specifically for ver.di members. The claim also includes improvements for trainees.
Sep. 26, 2019 The vida private services union has reported with concern a violent incident between patients at an addition clinic in Vienna. The union says it was shocking that at the time there was only one member of staff on the night shift responsible for 45 patients. Vida wants immediate action to ensure no member of staff works alone and calls for support for its new campaign, "More of us, better for everyone." The campaign calls for 20% more staff in hospitals and national, legal minimum staffing levels along with measures to boost education and training.
Sep. 13, 2019 The vpod public services union has taken further action in its campaign to get the time health workers need to change clothes counted as working time. The union has submitted a whole series of complaints to the regional labour inspectorate in Zürich about the USZ hospital. These cover a range of issues around staffing and working time but the changing time is key. The issue has also been taken up by the hospital's staffing committee.
Sep. 13, 2019 The vida public services union is joining up with the Chamber of Labour to launch a campaign to highlight the urgent need to increase staffing in hospitals. Various actions are planned as part of the "More of us. Better for All" campaign which will highlight the pressures on workers from understaffing. The main demands are for a 20% increase in hospital staffing with urgent action needed in acute care; introducing a national, binding basis for establishing staffing levels; and measures related to education and training to make health occupations more attractive to younger workers.
Sep. 13, 2019 Members of the ver.di public services union employed by the private healthcare company Asklepios are taking action across the country to try to secure collective agreements. Only a third of the company's 46000 workers are covered by an agreement with most facing unilateral decisions by management on their pay. In some facilities this means employees are being paid EUR 1000 a month less than those doing the equivalent job in a public sector hospital. In some cases workers have rejected higher pay offers from management and demanded that the union be able to negotiate a collective agreement.