Feb. 14, 2019 National strike action across the public sector took place on 14-15 February as unions pushed the government to end its austerity measures that have taken a toll on public service workers. Unions in the FESAP federation took action over the two days while the Frente Comum group of unions joined on 15th. The unions have some common demands, particularly the urgent need to end the pay freeze and provide a pay increase for all public service workers. Other demands covered career progression, training and action to tackle precarious employment. EPSU sent solidarity messages.
Feb. 14, 2019 The three main confederations - CGIL, CISL and UIL - organised a joint demonstration on 9 February to protest over government policies. They set out a broad range of demands including the creation of quality jobs, increased public and private investment, fair and equitable tax policies, a revaluation of pensions, measures to improve the provision of welfare, health, education and other public services and renewal of collective agreements in the public sector. EPSU sent a message of support.
Feb. 13, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private services unions are coordinating strike action in 150 workplaces across 75 private health and social care organisations in the lead up to the next round of bargaining on 18 February that covers around 100000 workers. The employers have so far increased their pay offer from 2.37% to 2.5% and then to 2.8%/3.0% but the unions argue this still undervalues health and social care workers. They are also angry that the employers won't discuss the unions' call for a guarantee of reduced weekly working time or more annual leave without a cut in pay, with targets of a 35-hour week and 30 days' holiday. The union argue this is essential to help towards proper rest time for the thousands of stressed and overworked employees in the sector.
Feb. 13, 2019 Public services union ver.di is mobilising its members in regional government for a series of warning strike in the lead up to the third round of bargaining which begins on 28 February. The union says that there was no breakthrough in the second round of negotiations. The main demands are for a 6% pay increase for the 2.3 million employees with a minimum rise of EUR 200 over a 12-month period. The union also wants specific structural pay increases in care and IT, with an extra EUR 300 on the pay table covering care workers to help tackle recruitment problems. Ver.di is angry that a commitment from the federal government to cover the increases for care workers is seen by the regional government employers as a way of funding the general pay rise.
Feb. 12, 2019
At its 2018 November Plenary, the EP adopted a resolution on “Care services in the EU for improved gender equality”. EPSU had contributed to it with a written contribution and in direct exchanges with the rapporteur, MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, EPP, Finland.
Jan. 30, 2019 The state council of the Zürich region (canton) has ruled in favour of the vpod public service trade union on the question of time taken by workers to change into and out of work clothes that this should be treated as working time and paid as such. The vpod has pursued the issue particularly for health workers and is now preparing pay claims to recognise the loss of earnings in cases where the time has not been paid. On the basis of a survey, the union estimates that time for changing clothes can be around 15-20 per day and so is could account for two full weeks a year.
Jan. 30, 2019 The Sanitas health union has been continuing talks with the Ministry of Health over the pay legislation covering the health system. The union argues that the legislation effectively discriminates against certain occupations including pharmacists, biologists, psychologists, physiotherapists, medical registrars, and nurses. However, after the last meeting made no progress the union is now demanding to meet the prime minister to secure a commitment to act to resolve the issue and warns that it will mobilise its 100000 members if no progress is made.
Jan. 30, 2019 Central and local government workers have joined teachers and health workers in strike action against government plans to reform the public sector pay system. New legislation is set to establish a more unified and consistent pay structure across the public services but most groups of workers are unhappy about the proposals. Health workers were among the first to take action at the end of last year.
Jan. 29, 2019 The vida and GPA-djp private services unions are frustrated that they are not making progress in negotiations covering over 120000 health and social care workers. In the private health sector the employers' pay offer of 2.37% has been rejected as inadequate and the unions organised a day of action on 29 January with protests in three main cities - Vienna, Linz and Graz. Meanwhile negotiations in the non-profit care sector involving the Cartias (catholic) and Diakonie (protestant) employer organsiations are also blocked. The unions say they have had enough of positive words about the value and importance of the contribution of workers in the sector and it is time for action to reward them with the pay and conditions they deserve and in line with the levels of pay for jobs of similar skills in the public and industrial sectors.
Jan. 29, 2019 The Frente Comum and FESAP federations of public service unions are planning national strike action on 15 February with FESAP unions also mobilising on the 14th. The unions have a broad range of demands on the government leading with the priority of ending the long-running pay freeze and tackling low pay. They also want government commitments on pensions, career progression and an end to precarious employment. The unions further underline the need to invest in quality public services rather than undermine them through privatisation.
Jan. 17, 2019 The CGIL, CSIL and UIL federations representing doctors, vets and hospital managers organised a national demonstration on 17 January to highlight the 10-year freeze on collective bargaining in the only public sector agreement that has not been renewed. The unions also complain of excessive working time and massive shortages of staff and now a change in the budget law that effectively blocks renegotiation of the collective agreement. The unions are planning a 24-hour strike on 25 January and further action in February.
Jan. 17, 2019 The INMO nurses' and midwives' union has announced a first day of strike action on 30 January with the possibility that five further 24-hour strikes will follow in February if the dispute over pay and recruitment is not resolved. In the meantime the SIPTU services union is calling the Health and Safety Executive to look at health sector pay in the context of the public sector pay deal and the Forsa public services union reports on the impact of the current pay deal which is delivering lower pension payments for some workers and a 1% pay increase for the lower paid