Apr. 30, 2019 Five workers from the private health sector spoke at the rally on 15 April calling for a new agreement for the sector, 12 years after the last one was signed. The five workers - including nurses, a hospital manager and disability care worker - spoke about the challenges of surviving on pay levels unchanged for more than a decade and in the case of one for 17 years. Along with this they often face increasing work pressures as a result of staff shortages and even have to pay for their own training. In one hospital a nurse starts on only EUR 1350 a month and an experienced nurse gets only EUR 1520. The workers are calling for parity with the public sector and, ideally, a collective agreement that covers the whole sector, both public and private.
Apr. 16, 2019 The leaders of the three main trade union confederations - CGIL, CSIL and UIL - joined a major rally in Rome on 15 April for workers in private health care. The three federations representing the 300000 workers in the sector called the rally to discuss the next steps in their campaign to negotiate a new sector agreement, 12 years after the last one was signed. The federations highlight the heavy workloads and precarious employment conditions being faced by many private health workers. The unions are angry that after a year of negotiations, the two employer organisations - ARIS and AIOP - have so far refused to offer the level of funding needed to cover higher pay and other improvements in a new collective agreement.
Apr. 16, 2019 The Marburger Bund (MB) doctors' union organised a warning strike and 5000-strong national demonstration in Frankfurt on 10 April in protest at the failure of the VKA employers' organisation to address the union's key demands on working time. The negotiations cover around 55000 doctors employed in 500 municipal hospitals across the country. MB is calling for a set of clear measures to ensure better working time planning, reduced workloads and more free time. Following the third round of bargaining the union regards the latest employers' offer as just not worth considering. MB is looking for a reform of rules on on-call time, strict procedures on recording working time, two free weekends per month, clear maxima for on-call hours, no full-time work after a period on on-call and additional pay for on-call hours. The union has convened its collective bargaining committee to decide what next steps to take.
Apr. 15, 2019 Nine trade union organisations are now supporting the national public sector strike on 9 May - CFDT, CFTC, CFE-CGC, CGT, FAFP, FO, FSU, Solidaires, and UNSA. The key demands are for the government to stop its plan for a transformation of the public service that involves around 120000 job cuts. The unions are also calling for an end to the pay freeze and a pay increase for all public sector workers. The unions claim that the government talks about the importance of the work of civil servants while at the same time undermining their rights, benefits and working conditions. They also say that there has been a failure to negotiate properly with the unions and to take account of the alternative proposals they have for the public sector.
Apr. 12, 2019
On 28 March 2019 EPSU participated, together with its representatives of the two national affiliates from Romania, Sanitas, and Croatia, HSSMS-MT, in the kick-off meeting of the joint HOSPEEM-EPSU project focusing on strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector that will run in 2019 and 2020.
Apr. 05, 2019
On 1 and 2 April EPSU participated in and contributed to activities in relation to World Health Day (7 April) to fight against (more) privatisation, marketisation and commercialisation in this sector across Europe.
Mar. 28, 2019 Members of the Sanitas health and social care union joined protests in 14 cities around the country on 20 March as part of the union's continuing campaign over pay and bonuses. Sanitas is trying to ensure that all workers in the health and social services sector get the pay rise they are entitled to and it also wants to see limits on bonuses lifted. Further actions are planned if the government doesn't come up with concrete proposals.
Mar. 28, 2019 Public service unions organised a national protest on 27 March, the day that draft legislation on public service reform was presented to the Council of Ministers. The unions oppose the main reforms that they fear will lead to increased use of workers on contracts rather than civil service status and plans to cut 120000 jobs. Most unions are also planning further action with 9 May as the date for demonstrations and strikes. Meanwhile, customs workers have been on a work-to-rule. While the impact of Brexit is one of the drivers of the action, the unions argue that there are other long-term problems that need addressing. Around 6000 jobs have been cut from the service over the last 10 years while the work has become more complex with increasing demands related to terrorism. Failure to invest to in up-to-date equipment has also contributed to the problems faced by border workers.
Mar. 27, 2019 Unions representing nurses and midwives have been in the Labour Court where hearings continue over a new contract. Both the INMO nurses' and midwives' union and the SIPTU general union have strong objections to the government proposals. The unions point out that the working time arrangements would be too rigid for an overwhelmingly female workforce as would reducing shifts to only four hours or requiring nurses and midwives to work up to 45 km away from their normal workplace.
Mar. 27, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private service unions have called for workplace meetings to take place in all Red Cross establishments on 29 March. This is a reaction to the employers' decision to call off the next bargaining round on 22 March and delay negotiations to mid-April. The employer has so far rejected the main demands from the union for unified, national collective provisions to ensure a five-day week for all, better shift arrangements, additional payments for night and Sunday work and more holidays. The unions are also concerned that in some regions employees don't get paid breaks or allowances for children. The 8500 Red Cross employees work in rescue services, blood collection, homes for the elderly, care homes and childcare.
Mar. 27, 2019 After three rounds of negotiations, the ver.di health union has managed to negotiate a 6.5% rise for the 18000 workers employed by the Helios health company. On top of this nurses and midwives will get an additional allowance worth up to EUR 300 a month depending on level of qualifications. The 6.5% will be paid in three stages: 3.0% backdated to 1 January, 2.5% from 1 January 2020 and 1.0% from 1 November 2020. There will also be increases of EUR 60 (January 2019) and EUR 40 (January 2020) for trainees. Ver.di is pleased that the additional allowance acknowledges the value of nurses' work and their heavy workloads but is disappointed the payment won't come until next year.
Mar. 18, 2019
On 7 March 2019 EPSU participated in a roundtable of more than 40 participants in the European Parliament on the prevention of exposure to hazardous drugs in the healthcare sector in Europe.