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.
Jul. 20, 2018 EPSU has sent a solidarity message to Hungarian affiliates who are fighting against their government's new proposal to reform the taxation of certain fringe benefits. The KKDSZ, BDDSZ and HVDSZ2000 trade unions held a press conference in front of the Parliament earlier this month in protest. The reform of the taxation of fringe benefits such as luncheon vouchers would make it more costly for employers to provide these to their workers. This could result in an effective cut in income for many, with a particular impact on the low paid for whom the vouchers are very important.
Jul. 10, 2018 An update of a survey by the Kommunal municipal workers' union has revealed differences between private and public eldercare in terms of pay and conditions. On average a full-time municipal worker in eldercare is paid SEK 2300 (EUR 225) more a month than their private counterpart. Private sector workers are also more likely to work part time (72%) and on fixed-term contracts (37%) than municipal workers (61% and 27% respectively). A survey of members also found that private sector workers feel less satisfied with the job and less motivated than municipal workers and while both sets of workers often work unpaid extra hours, this is a much bigger problem among private sector workers.
Jun. 29, 2018 Public service trade unions have reacted angrily to government proposals to reform the public sector pay system which ignore union submissions on changes to the system. The controversial plans not only include a doubling of the prime minister's salary and increases for top officials but widespread changes that the unions say will not properly reflect the skills and qualifications of their members. The healthcare union points out that medical specialists could end up being paid less that drivers in some institutions and it has threatened strike action if the government doesn't negotiate.
Jun. 15, 2018
On the occasion of International Domestic Workers' Day (16 June), EPSU supports the call of a network of civil society organisations to recognise labour and social rights of migrant domestic workers and migrant care workers