2018 January epsucob@NEWS 01
IN THIS ISSUE
- Italy: unions welcome central government agreement
- France: strike in eldercare planned for 30 January
- Turkey: decree ends outsourcing
- Slovenia: public sector strike set for 24 January
- Austria: pay rise in childcare sector
- Spain: regional government agrees gender-violence procedure
- UK: museum workers on strike
- Ireland: union repeats call for funding for voluntary sector pay
- Norway: prostate cancer confirmed as occupational disease
- Europe: ETUC looks for stronger working conditions directive
- Germany: 5000 healthworkers affected by insolvency
- Ukraine: three-year deal for border guards
- Europe: study reveals decline in job quality
- Israel: public and private sector solidarity over drug firm crisis
Jan. 05, 2018 The three main trade unions representing workers in ministries and agencies - FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-PA - have welcomed the new agreement signed on 23 December that marks the end of almost nine years of a freeze on collective bargaining. Covering around 250000 employees, the agreement re-establishes the importance of the role of the trade unions and collective bargaining and implements the basic pay provisions set out in the public sector framework deal agreed at the end of 2016. The central government agreement has a wide range of provisions on leave, including extra leave for women who are victims of violence, study leave rights for temporary workers and improved rights to training. There are also measures to tackle precarious work, to deal with stress and burnout and to retain the 36-hour working week.
Jan. 05, 2018 Around 5000 employees of the Paracelsus health company found out just before Christmas that the firm was insolvent. Their trade union, ver.di, said it was a bad day for both workers and patients and blamed mismanagement for the failure. The union said that workers had foregone their Christmas bonuses in 2013 and 2014 but the company had failed to deliver on the new investment promised at the time. This year the collective bargaining committee had refused to give up the bonus but the failure of the company to pay it in November was an early indication of the problems ahead. Ver.di has called on the company to work with it and the works council to provide guarantees for the workers and prevent any danger to patients.
Jan. 05, 2018 Workers at museums and historical buildings in Greenwich in South East London took strike action on 1 January in protest at changes to their contracts imposed by management. The changes mean fewer breaks, removal of paid breaks and an extension of hours in which workers' shifts can fall. All these effectively undermine the 3% increase in the hourly rate negotiated by their trade union Prospect last year. The new terms and conditions also don't guarantee payment of the unofficial London living wage which is currently GBP 10.20 (EUR 11.50).
Jan. 05, 2018 On 20 December the European Commission published is draft directive on transparent and predictable working conditions to replace the Written Statement Directive. The initial response from the ETUC is to welcome the requirement on employers to provide information to workers on day one and to extend this right to a range of atypical workers. There are also positive measures related to training, prohibition periods, protection of trade union reps and the rights of flexible workers. However, the ETUC wants to see additional measures to tackle the worst forms of precarious employment, particularly for workers on zero-hours contracts.
Jan. 05, 2018 At least 17 public sector unions are planning to take part in a one-day strike on 24 January to demand an end to austerity and to the retention of the single pay system for all public sector workers. The unions are concerned about pay deals with doctors, public sector directors and senior managers in the state holding company that call into question the single pay structure in the public sector. In the meantime, the firefighters' union has called off action planned for 10 January following government agreement to regrading of 14 posts within the fire service.
Jan. 05, 2018 Workers across the public and private sectors took four hours of strike action on 17 December to call for government action to resolve a crisis that could lead to 1750 job losses at the TEVA pharmaceuticals multinational in Israel, part of a plan to cut 14000 jobs worldwide. The action was called by the Histadrut confederation which says that the company had benefited from favourable tax arrangements and that the government should intervene to protect the workers whose jobs are under threat.
Jan. 05, 2018 Private childcare workers saw a 3% increase in the sector minimum wage from 1 January. The increase was negotiated by the vida and GPA-djp service trade unions with the Federal Arbitration Office. The increase takes the lowest wage level above EUR 1500 for the first time, reaching EUR 1514. There is also a provision to ensure that special payments continue to be fully paid in cases of long-term sickness or accidents at work. The unions are pleased that this is a good deal for the 10000 workers in the sector, the vast majority of whom are women.
Jan. 05, 2018 The regional government of Andalucia in Southern Spain has agreed a procedure to provide protection and support to employees who are victims of gender violence. The employer will ensure the right to comprehensive social assistance and the employee will have the right to transfer to another job and to have their data specially protected. Confidentiality will also apply to any dependants and if the worker is temporarily incapacitated as a result of any physical or psychological impact from the violence, they will paid the full level of benefit.
Jan. 05, 2018 Health and social care and public service federations from five confederations have made a joint call for a national strike and day of protests in the eldercare sector on 30 January. The unions are challenging claims by the health ministry that the problems in the sector are not related to inadequate funding but are simply a management problem. The action will cover homecare as well as residential workers and will be calling for increased staffing so that there is one worker per resident and the repeal of legislation on pricing reform. The unions want to see employment maintained in the sector including supported contracts which should be converted into standard contracts. The unions also want improvements in pay and career development.
Jan. 08, 2018 Public services union Fagforbundet has welcomed the news that the national Labour and Welfare Administration has recognised prostate cancer as an occupational disease affecting firefighters. The union says that firefighters and lawyers worked on the case for five years in order to convince the authorities to recognise the disease. The union is now calling on firefighters who have been diagnosed with the disease and exposed to fires and toxic substances to come forward for an assessment to see if they quality for compensation.
Jan. 09, 2018 The Service and the State Employees’ Union of Ukraine (SEUU) has signed a new three-year agreement covering the protection of labour, social and economic rights of border guards. The agreement aims to improve working conditions, professional development, training and skills. It also covers health and safety, wages and working time. The SEUU sees this as an important agreement covering more than 7,000 workers in around 50 units.
Jan. 10, 2018 The government has passed a decree that effectively ends outsourcing in central and local government. Outsourced workers in central government will be directly employed by the central government institutions while those in local authorities will be transferred to local authority-owned companies, rather than directly to the local authorities. The changes have been welcomed by trade unions although some have expressed concern about the difference in rights and pay and conditions for those in local authority companies and about the fact that the changes were implemented by decree with no consultation with the unions.
Jan. 10, 2018 The SIPTU trade union has again called on the government to concede its responsibility for the funding of pay increases in the voluntary sector - so-called Section 39 organisations - many of which cover the care sector. In recent negotiations over sleepover allowances the health ministry has conceded that it should fund these payments but it has resisted calls to provide funding for these organisations to award pay increases to their employees to bring them in line with the pay restoration arrangements in the public sector. SIPTU members are being balloted for strike action.
Jan. 10, 2018 A new report from the European Trade Union Institute shows what aspects of work improved or deteriorated over the last decade. It updates the Institute's European Job Quality Index which covers a broad range of work and employment characteristics, including wages, non-wage aspects of employment and work organisation, and collective interest representation. The results indicate a decline in non-wage job quality over the past decade and sluggish real wage growth in the years following the crisis.