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. 14, 2019The FSC-CCOO public services federation has expressed its concern about the lack of equality plans across regional and provincial authorities. In a meeting of the Committee that deals with equality plans it was revealed that only six of the autonomous communities have a plan in place. The 11 others have no plan although may have taken some measures that would feature in a plan. The situation in the 50 provincial authorities is worse with very few - only nine having - a plan with a further six taking the first steps towards adopting one. The union has called for proper monitoring of the introduction and implementation of plans across the public administration, noting also that some have not been further developed or put into effect.
Feb. 13, 2019 Negotiations covering workers in provincial government have been suspended after unions reacted with disappointment to the employers' latest pay offer of 6% over 24 months. The unions say that after several years of moderate pay increases, workers deserve higher pay and a share of growth in the economy. The unions are aiming for a 7.25% increase over two years and argue that the employers should acknowledge the work that the unions have done in relation to a revised job structure and harmonisation of allowances.
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.
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. 30, 2019 The pay freeze and job cuts in the public sector have prompted action by some unions in February with the CGT taking strike action on the 5th and FO organising a week of action 3-10 February with a national demonstration on the 7th. Their principal demands focus on unfreezing pay, stopping the job cuts but there are also broader demands about the minimum wage and a fairer tax system. Fairness is also one of the factors behind the unions' joint call for strike action across the energy, water and waste company Veolia which employs 50000 workers in France. The CFDT, CFC, CFT and FO are calling for a general pay increase and higher minimum wages at the group's subsidiaries across the country and criticise the company for failing to protect employees' purchasing power and distributing company shares in a way that disproportionately benefits senior management.
Jan. 29, 2019 The latest official public sector employment data, analysed by the FSC-CCOO public services federation, reveal a persistent problem of temporary employment. Despite an agreement to reduce temporary contracts to 8% of total employment by 2020, the latest figures show temporary work at 26.3% across the public sector (29.9% for women and 21.8% for women). There is good news in terms of an overall increase in public sector employment although the number of jobs is still around 95000 short of replacing the 400000 jobs cut as a result of the austerity measures. While there has been some increase in employment of the under-30s they still make up only 7% of the public sector workforce compared to the over-50s who account for just over 43%.
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. 29, 2019 Home care workers employed by Birmingham City Council in Central England have mobilised for a rally on Tuesday 29 January supported by their union, Unison, and the TUC, the UK's single trade union confederation. The workers have taken over 50 days of strike action in their long-running dispute over plans by the Council to cut their working time. If the Council implements its plans then some workers will face poverty pay levels and cuts in annual salary of up to GBP 4000 (EUR 4600).
Jan. 18, 2019 A national demonstration by firefighters took place on 14 January as they continued their campaign against unilateral action by the government to change their employment conditions. This follows the strike that ran from 19 December to 2 January (see previous epsucob@NEWS). The unions involved argue that the proposed changes undermine career development in the fire service and retirement rights. They are particularly angry that the government has attempted to introduce the changes without any consultation or negotiation.
Jan. 17, 2019 The UNISON, GMB and Unite trade unions have welcomed an agreement in principle to end the long-running equal pay dispute at Glasgow Council in Scotland. Over 8000 council workers took strike action last October to put pressure on the municipality to end the pay discrimination faced by many women workers in jobs such as cleaning, care and catering. The agreement finalises the principals and structure of any payout to thousands of women but the detail of individual payments still has to be calculated and agreed.
Jan. 17, 2019 Following a meeting of the general negotiating group covering public administrations, the FSC-CCOO public services union criticised the government for failing to ensure consultation with the trade unions over the working conditions of three million public sector unions before publishing the budget. The union also called for action on the 35-hour week, an end to replacement rates in staff recruitment, a guarantee on the pay increase linked to economic growth, action on the gender pay gap and an extension of paternity leave across the public administration.
Jan. 03, 2019 Public services union ver.di has set out its main demands for the forthcoming bargaining round covering 2.3 million workers in regional government which begins on 21 January. The union is calling for a 6% pay increase with a minimum guaranteed increase of EUR 200 as part of a 12-month agreement. Ver.di also wants to see a EUR 100 increase for trainees and a commitment to provide jobs for those who successfully complete their courses. The union argues that economic growth and the financial position of regional governments means that the increase is affordable and it will also contribute to maintaining demand in the economy. The agreement is an important one with a knock-on effect on some 3.3 million workers whose pay and conditions are linked to the deal.
Jan. 03, 2019 The three main trade union confederations - CGIL, CSIL and UIL - are united in rejecting the government budget which they regard as wrong and short-sighted, failing to provide resources for growth, development and investment. The confederations are committed to mobilise against the plans with a national demonstration planned for later this month. They point out that the budget fails to provide the necessary investment in social infrastructure, particularly in health and education, and with inadequate provisions to cover the renewal of collective agreements for public sector workers and a continuing block on public sector recruitment.