The current system of approval of medical devices is carried out by private agencies, dominated by business interests. EPSU calls for an urgent overhaul of these procedures.
Nov. 29, 2018
Nov. 23, 2018
Access to quality health, care and education and fairer and better tax, benefit and social protection systems are among some of the positive elements in the European Commission’s 2019 Annual Growth Survey (AGS) that was published on 21 November.
Nov. 23, 2018 On 20 November the government announced compulsory arbitration to end a dispute between the NSF nurses' union and the NHO private employers' organisation. The union had called a strategic strike of 55 nurses on 25 October to protest against the NHO agreement having lower minimum pay and sickness benefit rates compared to the agreement negotiated with municipal employers. NSF has found examples of nurses' annual salaries in NHO employers that are NOK 30000-100000 (EUR 3200-10000) lower than in the public sector. After three weeks of strike action the NHO imposed a lockout on all 501 NSF members in NHO organisations prompting the government to intervene on the basis that the lockout posed a threat to patients' health.
Nov. 22, 2018 Health federations from the CGIL, CISL and UIL confederations organising doctors, hospital managers and vets joined the call for 24-hour strike action on 23 November. The unions are angry that the collective agreement for this group of workers remains unchanged after 10 years and is the last of the public sector agreements to be renewed. They are also calling for urgent action to deal with low pay, lack of resources and understaffing. The pressure on staff is set to increase with the average age of workers at 53 and an estimated 10000 doctors and managers set to retire over the next two years.
Nov. 22, 2018 The FNV trade union is refusing to sign a new collective agreement covering the ambulance sector arguing that it fails to deliver on pay and jobs. Indeed, the union says that pay rates in the agreement are below those paid by agencies and so the agreement will do nothing to stem the flow of workers out of direct employment in the sector. The FNV organised a petition signed by over 2000 ambulance staff calling for better pay and action on jobs and hours but the head of the ambulance service didn't event meet FNV members to accept the petition. A two-hour work stoppage was organised in the Rotterdam region on 21 November while work-to-rule actions continue across the country.
Nov. 22, 2018 After three rounds of negotiations, public sector unions have secured a minimum pay rise of 2.51% rising to 3.45% for lower paid workers. The increase will be implemented on 1 January 2019 and will include a 2.76% increase on other payments and allowances. The increases are ahead of the 2.02% inflation rate that formed the basis of the negotiations The younion public service union says that workers with a gross monthly salary of EUR 2000 will see pay rise by around 3.3% while those on EUR 3000 will get a 3.0% increase. The unions now want to see all regions implement the pay rise in full.
Nov. 08, 2018 INMO, the nurses' and midwives' union, is balloting its members over strike action in protest at low pay and staffing shortages. If agreed, there will be 24-hour strike with proposals already to escalate this to two days of action in the following week if the government fails to respond. INMO says that for every four nursing vacancies there is only one application and that the health service is paying employment agencies EUR 10000 for every nurse or midwife they recruit. It underlines the importance of tackling this issue to ensure the safety of patients which is under threat as a result of the current staff shortages.
Nov. 08, 2018 The LVSADA health union is extremely concerned that the state budget for 2019 will not include promised funding to cover pay increases for health workers. The union has called for rises of around 20% as an essential step to try to stem the loss of workers to other sectors or to other countries. LVSADA believes that the outgoing government made the promise as an election ploy and is now saying it has no responsibility for the budget. Following elections in October negotiations are underway to form a new government.
Nov. 08, 2018 ADEDY, the public services confederation, has called a 24-hour strike for 14 November. It is calling on the government to negotiate over a gradual process of pay restoration. ADEDY says that civil servants have already seen pay cut by 40% and now tax rises and reductions in tax allowances will further reduce take home pay. It is calling for immediate pay rises and the restoration of the 13th and 14th month salaries as initial steps in this process. The strike demands also cover the urgent need to recruit additional permanent staff, for measures on skills and training rather than a new evaluation system, improvements to pensions and a stop to privatisation.
Nov. 08, 2018 Health unions in Bulgaria signed a new collective agreement on 8 November which includes substantial pay increases for workers across the sector. Compared to the pay rates set in the 2016 collective agreement, the minimum wage for nurses, midwives and laboratory technicians will increase by 22% from 900 lev (EUR 460) to 1100 lev (EUR 560) a month. The basic rate for doctors and pharmacists will increase by just under 30% from 1200 lev (EUR 615) to 1550 lev (EUR 790). Higher increases of up to 50% will be paid to medical specialists.
Nov. 08, 2018 Members of the FNV union in the ambulance service have restarted their work-to-rule industrial action. The action had been suspended to allow for further negotiations but the employers then broke off negotiations and withdrew an earlier pay offer. The FNV is calling for urgent action to address staffing shortages. It is aiming for a 7.5% pay increase in 2018 and 3.5% in 2019 which it says are needed to keep ambulance pay in line with other parts of the health service. The union says that employers should fund higher pay rather than spending money on recruiting agency workers to cover understaffing.
Nov. 02, 2018 The OSZSP health union took part in a tripartite meeting with the health minister and health employers last month with pay and staffing high on the agenda. The union is still seeking confirmation from the government that the 10% pay increase offered to health workers will be implemented from 1 January and that it will apply to all health workers. It warns that problems with the health service will arise if workers in some areas don't benefit from the same pay increase. The union has called for data on hospitals, patient numbers, staffing and average pay along with information on overtime hours and payments so that there can be a fully informed discussion about the extent of understaffing.
Nov. 02, 2018 The GPA-djp private services union has underlined the need for action in the care sector to address the quality and quantity of services and the pay and conditions of care workers, three quarters of whom are women. With demand increasing, particularly as a result of the ageing population, the union wants to see the federal government take responsibility to introduce national standards of care to end the variation between the regions and to increase funding to the sector to help address low pay and the widespread use of part-time work.
Nov. 02, 2018 The four main public service unions - FP-CGIL, CISL-FP, UIL-PA and UIL-FPL - have together launched a major campaign and petition calling for action to improve public services and deliver better employment conditions. The four unions have drawn up a document with 11 key proposals that cover calls for increased public investment; substantial recruitment of new workers and improved training provision; better union representation; finalising outstanding collective agreements for the 2016-2018 period and ensuring resources for the next round of agreements for 2019-21; bringing back privatised services in-house and increased funding for the health service.
Nov. 02, 2018 Trade unions reported a high level of support for the national one-day strike in public administration and other public services on 26 October. The unions are determined to continue their campaign to end the pay freeze that various governments have imposed since 2009 and to unfreeze career progression. In the meantime, there has been further action in the health service, with workers in technical diagnostic and therapeutic services involved in a 24-hour strike on 29 October over the pay structure, pay increase, career development and working time.