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. 21, 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)
Feb. 20, 2018 The vida and GPA-djp services unions organised warning strikes involving over 40000 workers in more than 140 private health and social care institutions on 15 and 16 February. The strikes were called in order to put pressure on the employers to come up with an improved offer in the current negotiations over a new collective agreement that covers around 100000 workers in the sector. The unions want a recognition of the increasing workloads faced by many workers, with an appropriate pay increase and a cut in working time to 35 hours a week (see also last issue of epsucob@NEWS 03, 2018).
Feb. 20, 2018 Following the massive mobilisation on 30 January (see previous issue of epsucob@NEWS 03, 2018), trade unions in the eldercare sector have called for a second day of strike action on 15 March. The eight trade union organisations have been joined by two further trade unions and again have the support of directors of eldercare institutions. The unions are highly critical of the failure of the government to commit additional funding to the sector. They are repeating their calls for 1:1 staff/client ratio in care homes and more time for home care workers' visits. They also want to see an increase in salaries and improved career prospects.
Feb. 20, 2018 A meeting of services union ver.di's collective bargaining committee covering federal and municipal workers has unanimously agreed to go for a 6% pay increase with a minimum rise of EUR 200 a month. Other demands include increases for apprentices and trainees, re-establishing the rule that apprentices who successfully complete their training should be offered a job and a 20% increase in the night work allowance in hospitals. Ver.di is aiming for a 12-month agreement and wants to ensure that public sector workers benefit from the current positive economic climate. The union estimates that pay for workers in federal and municipal government has fallen 4% behind other sectors since 2000. The claim is also supported by unions representing teachers, police and civil servants.
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.