Apr. 05, 2018 Public service unions report a massive response to their call for a day of protest and strike action on 22 March against government plans for the public sector. While the unions are calling for a wide range of measures to support statutory employment rights, increase pay, reduce precarious employment, improve career development, the government response has been to talk about reforming existing social dialogue structures, weaking the statutory system and extending individualisation of pay. Following the abortive meeting with the government on 3 April, unions will meet on 10 April to discuss how to respond with the prospect of a range of initiatives during April and further demonstrations and strike action likely in May.
Apr. 04, 2018
On 13th March, over 40 trade union representatives from all over Europe took part in EPSU’s Social Services Working Group which met to discuss a number of issues that are key to defend and protect the rights, terms and conditions and dignity of workers in the sector.
Apr. 04, 2018 The public services unions Fagforbundet and Delta and the NSF nurses' union have signed a declaration with the KS municipal employers' organisation calling for further co-operation to create a culture of full-time work in the sector. The unions want to see a reduction in part-time work which leads to part time workers, the vast majority of whom are women, losing out, particularly in terms of their pension benefits. While some steps have been taken, the unions are still concerned that there is too much part-time work, especially in the health and social care sectors. A website has been set up to provide municipal workers with information about the declaration.
Apr. 04, 2018 Over 70000 workers joined the initial round of warning strikes in support of the negotiations covering federal and municipal workers. The focus was on the North-Rhine Westfalia region but further action is planned around the country, involving a broad range of workers from childcare and water to administration and transport. The services union ver.di is determined to secure a real wage increase for all workers, ensuring that any percentage rise is underpinned by a flat-rate amount to benefit lower paid workers.
Apr. 04, 2018
On 14 March 2018 nearly 50 colleagues from about 20 countries met in Brussels for the spring 2018 meeting of the Standing Committee "Health and Social Services" (SC HSS).
Apr. 03, 2018 Public sector unions brought together over 10000 shop stewards to debate the way forward in the current conflict over pay and conditions. When the employers failed to come up with an offer on pay, negotiations broke down and a mediator was called in. The unions announced that strike action would take place on 4 April if mediation didn't work. The action would be targeted and involve only 10%-15% of public sector workers. In response, the employers said that they would implement a massive lockout on 14 April covering 90% of state workers and 50% of municipal workers. Mediation is continuing, however, and the mediator has requested a delay to the industrial action. This means that no strike action can take place before 22 April and no lockout before 28 April unless the mediator declares an early end to the mediation process. EPSU and many affiliates sent messages of support.
Mar. 22, 2018 Many public service unions from across Europe have sent solidarity messages to their colleagues in Denmark for their mass meeting today (22 March). All public service unions have mobilised to bring together an estimated 10000 workplace representatives to discuss their tactics in the current industrial dispute. With negotiations stalled the unions had planned to organise tartgeted strike action in April, should current attempts at mediation fail. In response, the employers have threatened a massive lockout. While the unions had planned to involve around 10% of workers in the action, the employers said they would lock out 90% of state workers and half of all municipal workers. The unions are concerned that the employers are trying to escalate the dispute in order to force the government to intervene, a move that would undermine the whole basis of the Danish collective bargaining system.
Mar. 22, 2018 Kommunal, the municipal workers' union, has published a report highlighting the staffing challenges facing the eldercare sector. According to a survey by the union, 27% of workers in the sector say they want to leave over the next three years. Kommunal's report comes up with a number of proposals to make working in eldercare more attractive including ensuring proper staffing levels, creating more opportunities for career development, recognising the knowledge and experience of staff, establishing specialised eldercare educational provision, reviewing the number of employees per manager and ensuring they have adequate resources.
Mar. 21, 2018 The vpod/ssp public services union has criticised the federal government for rejecting an initiative on care launched by the nurses' trade union without coming up with any alternative solutions to tackle the increasingly urgent situation in the sector. The vpod/ssp says that hospitals and care homes face a 10000 staffing shortage with many health and care workers facing excessive working hours and work pressure that is a threat to their own health. The union says that the government must face up to the need to tackle this crisis and ensure working conditions that protect the health of care workers and stem the flow of workers out of the sector.
Mar. 20, 2018 The Sanitas health union began a series of demonstrations outside the ministeries of labour, public finance and health on 20 March in protest at the government's failure to deal with long-standing issues related to health and social service workers' pay and bonuses. The union wants a pay increase for all workers in the sector backdated to 1 March and an end to limits imposed on bonus payments. Sanitas also wants to ensure that workers don't lose out on their take-home pay following a government decision to increase workers' social contributions. Four days of demonstrations are planned for March and a national rally will follow in April. The union is mobilising members for possible strike action if the government doesn't respond.
Mar. 19, 2018 Public service trade unions have secured talks with the government to deal with the issue of low pay for new entrants. In 2011, as part of austerity measures, the government introduced two new lower pay grades for new recruits. This was not agreed by trade unions at the time and they have continued to demand action by the government. It is estimated that 60000 workers have been taken on since 2011 and have started on these lower rates of pay.
Mar. 19, 2018 Ten trade union organisations, supported by users and their families, directors and doctors, organised a second day of national strike action and protests in the eldercare sector. Over 200000 people joined demonstrations around the country boosted by protests in support of pensioner rights. The unions in eldercare want increased funding, a commitment to a one-to-one staffing ratio and improved pay and career development. The action lead to a meeting with health minister Agnès Buzyn but with no concrete response from the government as yet.
Mar. 09, 2018 Public service unions are planning two major days of action over the next two weeks. On 15 March 10 trade unions in the eldercare sector, supported by users and families as well as an association of managers, will take their second day of strike action following the widely supported action on 30 January. They are calling for more funding for the sector and improved pay and career development for workers. On 22 March a group of seven unions have called a day of action in protest at government plans to cut 120000 civil service posts and to call for a pay rise for public service workers.
Mar. 05, 2018 Public sector unions have negotiated a new public sector-wide pension scheme that they are recommending to members who will vote on whether or not to accept the new arrangements. The scheme will be introduced from 2020 for all workers born in 1963 or later. The unions are pleased with the result which they say produces a gender-neutral scheme and will see members earning pension entitlement on all their earnings from day one of employment. There will also be early retirement provisions for those who need it.