Mar. 05, 2018 Public sector employers have reacted to trade union plans for possible strike action by threatening a lockout across 90% of the state sector and around half of the municipal sector. The unions had announced plans for targeted strike action involving around 10%-15% of the public sector workforce following a failure by the employers to make a decent pay offer. The negotiations cover 750000 workers in the state, regional and local government sector and the unions had been pushing for a modest real wage increase over the next three years. However, employers have not only failed to come up with anything like an acceptable offer but have also rejected union proposals for a special fund to tackle the gender pay gap. A mediation process is now underway.
Mar. 05, 2018 After the sixth round of negotiations, the vida and GPA-djp service unions agreed a deal for 100000 workers in the private health and social care sector. There will be a 2.5% pay increase dated from 1 February but with a EUR 48 per month minimum increase. This will mean more than 3% for the lowest paid workers. There will also be specific provisions for care assistants, special care assistants and qualified nurses who will see additional increases ranging from EUR 10 to EUR 50 a month in both 2018 and 2019. Although the unions did not achieve a reduction in weekly working hours they said that this would remain on their bargaining agenda.
Feb. 22, 2018 The FNV trade union has negotiated a new collective agreement with Fokus, a provider of care for people with disabilities, with 2400 employees. The one-year deal includes a 2.8% pay increase from 1 January and special provisions for older workers to reduce their hours. Those within four years of pensions age can reduce their hours by 20% with a pay reduction of only 10% and the employer will ensure their pension contributions remain at the previous level. The hours made available will be reallocated, including to new employees. The agreement also means that workers aged 58 and over no longer have to work night shifts and it allows time off for union members to attend at least four union meetings a year.
Feb. 21, 2018
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. 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.