Mar. 22, 2018 Many public service unions from across Europe have sent solidarity messages to their colleagues in Denmark for their mass meeting today (22 March). All public service unions have mobilised to bring together an estimated 10000 workplace representatives to discuss their tactics in the current industrial dispute. With negotiations stalled the unions had planned to organise tartgeted strike action in April, should current attempts at mediation fail. In response, the employers have threatened a massive lockout. While the unions had planned to involve around 10% of workers in the action, the employers said they would lock out 90% of state workers and half of all municipal workers. The unions are concerned that the employers are trying to escalate the dispute in order to force the government to intervene, a move that would undermine the whole basis of the Danish collective bargaining system.
Mar. 22, 2018 Kommunal, the municipal workers' union, has published a report highlighting the staffing challenges facing the eldercare sector. According to a survey by the union, 27% of workers in the sector say they want to leave over the next three years. Kommunal's report comes up with a number of proposals to make working in eldercare more attractive including ensuring proper staffing levels, creating more opportunities for career development, recognising the knowledge and experience of staff, establishing specialised eldercare educational provision, reviewing the number of employees per manager and ensuring they have adequate resources.
Mar. 21, 2018 The vpod/ssp public services union has criticised the federal government for rejecting an initiative on care launched by the nurses' trade union without coming up with any alternative solutions to tackle the increasingly urgent situation in the sector. The vpod/ssp says that hospitals and care homes face a 10000 staffing shortage with many health and care workers facing excessive working hours and work pressure that is a threat to their own health. The union says that the government must face up to the need to tackle this crisis and ensure working conditions that protect the health of care workers and stem the flow of workers out of the sector.
Mar. 20, 2018 The Sanitas health union began a series of demonstrations outside the ministeries of labour, public finance and health on 20 March in protest at the government's failure to deal with long-standing issues related to health and social service workers' pay and bonuses. The union wants a pay increase for all workers in the sector backdated to 1 March and an end to limits imposed on bonus payments. Sanitas also wants to ensure that workers don't lose out on their take-home pay following a government decision to increase workers' social contributions. Four days of demonstrations are planned for March and a national rally will follow in April. The union is mobilising members for possible strike action if the government doesn't respond.
Mar. 19, 2018 Public service trade unions have secured talks with the government to deal with the issue of low pay for new entrants. In 2011, as part of austerity measures, the government introduced two new lower pay grades for new recruits. This was not agreed by trade unions at the time and they have continued to demand action by the government. It is estimated that 60000 workers have been taken on since 2011 and have started on these lower rates of pay.
Mar. 19, 2018 Ten trade union organisations, supported by users and their families, directors and doctors, organised a second day of national strike action and protests in the eldercare sector. Over 200000 people joined demonstrations around the country boosted by protests in support of pensioner rights. The unions in eldercare want increased funding, a commitment to a one-to-one staffing ratio and improved pay and career development. The action lead to a meeting with health minister Agnès Buzyn but with no concrete response from the government as yet.
Mar. 09, 2018 Public service unions are planning two major days of action over the next two weeks. On 15 March 10 trade unions in the eldercare sector, supported by users and families as well as an association of managers, will take their second day of strike action following the widely supported action on 30 January. They are calling for more funding for the sector and improved pay and career development for workers. On 22 March a group of seven unions have called a day of action in protest at government plans to cut 120000 civil service posts and to call for a pay rise for public service workers.
Mar. 05, 2018 Public sector unions have negotiated a new public sector-wide pension scheme that they are recommending to members who will vote on whether or not to accept the new arrangements. The scheme will be introduced from 2020 for all workers born in 1963 or later. The unions are pleased with the result which they say produces a gender-neutral scheme and will see members earning pension entitlement on all their earnings from day one of employment. There will also be early retirement provisions for those who need it.
Mar. 05, 2018 Public sector employers have reacted to trade union plans for possible strike action by threatening a lockout across 90% of the state sector and around half of the municipal sector. The unions had announced plans for targeted strike action involving around 10%-15% of the public sector workforce following a failure by the employers to make a decent pay offer. The negotiations cover 750000 workers in the state, regional and local government sector and the unions had been pushing for a modest real wage increase over the next three years. However, employers have not only failed to come up with anything like an acceptable offer but have also rejected union proposals for a special fund to tackle the gender pay gap. A mediation process is now underway.
Mar. 05, 2018 After the sixth round of negotiations, the vida and GPA-djp service unions agreed a deal for 100000 workers in the private health and social care sector. There will be a 2.5% pay increase dated from 1 February but with a EUR 48 per month minimum increase. This will mean more than 3% for the lowest paid workers. There will also be specific provisions for care assistants, special care assistants and qualified nurses who will see additional increases ranging from EUR 10 to EUR 50 a month in both 2018 and 2019. Although the unions did not achieve a reduction in weekly working hours they said that this would remain on their bargaining agenda.
Feb. 22, 2018 The FNV trade union has negotiated a new collective agreement with Fokus, a provider of care for people with disabilities, with 2400 employees. The one-year deal includes a 2.8% pay increase from 1 January and special provisions for older workers to reduce their hours. Those within four years of pensions age can reduce their hours by 20% with a pay reduction of only 10% and the employer will ensure their pension contributions remain at the previous level. The hours made available will be reallocated, including to new employees. The agreement also means that workers aged 58 and over no longer have to work night shifts and it allows time off for union members to attend at least four union meetings a year.
Feb. 21, 2018
The EU social partners met the Bulgarian finance minister Vladislav Goranov, and now in the Presidency, the European Commission and others to discuss the prospects for the European economy, 19 February 2018.
Feb. 20, 2018 The threat of strike action by members of the SIPTU trade union employed in the non-profit social services sector has lead to an agreement on negotiations to ensure pay restoration. The union had been campaigning for some time to get the government to commit to funding so-called Section 39 organisations so that they could deliver pay restoration for the sector in line with what has already been agreed in the national public sector negotiations. The strike action planned for 14 February has been delayed by six weeks to allow time for the management of the relevant Section 39 organisations to respond. (See previous issue of epsucob@NEWS 03, 2018)