Feb. 08, 2018 At an early stage of the negotiations in local government the KL employers' organisation has said it will allocate around 500 million krone (EUR 67 million) to tackle major staffing shortages in health and social care. In December, KL and the FOA public services union issued a joint report which revealed that 73% of municipalities faced shortages of skilled staff, particularly in the field of eldercare. FOA gave a positive reaction to the news but underlined that they and other public sector unions still had key demands for tackling low pay and the gender pay gap.
Feb. 07, 2018 After a march in Vienna on 24 January and a day of action on 30 January, the vida and GPA-djp trade unions warn of further action to support their negotiations covering 100000 workers in the private health and social care sector. The employers increased their original pay offer from 2.1% to 2.25% but the unions say that this completely fails to recognise the new tasks and responsibilities faced by many in the sector. The unions are also calling for a cut in working time. The fifth round of bargaining is due on 12 February and the unions have already indicated widespread support among their members for more action to put pressure on employers.
Feb. 07, 2018 Home care workers in the Basque region of northern Spain are in the third month of their campaign to secure better pay and employment conditions. Their latest partial work stoppage took place on 25 January and further action is planned for 12 and 27 February to put pressure on city councils and the regional council to act on the low pay and precarious employment conditions that are common to the contracts run by private companies across the region. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Feb. 07, 2018 Trade unions organising in the eldercare sector report an unprecedented level of mobilisation for their strike action and protests on 30 January. The action was coordinated across eight trade union organisations with the support also of the AD-PA association representing directors of eldercare institutions. The protests across the country were also joined by user groups and families. The unions have dismissed the government proposal for an extra EUR 50 million in funding saying that this is completely inadequate to address the urgent staffing needs and the claims for better pay and career prospects that would begin to recognise the workloads and responsibilities of elder care workers.
Feb. 07, 2018 Social services workers employed by non-profit organisations had already voted for a one-day strike on 14 February but there are now plans to extend the action with a two-day strike in the week beginning 19 February. The strike has been called by the SIPTU trade union to put pressure on the government to agree extra funding for so-called Section 39 organisations. These organisations provide many social services on a par with public sector providers but Section 39 employees have so far been denied the pay restoration measures that have been agreed in the public sector. EPSU has sent a solidarity message. See also earlier epsucob@NEWS articles last month and in November and December 2017.
Feb. 07, 2018 Hundreds of home care staff, members of the Unison trade union, joined a strike and demonstration in Birmingham in central England on 20 January in protest at plans to slash jobs and impose a new three-shift pattern on workers. The workers had voted by a massive majority to take strike action with the first stoppage running from 11.30 to 14.00 and with a further stoppage taking place on 6 February. The workers say that the new shift pattern (7.00-10.00; 12.00-14.00; 16.00-22.00) will make it impossible for them to have proper rest breaks and put the quality of care at risk. Around 150 jobs are also under threat.
Jan. 25, 2018 Social workers organised by the UHM Voice of the Workers trade union have been taking industrial action in support of negotiations for a new collective agreement. The action consists of a range of measures that affect non-emergency work across the service but it maybe stepped up if there is no progress in the negotiations. With many staff leaving the service, the union is looking for a deal to increase pay but also to provide continuing professional development.
Jan. 25, 2018 Unions organising in the elder care sector are mobilising for a day of action, including strikes, across the country. The unions are demanding increased funding for the sector in order to ensure the quality of service and for increased staffing. The union demands also include higher pay and improvements in other conditions such as career development, linking quality employment conditions with quality of services. The action is supported by all the major trade union organisations active in the sector.
Jan. 25, 2018 25th January will see the first of another series of partial work stoppages by home care workers in the Basque region in protest at poor pay and working conditions. The actions follow similar protests at the end of last year coordinated by the UGT, USO, ELA and LAB trade union organisations. The unions say that companies are not respecting the collective agreement and make no guarantees on hourly payments when they bid for contracts. The unions are also protesting against excessive flexibility and use of temporary contracts and the fact that workers haven't had a pay increase for five years. They will be taking their case to the Basque regional authority demanding measures to ensure quality employment and quality services in the sector.