May. 18, 2018 Public service trade unions mobilised on 15 May for a demonstration outside the ministry for public service in protest at the spread of contractual employment and the erosion of civil service status. With over a million contractual workers making up a fifth of total civil service employment, the unions are concerned that the government's current plans, which include the prospect of increased use of contracts for public service workers, will further undermine civil service status. The unions argue that the poorer employment conditions of contractual workers are leading to increased inequality in the public service including a widening of the gender pay gap. This is one of the key issues behind the national day of strikes and protests on 22 May.
May. 17, 2018 The FOA public services union has very much welcomed the significant increases to pay for health and social care assistants and trainees as a result of the recently negotiated public sector collective agreements. While all workers will benefit from the the overall 8.1% increase over three years, specific increases set out in the agreements will mean that health and social service assistants will see increases of 13% over the period and trainees will get pay rises of between 14% and 19%. The union believes these are important steps in revaluing low paid jobs in the sector and also making the sector much more attractive at entry level which is crucial to tackle the staff shortages faced by nearly three quarters of local authorities.
May. 17, 2018 The four unions representing home care workers in the Basque region (ELA, LAB, UGT and USO) have planned further work stoppages as part of their long-running campaign to end the pay freeze and negotiate new collective agreements. Two three-hour stoppages will take place on 25 and 31 May. There will also be a protest outside the Mungia town hall on the 25th and workers will surround the Bilbao town hall on the 31st. The unions are targeting local authorities for allowing the contracting out of home care services without any minimum prices specified and no hours guaranteed for the workers. The workers have already carried out 10 stoppages and organised innumerable protests in their campaign to secure their first pay rise for five years.
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 three main public service federations took strike action on 30 April in protest at proposals for significant reductions to civil service employment rights and benefits. In a major cost-cutting reform plan the government wants to employ more workers on contracts, including temporary contracts, and reduce the number of civil servants on statutory conditions to a minimum. It is also looking to cut holiday entitlement and reduce certain sickness and pension benefits.
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 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.
May. 02, 2018 The public service federations in the CCOO and UGT confederations organised a joint demonstration on 26 April to coincide with the parliamentary debate over the government's proposed budget. The unions are calling for a flat-rate increase of EUR 200 for all workers in public administration plus a further EUR 100 linked to pay grades. The unions are aiming for a minimum wage of EUR 1200 a month and steps towards restoring purchasing power for all workers in public administration. The unions are demanding more and better jobs but recent official statistics analysed by the FSC-CCOO federation show that there is still a major problem with temporary work. In the latest quarter 68.8% of jobs created were fixed-term, leading to an increase in the overall proportion of fixed-term contracts from 23.1% to 24.5%.
Apr. 25, 2018
Early this morning trade unions representing public employees in the regions secured a new three-year agreement with an overall wage development of 8.1% - only slightly below their target of 8.17%.
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 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.
Apr. 19, 2018 Services union ver.di is celebrating the best negotiating result in many years for federal and municipal workers who will see pay rise by 7.5% in a new 30-month agreement. There will be increases of 3.19% on 1 March 2018, 3.09% on 1 April 2019 and 1.06% on 1 March 2020. The increases will be implemented through a fundamental revision of the pay structure, including particular changes to lower pay levels. The aim was to ensure faster pay developments in early stages of a career to make the sector more attractive and also to close the gap where there are big differences with the private sector. There will also be a EUR 250 lump sum payment for employees in the bottom six pay groups and for social and childcare workers in S2-S4 pay groups. Apprentices will get an extra EURO 50 in March 2018, with holidays rising to 30 a year. The agreement includes many other provisions such as the continuation of part-time rules for older workers and increase in night shift allowance in hospitals.