Access to quality health, care and education and fairer and better tax, benefit and social protection systems are among some of the positive elements in the European Commission’s 2019 Annual Growth Survey (AGS) that was published on 21 November.
Nov. 23, 2018
Nov. 23, 2018 Municipal workers' union Kommunal is calling on the government and all political parties to ensure that promised additional funding of SEK 5 billion (EUR 485 million) will be available to pay for extra staffing in the care sector. The union estimates that an additional 135000 jobs are needed in the short term. A large survey of Kommunal members found that almost one in two assistant nurses felt that the staffing problem in elderly care was so bad that it posed a risk to the elderly. There were similar concerns among childcare assistants about staffing shortages posing risks to children. The union sees this as an urgent and immediate problem but that even more investment will be needed for the longer term.
Nov. 22, 2018
The European Parliament interest group on informal care discussed the measures that need to be put in place to ensure quality care is available for all that need it.
Nov. 22, 2018 After three rounds of negotiations, public sector unions have secured a minimum pay rise of 2.51% rising to 3.45% for lower paid workers. The increase will be implemented on 1 January 2019 and will include a 2.76% increase on other payments and allowances. The increases are ahead of the 2.02% inflation rate that formed the basis of the negotiations The younion public service union says that workers with a gross monthly salary of EUR 2000 will see pay rise by around 3.3% while those on EUR 3000 will get a 3.0% increase. The unions now want to see all regions implement the pay rise in full.
Nov. 22, 2018 The ver.di health and social care union organised a national action day in the eldercare sector on 21 November. Along with local events across the country, the union coordinated a national photo action involving thousands of care workers. The aim of the day was to highlight the need for better pay and working conditions and more staff to tackle the increasing demands on the sector. Ver.di points out that staff face excessive overtime, extra shifts at short notice and long hours without breaks. The federal government is committed to creating 13000 new jobs in the sector but ver.di argues that this won't be enough and effectively means just one job per institution.
Nov. 08, 2018 ADEDY, the public services confederation, has called a 24-hour strike for 14 November. It is calling on the government to negotiate over a gradual process of pay restoration. ADEDY says that civil servants have already seen pay cut by 40% and now tax rises and reductions in tax allowances will further reduce take home pay. It is calling for immediate pay rises and the restoration of the 13th and 14th month salaries as initial steps in this process. The strike demands also cover the urgent need to recruit additional permanent staff, for measures on skills and training rather than a new evaluation system, improvements to pensions and a stop to privatisation.
Nov. 02, 2018 The GPA-djp private services union has underlined the need for action in the care sector to address the quality and quantity of services and the pay and conditions of care workers, three quarters of whom are women. With demand increasing, particularly as a result of the ageing population, the union wants to see the federal government take responsibility to introduce national standards of care to end the variation between the regions and to increase funding to the sector to help address low pay and the widespread use of part-time work.
Nov. 02, 2018 The four main public service unions - FP-CGIL, CISL-FP, UIL-PA and UIL-FPL - have together launched a major campaign and petition calling for action to improve public services and deliver better employment conditions. The four unions have drawn up a document with 11 key proposals that cover calls for increased public investment; substantial recruitment of new workers and improved training provision; better union representation; finalising outstanding collective agreements for the 2016-2018 period and ensuring resources for the next round of agreements for 2019-21; bringing back privatised services in-house and increased funding for the health service.
Nov. 02, 2018 The Fagforbundet public service union has revealed figures showing that care workers in the private sector in Oslo are between EUR 7000 and EUR 8700 worse off than those in the public sector. A starting salary for a graduate care worker in the public sector is NOK 367000 (EUR 38500), NOK 84000 more than the same worker in the private sector. Those on minimum wages in the sector are EUR 7000 better off if employed by the municipality. Fagforbundet also says that private sector workers are more likely to face heavier workloads as a result of understaffing. Fourteen of the 40 care homes in Oslo are currently run by the private sector although the municipality has plans to gradually bring them back under public management.
Nov. 02, 2018 The solidly supported two-day strike by around 8000 local government workers in Glasgow was successful in getting the council back to the negotiating table. The strike was over the council's failure to deal with longstanding demands for equal pay for a wide range of low-paid women workers in care, catering, cleaning, school support and other services. The strike on 23-24 October was called by the GMB and UNISON trade unions and UNISON now reports that initial talks with the council have been positive and constructive. EPSU, PSI and many affiliates sent messages of support.
Nov. 02, 2018 Trade unions reported a high level of support for the national one-day strike in public administration and other public services on 26 October. The unions are determined to continue their campaign to end the pay freeze that various governments have imposed since 2009 and to unfreeze career progression. In the meantime, there has been further action in the health service, with workers in technical diagnostic and therapeutic services involved in a 24-hour strike on 29 October over the pay structure, pay increase, career development and working time.
Oct. 24, 2018 On 22 October the GÖD and younion public service unions took part in the first round of bargaining over a pay rise for 2019. The meeting established that the basis for negotiations was the 2.02% inflation rate in the year to September and forecast growth of 3% for next year. Younion wants to ensure that any negotiated increase will apply across the whole of the public sector, rather than in previous years when some regional governments have failed to implement the nationally agreed rate. The next round of bargaining is set for 12 November.
Oct. 24, 2018 On 17 October the Labour Court in Nordhausen in central Germany ruled that two employees of the Celenus social care company had been unfairly dismissed for trade union activity and should be reinstated. Carmen Laue and Heike Schmidt, members of the ver.di service union, were summarily sacked in April for distributing leaflets as part of a long-running, and continuing campaign for better pay at Celenus which is part of the Orpea social care multinational. EPSU and its affiliates from France, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Spain that also organise in Orpea sent messages of support.
Oct. 24, 2018 Over 8000 workers employed by Glasgow City Council in Scotland took strike action on 23-24 October to put pressure on their employer to deliver equal pay. The dispute dates back as far as 2006 when a new pay scheme was supposed to end to pay inequality based on gender. Instead, its implementation introduced new discriminatory measures. The action involved women in a wide range of jobs, including school administration workers, learning support workers in schools, nursery workers, home carers, cleaners and catering workers.