Sep. 14, 2018 Workers in public administration and some other public services will see their pay rise by at least 5% in 2019, with higher increases for low-paid workers in some areas including the departments of justice, culture, labour and social administration. There will higher increases of 15% and 10% for teachers and non-teaching staff in education while the security forces will get between 2% and 6%. The increase for health workers has yet to be confirmed. The OSZSP health union wants a pay rise of 10% across the board which it argues has been promised by the prime minister. However, the health minister has proposed a 10% increase in the wage bill but with different increases for different groups of workers. In a recent meeting with OSZSP, the Czech Nurses' Association confirmed its support for a 10% increase.
Sep. 13, 2018 A survey by the ver.di services trade union and DGB trade union confederation reveals sharp differences between occupations when it comes to workloads and stress. Four out of five nurses say that they often feel harassed because of excessive workloads. This is higher than the 69% of eldercare workers and well above the 55% registered across all occupations. There are similar differences when it comes to employees saying that have to cut corners on quality to ensure service delivery. This was the case for 49% of nurses, 42% of eldercare workers but only 22% of all occupations. Not surprising then that only 23% of nurses and 20% of eldercare workers can imagine staying to normal retirement age compared to 48% of all workers. Ver.di has called on the government to legislate on safe staffing levels but has rejected the latest proposal on this from the health minister.
Sep. 07, 2018
Trade unionists from all over Europe agree to step up efforts to build networks in health and social care multinationals
On 4 September, more than 40 trade union representatives from 15 European countries met in Brussels to discuss how to coordinate their activities in multinational enterprises in the health and social care sectors.
Aug. 30, 2018 Home care workers employed by Birmingham council in central England have been taking strike action and organising protests in the city against plans to cut hours and jobs. In the latest development, the council has said that full-time workers must reduce their hours. If they don't move to part-time work they will either have to take another job in the council or redundancy. This is a long-running dispute which has seen the workers take 17 days of strike action over several months (see February epsucob@NEWS 03).
Aug. 30, 2018 Workers at University Medical Centres (UMC) are involved in a series of actions to push for a new collective agreement, including a 3.5% pay increase and measures to reduce excessive workloads. Negotiations have been stalled since the end of May and members of the FNV and NU'91 unions have organised demonstrations and worked-to-rule to underline the strength of feeling to employers. The UMC agreement covers 60000 workers. Meanwhile, youth care workers have also been active over excessive workloads and outsourcing. Around 2500 youth care workers are expected for a national demonstration on 3 September. The workers, members of the FNV, are calling for an extra EUR 750 million for the sector - EUR 450m to compensate for previous cuts and EUR 300 million to deal with increased demand. Youth care workers say it is increasingly difficult to deliver a proper service to young people and their families.
Aug. 30, 2018 More workers have come forward to join legal action against the Aleris care company following revelations about employment and working conditions made earlier this month (see epsucob@NEWS 16). Public service union Fagforbundet says that the company is avoiding its social, employment and tax obligations by taking workers on as self-employed "consultants" rather than employees. The union has taken this up with the authorities and a further eight workers have joined the 17 who were already involved in legal action. Some of these workers have been summarily dismissed or are given excessive hours or shifts that are impossible to cover. Revelations from one worker even accuse the company of putting him under pressure to get drugs for residents.
Aug. 17, 2018 EPSU has sent solidarity greetings to members of the ver.di services union who are taking strike action against the Celenus care company, a subsidiary of the French multinational Orpea. The company has sacked worker representatives, has threatened to outsource cleaning jobs and refuses to negotiate a collective agreement.
Aug. 16, 2018 The SIPTU services union has negotiated an agreement that could provide significant improvements to the pay and conditions of around 8000 home care workers employed in the community sector. The workers will have a guarantee that travel time will be include in the calculation of their pay and working time and the new deal should see them benefit from a proper valuation of their work, with minimum qualifications to be set for new workers and an end to precarious work. This will help bring the sector more line with the pay and conditions enjoyed by workers directly employed by the Health Service Executive. The union is also keen to ensure that there is an overall increase in hours of home care provision to benefit service users.
Aug. 16, 2018 The Fagforbundet trade union has reported the Aleris Ungplan and Boi private care company to the authorities for possible breaches of labour, health and safety, tax and even criminal law. The union has taken up cases for a number of workers who have been denied their rights on pay, sick pay and pensions and forced to work excessive hours. The cases mainly involve workers who were taken on as "consultants" rather than employees so that the company could avoid paying pension, sickness and other costs. The company is a subsidiary of a major private sector health and social care provider, Aleris, and Fagforbundet says this is one of the worst cases of social dumping in the welfare sector it has seen and also wants action by regional government which is responsible for health and social care provision.
Aug. 16, 2018 The three main unions representing the 20000 employees of the ANPAS non-profit national emergency and social assistance organisation have negotiated a new collective agreement covering the period 2017-2019. With a basic increase of EUR 85 (worth around 5.7% for emergency drivers) the agreement follows the pattern in the public sector. There are several other key provisions including improvements related to training, sickness and injury, quotas for fixed-term contracts, and rights for women who are the victims of violence. The unions hope that this will help push forward other agreements in the non-profit sector.
Aug. 16, 2018
The French multinational company ORPEA specialising in elderly care, psychiatry, rehabilitation, home care and other assistance to dependent people is massively violating trade union rights of workers in the clinics of Celenus, one of its subsidiaries in Germany.
Aug. 02, 2018 Municipal workers' union Kommunal is highlighting a new report that contrasts workers' views of pay and conditions in the female-dominated care sector with those of workers in the male-dominated construction sector. In a wide range of assessments the views of care workers are much more negative than their counterparts in construction. While more than half of care workers have thought about changing jobs this applies to only 38% in construction while only 33% think that staffing levels are adequate in the care sector compared to 60% in construction. Half of care workers wouldn't recommend their career compared only 25% in construction while 80% of care workers say their employers don't do enough to raise the status of the profession compared to 25% in construction. The report's findings are being discussed within the union which will take them up with employers and politicians.
Aug. 02, 2018 The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has produced a new report arguing for a doubling of investment in the care sector to prevent a global care crisis. It says that investment on this scale could create 269 million new jobs by 2030 and provide a major boost to women's employment while addressing massive gender inequality in unpaid care. The ILO estimates that over 600 million women want paid employment but are prevented from entering the labour market because of their caring responsibilities. The report underlines the need for a "high road" to increase care provision which means tackling the low pay and poor working conditions that characterise the sector.
Aug. 01, 2018 The SIPTU general workers' union has announced strike action on 18 September for its members in the non-profit, social care sector. The union suspended action in February when it received a commitment from the government to negotiate on funding what are called Section 39 organisations that provide a range of social services. The union has been campaigning for pay restoration for its members in these organisations in line with the pay developments in the public sector. With the failure of the government to confirm it would increase funding even to allow a 1% pay increase as a first step in pay restoration, SIPTU decided that it had to revert to strike action. See epsucob@NEWS 10, May 2018 and earlier. Public services union Forsa also has members in Section 39 organisations and will be balloting its members over strike action.
Aug. 01, 2018 The FP-CGIL trade union federation has met with public administration minister Giulia Bongiorno to set out four urgent priorities for action. These involve tackling precarious employment, increasing employment, negotiating the next collective agreement that will cover the years 2019-2021 and ensuring increased investment in staff training. The union argues that it is not enough to simply end the freeze on recruitment as more needs to be done to boost employment or run the risk of a further decline in the quality of services. FP-CGIL also wants a limit on health spending lifted to allow for extra staffing and a guarantee that the upcoming budget will include provisions to cover the costs related to any new collective agreement.