May. 18, 2018 The ADEDY public sector confederation will be joining with the GSEE private sector confederation and other trade union and professional organisations in a 24-hour general strike on 30 May in protest at the continuing austerity being imposed on workers and citizens. ADEDY says that public sector workers are still suffering from pay cuts of up to 40% while more precarious working conditions have spread across the public services and there are critical staff shortages in important areas of health and social services.
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 An official report supports calls by the SIPTU union for pay restoration for a wide range of social service workers employed by the non-profit sector in "Section 39" organisations. The workers often do jobs equivalent to those directly employed in the public sector. However, while public sector workers are covered by a collective agreement which should ensure that most see their pay restored to pre-austerity levels by 2020, there is no such commitment covering Section 39 workers. SIPTU says that the report also makes clear that the costs of pay restoration for these workers is entirely manageable. The union suspended strike action earlier in the year pending publication of the report and will now be looking for action from the government to deliver pay restoration.
May. 17, 2018 In advance of the third round of pay negotiations, a series of warning strikes by employees of the Red Cross have been taking place across the country to show the level of support for a decent pay rise. Public services union ver.di is calling for a pay rise of 7.5% with a minimum increase of EUR 200 a month. So far the employers have only offered a EUR 220 lump sum payment and a 2.4% increase this year with a further rise of 2.2% in July 2019. Ver.di says that the agreement should reflect current pay bargaining trends and should also include provisions on work-life balance and health that would help make working in the sector more attractive. The negotiations cover around 50000 of the Red Cross's 150000 employees who work in hospitals, emergency services, childcare, disability and eldercare and youth and training services.
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. 16, 2018 A series of protests in March, a national rally in April and a two-hour warning strike on 7 May all helped health union Sanitas and other unions in the sector reach agreement with the government on a number of key issues. As a result the national strike planned for 11 May was called off. Health and social service workers will now get compensation for social contribution increases to protect their take-home pay. There will also be changes to the proposed 30% limit on bonuses and there is a commitment to negotiate collective agreements covering the health and social services sectors.
May. 04, 2018 EPSU has made considerable progress in bringing together trade union representatives from across Europe in two social care multinationals - Orpea and Korian. Company networks are being built in both organisations while steps have already been taken in Orpea towards setting up a European works council, with the first meeting of the Special Negotiating Body taking place on 25 April. Both companies are French-owned and have expanded rapidly in recent years with subsidiaries now operating in several European countries.
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 Health union representatives met with the government on 2 May following a well-supported rally on 26 April. The government has promised to tackle some of the pay and bonus problems identified by health unions but has yet to come up with concrete written proposals. Health union Sanitas wants the government to lift the 30% limit on bonuses and to increase pay for all workers in health and social services. It also wants to negotiate collective agreements in the two sectors. Unless the government addresses these issues the union is planning a two-hour warning strike on 7 May and a national one-day strike on 11 May. EPSU has sent letters supporting the union's case to the Prime Minister and the ministers of health, finance and labour.
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.
Apr. 26, 2018
The trade union and works council representatives met for the first time in the Special Negotiating Body.