Environment/Climate Change, Central government
Responding to the challenge of climate change
Climate change, the largest single threat to current and future generations, is posing fundamental challenges for public services and public service workers. In recent years, we have seen extreme weather events, flooding and forest fires for example, leading to loss of life and widespread damage and destruction of buildings and infrastructure. Our members across many services have been part of the immediate and longer term response – in emergency and rescue services, energy and water, local and regional government. EPSU has been working hard to influence policies at global and European level aimed at decarbonising our economies and calling for a shift away from growth at all costs. It is essential that we achieve a more sustainable society is achieved through a just transition whereby no one is left behind.
This briefing, produced for EPSU's 2019 Congress, sets out the federation's recent activity on climate change and current priorities. EPSU has published research focusing on some of the key issues and policy developments including its position on the EU's Green Deal, the failure of energy liberalisation to address climate change and an analysis of action on climate change adaptation.
Forest fires and heat waves are hitting Europe hard – yet again. With record high temperatures and no rain, life and work for many people in Europe is reaching a point of no return, putting the health and - in certain cases - life of many at risk.
The KOZ trade union confederation reports that collective agreements for state and public service workers have been negotiated for the period 1.1.2023-31.8.2024. Basic salary scales will increase by 7% from 1 January 2023 and by a further 10% from 1 September 2023. Amendments to higher-level collective agreements for 2022 provide civil and public servants with a one-off payment of €500 in August. Pay increases for health workers are still being negotiated. The latest collective agreements also include a range of social benefits, not least a reduction of working time for public employees
Workers at the ZUS social insurance institution are getting a large pay rise thanks to months of campaigning and negotiating by their union ZPP ZUS. Most workers will get at least PLN 600 (€125) but on average increases will be around PLN 900 (€190). The minimum salary is now PLN 3100 (€650). Some workers will benefit from discretionary increases with a maximum increase for most workers of PLN 1200 (€250) while IT workers could get up to PLN 1500 (€315). EPSU wrote to the prime minister underlining the massive amount of additional work ZUS employees had to undertake in relation to the pandemic
Members of the Fp-Cgil, Cisl-Fp and Uil-Pa public service federations have been mobilising across the Ministry of Culture in protests over staff shortages and other issues, including application of the new collective agreement, remote work regulations and health and safety. The unions want to see an extraordinary recruitment plan implemented and warn of national strike action in September if the Ministry doesn’t respond. Meanwhile, members of the three federations in the Ministry of Defence are also mobilising over staff shortages and the impact of privatisation along with concerns about
On Friday, 17 June, the EU social partners for central governments – TUNED led by EPSU for the trade union side and European Public and EUPAE for the employers - reached a landmark agreement on digitalisation.
Protests organised by the CITUB and Podkrepa confederations have produced positive outcomes in the state budget with additional funds for a range of public services include provisions for pay increases in several areas. Municipal administrations will get BGN 30.3m (€15.5m) for salary increases while pay in regional administrations is set to rise by 10% on average. Workers covered by interior ministry responsibilities could see pay rises of up to 20% while employees in agencies dealing with social assistance, employment and labour inspection will see personnel costs increase by BGN 26m (€13m)
The public services trade unions from the three main confederations (CSC/ACV, ACOD/CGSP, VSOA/SLFP) have negotiated an agreement that will provide for pay increases and a range of other benefits for the 65,000 workers in the federal government. The agreement still has to be confirmed by the government before being implemented from the beginning of 2023. This will mean the first pay rise for civil servants, over and above the normal indexation, for 20 years. The lower pay scales (D and C) will get a 2% increase in 2023 while the B category will get 2% in 2024. The A category will see pay rise
As of 1 July, the index point used to calculate public sector salaries was increased by 3.5%. This is the first increase in the index since 2010 and while welcomed by trade unions, they underline the fact that the increase neither compensates for current inflation nor begins to compensate for long periods when the index has been frozen. The CGT has called for an increase of 10% while FO points out that there is a long-term fall in purchasing power of 25% that needs to be addressed. Both the CFDT and UNSA see the increase as inadequate but a first step.
Trade Union rights project - Defending and strengthening trade union rights across the public services
Many of our members face restrictions on the right to organise, negotiate and take strike action. In some countries the limitations or complete bans impact particularly on uniformed staff –
The FNV and other trade unions have negotiated a new two-year collective agreement covering workers in central government that will run from 1 July. The first pay increase of 2.5% plus an amount of €75 will be paid out in September 2022 but backdated to 1 July. From that date there will also be a minimum hourly wage of €14. There will be a further structural salary increase of 3% on 1 April 2023 and another 1.5% will follow on 1 January 2024. In December 2022 and in April 2023, there will be lump sum payments of €450 (gross), adjusted according to number of weekly working hours. There is a