May. 29, 2019 Just over 300 members of the Fagforbundet and FO health and welfare trade unions in three hospitals began strike action on 29 May in protest at unfair pension arrangements. The unions, among several coordinated by the LO confederation in its LO Stat group, are claiming full pension rights from day one and from the first Krone earnt in line with the arrangements in the municipal sector. At the moment employees working less than 20% of normal full-time hours are not able to build up pension rights. The unions point out that this is clearly gender discrimination as 75% of those affected are women. The unions estimate that the cost of providing pensions to this group of workers is only around 0.1% of the total hospital pay bill.
May. 28, 2019 The FNV and other unions are facing tough negotiations in both hospitals (200000 workers) and mental health (80000 workers). In the hospital sector the employers have made an unacceptable offer of a 2.5% pay rise when the unions are looking for a 5% increase as well action to protect working time and rest periods and initiatives on employee health and training to improve retention. Similarly, in mental health unions want better pay and limits on flexibility but are being confronted by employer demands to reduce working time protection and sick pay provision.
May. 28, 2019 The SIPTU general workers' union has confirmed that thousands of health and social care workers employed by non-profit organisations (Section 39) are set to get a EUR 1000 pay increase as part of a process of pay restoration in line with what has been happening in the public sector. Around 50 organisations are covered by the initial negotiations and the situation in a further 250 organisations will be taken up in negotiations beginning in July. The union managed to negotiate a deal last December after an 18-month campaign.
May. 28, 2019 The FOA public services union has warned the Vikapleje private eldercare company that it will face strike action from 15 June unless it ensures that its employees are paid in line with the municipal agreement. The company provides services for the Halsnæs municipality north west of Copenhagen and FOA has been trying for some time to negotiate an agreement with the company along the lines of those it has with many other private companies. The union estimates that Vikaplege is costing workers as much as DKK 90000 (EUR 12000) a year in lower pay and pension benefits.
May. 17, 2019
European elections - EPSU’s key demands for a different Europe - for People and the Planet, not for Profits
EPSU has sent the Members of Parliament seeking re-election, as well as a large number of candidates our proposals for what we expect from the Commission and the European Parliament in the next mandate.
May. 10, 2019 The GPA-djp and vida private sector unions are launching a campaign to end the discrimination against care workers. Current legislation provides for an extra two hours' compensation for night work. However, many employers in the care sector fail to apply this to all care workers by exploiting a loophole in the legislation that specifies that the relevant care has to be provided in care wards. The unions argue that this is completely outdated and that the law needs changing to reflect currently reality. The unions are seeking 500 signatures to launch a citizens' initiative that, once formally accepted, will appear on the national parliament's website and around which the unions will campaign.
May. 01, 2019 On 29 April EPSU signed a landmark agreement with the French-based Korian social care multinational to set up a European works council (EWC). The agreement comes two years after EPSU took the initiative to bring together affiliates that organise in the company to form a network with a view to establishing an EWC. EPSU believes this is an important step in improving information and consultation in the company and sets the standard for other multinationals in the fast-growing social care sector.
Apr. 30, 2019 Health and care union ver.di is keeping up the momentum of its campaign to secure appropriate staffing levels in health, eldercare and other services. It is again organising a demonstration to coincide with the annual meeting of regional health ministers in Leipzig on 5 June. The union acknowledges that some progress has been made in terms of pay and funding for extra jobs but proposed minimum staffing levels don't ensure adequate levels of care. The union still wants to see federal standards for staffing that would deliver good quality care and it also wants to ensure that rehabilitation and psychiatric services are included.
Apr. 30, 2019
This article summarises the main topics addressed at the meeting as well as the major decisions taken at the 50th edition of the EPSU Standing Committee "Health and Social Services" (SC HSS) on 27 February.
Apr. 30, 2019
Social care workers call on strengthening the workforce perspective in the transition from institutional to community-based care
This article summarises the main topics addressed at the meeting of the EPSU Working Group Social Services on 26 February, with one focus on the transition from institutional care to community-based care and how to make this transition also work for the social care and health workforce.
Apr. 30, 2019 An analysis by the GMB trade union reveals that care workers in the private sector are three times more likely to be on a zero hours contract than those in the public sector. It also finds that employees of private care companies are paid 17% less on average than their public sector counterparts and four in ten leave their job every year. Over 50% per cent of private carers have no relevant social care qualifications, compared with less than 20% in the public sector. The union highlights the underlying problem of underfunding of the sector, an issue which it says is becoming more acute as evidenced by the possible collapse of one of the country's biggest care providers, Four Seasons, which employs 20000 workers.
Apr. 30, 2019 Five workers from the private health sector spoke at the rally on 15 April calling for a new agreement for the sector, 12 years after the last one was signed. The five workers - including nurses, a hospital manager and disability care worker - spoke about the challenges of surviving on pay levels unchanged for more than a decade and in the case of one for 17 years. Along with this they often face increasing work pressures as a result of staff shortages and even have to pay for their own training. In one hospital a nurse starts on only EUR 1350 a month and an experienced nurse gets only EUR 1520. The workers are calling for parity with the public sector and, ideally, a collective agreement that covers the whole sector, both public and private.