2017 November epsucob@NEWS 20
IN THIS ISSUE
- Europe: minimum wages need boost
- Poland: court workers protest
- Czech Republic: health union highlights pay rises
- Slovakia: public sector pay consultation
- Europe: ETUC warning on working time
- Netherlands: childcare sector bargaining starts
- Ireland: union back pay restoration for care workers
- Denmark: survey exposes staffing problem in care homes
- Switzerland: care workers' right to strike under attack
- Spain: federations launch jobs campaign
- UK: civil service union plans pay protests
- Italy: federations to mobilise over hospital outsourcing
- Germany: pay deal for Suez waste workers
- Europe: ETUC wants changes to Written Statement law
Nov. 09, 2017 Excessive workloads and unpredictable hours will feature prominently in the childcare sector negotiations that began on 8 November. With a slogan that "we're not jacks of all trades" the FNV trade union highlighted the problem that childcare workers were overburdened with cleaning, administrative and other tasks rather than child care itself. The union will be looking for restrictions on the extent to which employers can ask childcare workers to change their working time at short notice. The main pay claim will be for a 3.5% pay rise for the 80000 workers in the sector.
Nov. 09, 2017 The FeSP-UGT and CCOO federations in the public sector have come together to launch a campaign to get the government to negotiate over employment in the public sector and to adjust the budget for 2018 to begin to tackle the staffing crisis. The unions point out that not only have 350000 public sector jobs been cut since 2010 but the problem is being compounded by an ageing workforce. In social security, for example, around 48% of staff are set to retire over the next 10 years. The unions also want to ensure implementation of the agreement signed earlier this year to reduce the number of temporary contracts across the public sector.
Nov. 10, 2017 A survey of staffing levels in nursing homes has revealed a wide variation in standards across Denmark. Commenting on the survey, public services union FOA says that it raises serious questions about both the quality of care and the pressure on workers, particularly those on the night shift, who in some areas may have responsibility for three times as many residents as their colleagues in other regions. The variation from best to worst is 12 residents per employee to 30 residents per employee. The union hopes that the comprehensive survey will help put pressure on municipalities to improve staffing levels.
Nov. 10, 2017 A new report from the ETUC, as part of its Pay Rise campaign, shows that minimum wage rates across Europe need to rise significantly just to reach an official measure of low pay (60% of the national median wage as used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Minimum wages in Estonia, Czech Republic and Spain need some of the largest increases to reach the low pay threshold - 46%, 51% and 62% respectively. The ETUC argues that national governments need to sit down with trade unions and employers to discuss how to reach the target.
Nov. 10, 2017 The SIPTU general union is pushing the government to increase funding to ensure that around 10000 care workers get the pay restoration that has been negotiated for workers directly employed in the public sector. At the time of austerity measures the government cutback on the grant going to so-called Section 39 providers and this had a direct impact on the disability and other care workers they employed. A three-year, public sector-wide agreement has been signed which will provide pay restoration for the majority of workers over the next three years. SIPTU is determined that these Section 39 workers shouldn't be left behind.
Nov. 15, 2017 Pressure on the employer from a series of warning strikes at the Suez Süd waste company, enabled services union ver.di to secure a new pay agreement that runs until 31 December 2018. The first pay increase of 2% is backdated to 1 August this year and the next pay rise will be a further 2% from 1 August next year. There will also be two lump sum payments, one net payment of EUR 150 and one of EUR 125 gross. Apprentices will get an extra EUR 275 this year and EUR 150 next year.
Nov. 15, 2017 In a press release confirming the implementation this month of a 10% pay increase for public service workers, the OSZSP health union underlines the role of the trade union in these successful negotiations. The increase this year means that hospital workers have seen an overall pay rise of 30% in the last four years while workers in social services have seen a 26% increase. Meanwhile, social workers and direct care workers have seen their pay rise by 47.5% over the same period. The union recognises that low pay is still a challenge in health and social services and is committed to win further pay increases.
Nov. 15, 2017 In the first of a series of three meetings over a thousand public service workers gathered in Košice to discuss pay in the public sector. The unions are calling for action on minimum salaries and a pay system that recognises workloads, levels of education and length of service of public service workers. Two further meetings are planned as part of this broad trade union consultation process - one in Banská Bystrica on 16 November and the final one in Bratislava on 23 November.
Nov. 17, 2017 In a consultative ballot, members of the PCS civil service union expressed support for a campaign, including industrial action, to end the government's 1% limit on increases to public sector pay. The union has planned a series of protests around the country on 21 November, calling on the government to include funds in the upcoming budget to allow for pay increases above the 1% limit. It will also be talking to other public service unions about coordinated action.
Nov. 17, 2017 The three health federations - FP CGIL, CISL FP and UIL FPL - have said they will mobilise workers and the community to prevent the threatened outsourcing of nursing and auxiliary jobs at the Umberto I university hospital in Rome. The federations have strongly condemned the proposal that could affect 700 workers, including nurses who work in intensive care and specialist departments most of whom have been at the hospital for many years. The federations also attacked the complete failure of the hospital to consult or negotiate with the trade unions and warned that workers' pay could fall by up to 40% if the outsourcing goes ahead.
Nov. 17, 2017 Members of the Solidarity trade union working in the courts and prosecutors' offices organised a protest on 13 November over pay. Rather than the image of high-paid judges and prosecutors, the union says that 80% of workers get less than 2000 ZLT (EUR 475) a month and their pay claim is for a modest 100 ZLT a month (EUR 25). The protestors handed in a petition to the prime minister also calling for an increase in jobs in the sector.
Nov. 17, 2017 The ETUC has made a number of specific proposals for revision of the Written Statement Directive. The ETUC says that the legislation should cover as many workers as possible, including the growing number of self-employed and gig economy workers. It should provide information before the start of the employment relationship and extend the information requirements, on pay and working time and other issues. The ETUC also wants to see a right to adequate remuneration and guaranteed hours (putting an end to zero-hour type contracts) and ensure online platforms do not avoid or evade their responsibilities as employers.
Nov. 17, 2017 The ETUC has called on trade unions across Europe to be alert to attempts by employers to take advantage of a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on working time. In its ruling on the case, involving a casino worker in Portugal, the ECJ said that the rest day specified in the Working Time Directive does not necessarily need to follow after six days of work. The ETUC underlines the fact that the Court also stressed the need to keep health and safety objectives uppermost when determining what constitutes an adequate rest period. This means factors such as the nature of the work have to be taken into consideration when determining what is adequate rest, and it is clear that for some workers a shorter working time will be needed.
Nov. 17, 2017 The ssp/vpod public service union is mobilising again to defend the right to strike for care workers in the Fribourg region. The proposal for the ban is coming from right-wing MPs in the cantonal parliament despite the fact that the union had successfully negotiated with the state council to preserve care workers' right to strike (see epsucob@NEWS 15 and 17 in September). The union called for a big protest outside the Grand Council on 17 November.