May. 04, 2018 Municipal workers' union Kommunal has recorded the success it has had in improving the pay and status of assistant nurses. In 2016 and 2017 the union ensured that assistant nurses received a pay increase of SEK 1020 (EUR 97) worth around 4.3% while the overall increase in local government was SEK 520 (EUR 49) worth around 2.2%. Further progress followed in 2017 with SEK 180 (EUR 17) for assistant nurses on top of the general increase of SEK 530 (EUR 50), worth 2.2%.Kommunal notes that the gap between pay for nurses and engineers has closed but that more needs to be done to increase pay in sectors and jobs dominated by women. It is also targeting childcare workers in terms of improving their pay and status.
May. 03, 2018 A major conflict across the public sector was avoided as trade unions negotiated new agreements covering state, local and regional government workers. Some elements of the agreements are the same with an overall package worth 8.1% over three years. This figure includes a basic increase for all workers but also elements directly specifically at low paid workers and jobs predominantly done by women. An important element is the change in the rules linking pay developments to those in the public sector with the guarantee now that pay will move fully in parallel rather than only guaranteeing a part of the private sector increase.
May. 03, 2018 The SINTAP public services union organised a two-day strike of health workers on 2-3 May in protest over working hours, excessive workloads and overtime and the need to improve career development. The union wants to see the 35-hour week guaranteed for all health workers, ensuring equal treatment across the public services. SINTAP highlights the problem of excessive workloads with many workers building up large credits of overtime worked. It is calling for workers to be paid for their overtime and for an increase in employment to address the problem of workloads. Early indications were of very strong support for the strike, with 70% walking out.
May. 03, 2018 Information gathered by the GMB trade union shows that the number of violent attacks on ambulance workers in the UK increased by 34% between 2012/13 and 2016/17 with a total of 14,441 physical assaults against ambulance workers over that period. The figures are published in the GMB's new report, In Harm’s Way: Confronting Violence Against NHS Ambulance Staff, providing arguments for the union's campaign to have special legislation aimed at protecting emergency service workers.
May. 03, 2018 Health union representatives met with the government on 2 May following a well-supported rally on 26 April. The government has promised to tackle some of the pay and bonus problems identified by health unions but has yet to come up with concrete written proposals. Health union Sanitas wants the government to lift the 30% limit on bonuses and to increase pay for all workers in health and social services. It also wants to negotiate collective agreements in the two sectors. Unless the government addresses these issues the union is planning a two-hour warning strike on 7 May and a national one-day strike on 11 May. EPSU has sent letters supporting the union's case to the Prime Minister and the ministers of health, finance and labour.
May. 03, 2018 Trade unions in the municipal sector are pleased with the new collective agreement which they say recognises workers' competences, will encourage training and education as well as recruitment to the sector. The unions believe that the pay increases reflect skills at all levels whether based on formal qualifications or experience and will contribute to closing the gender pay gap. All workers will get an increase of NOK 5000 (EUR 515) a year and there are also increases to allowances for night and weekend work.
May. 02, 2018 The ver.di public services union is calling for solidarity for two of its members who have been summarily sacked for their trade union activities. The union has been engaged in a pay dispute with the Celenus group of rehabiliation centres which has around 20 operations in Germany employing over 2100 workers. Carmen Laue and Heike Schmidt, members of the ver.di collective bargaining committee, were sacked for distributing information on strike action. Ver.di has criticised the company for trying to intimidate workers rather than try to resolve the dispute through negotiation. The union is asking for messages of support for the sacked workers and for protest messages to be sent to Celenus management.
May. 02, 2018 Public service unions, including Fórsa and SIPTU, have met with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for discussions on dealing more rapidly with the problem of pay equity for new entrants to the public service. In the pay changes implemented as part of austerity measures in 2011, two additional points were added to the first two pay grades for new starters. This means that they need two more years to reach the top of their pay grades compared to higher grades. The unions argue that with economic growth and higher tax revenues, it should be possible to tackle this issue in advance of the next formal round of collective bargaining. There are around 60,513 new entrants, making up 19% of public service workers, who are affected.
Apr. 20, 2018 Following its initial protests in March, the Sanitas health union is planning further action to put pressure on the government over pay and bonuses. A national rally is planned for 26 April and a two-hour warning strike will take place on 7 May followed by a full national strike across the health and social service sectors on 11 May. The union is protesting over the new pay system that hasn't delivered pay increases for all workers. The union also wants a general pay rise, an end to the cap on bonuses, compensation for pay lost to increase social contributions and the right to negotiate collective agreements covering the two sectors.
Apr. 20, 2018 Eight public sector trade union organisations are planning another day of protest and strike action on 22 May in opposition to government plans for public service reform and proposals to cut 120000 civil service jobs. The unions criticise the spread of contract employment across the public sector and the undermining of the statutory basis of their pay and conditions. The unions will also use the day of action to highlight the need for a real increase in pay in advance of the meeting with the government on pay planned for June.
Apr. 20, 2018 Public services union Unison has criticised NHS Trusts - the local bodies that run health services - for creating a two-tier workforce by setting up wholly-owned subsidiaries to which they transfer staff and which are then used to reduce pay and pensions and other working conditions. Not only is the union strongly opposed to this initiative - which mainly affects lower paid workers such as porters and cleaners - but it has also exposed how some NHS Trusts have spent millions on consultants to advise them on the process.
Apr. 20, 2018 The mediator in the public sector pay dispute has extended the official period of mediation. Unless she decides to end the mediation early then this means that the unions cannot take any strike action until 6 May and employers cannot impose their threatened lockout until 12 May. In the meantime unions are still mobilising their activists and public services union FOA organised a meeting of 2000 worker representatives which reaffirmed their determination to push for a real wage increase as well as special measures to address low pay and pay in occupations dominated by women.