2012 October epsucob@NEWS 16
Nov. 01, 2012 The FNV confederation has agreed a guideline of a pay increase of 2.5% for the next round of negotiations, aiming to keep pay just ahead of inflation which is forecast at 2%. A key element of the bargaining round will be decent work and ensuring equal pay for equal work, with an aim to reduce to use of temporary contracts and agency workers.Read more at > FNV Abvakabo (NL)
Nov. 01, 2012 UNISON has welcomed the employers’ response to the union’s claim for a substantial pay rise for council workers, indicating their willingness to break the three year pay freeze. However, the union warned against any attempt to introduce local bargaining. The three-year pay freeze in local government has been unique in the public sector. Public sector workers earning under £21,000 were promised a £250 increase in the Chancellor’s first budget – local government workers did not get that increase. The cumulative effect of this coupled with high inflation has meant that, since 2009, pay for council staff such as care workers, librarians, school dinner ladies, teaching assistants, bin men and street cleaners has fallen13% across the board. Read more at > Unison (EN)
Nov. 01, 2012 A new report from the ETUI reveals the holes in the arguments of those who maintain that Latvia proves that austerity can get an economy out of recession. This policy brief argues the opposite and shows that what actually happened in Latvia is that policymakers decided not to continue but to break with the policy of austerity. This made it possible for Latvia to get out of a vicious spiral of austerity causing a depression and thereby leading to even more austerity.Read more at > ETUI (EN)
Nov. 01, 2012 The CSC, CGSP and SLPF public sector trade union federations coordinated a demonstration in Brussels on 9 October in protest at management plans to cuts jobs as part of a plan to reorganise the finance ministry Unions are concerned that staff will be required to change jobs and will lose out in terms of bonuses and other allowances. Read more at > CSC Services Publics (FR)
Nov. 01, 2012 The EPSU affiliate representing workers at the National Academy of Sciences organised demonstrations in Kiev and regional centres on 10 October to protest at planned cuts to the budget and the failure of the government to implement an agreement on wages concluded earlier this year. The union argues that workers at the Academy have already seen their pay fall in relation to the rest of the economy and the cuts will make this situation work. The government is considering alternatives that might lead to as many as 7718 job cuts. The union says that further protests will follow if there is no response from the government.
Nov. 01, 2012 The Independent Union of Energy Workers has signed the first ever collective agreement covering companies in the private sector. The union and employers agreed that the purpose of the agreement was to apply international labour standards, to equalize working conditions at sector level and to establish a framework of rights that the employees should be entitled to, which will maintain fair competition between employers.
Nov. 01, 2012 Over 2500 workers took part in a national trade union demonstration against a bill to reform the pensions system. The unions are challenging plans to increase the retirement age and reduce benefits. Their counter proposals include a higher basic pension, better working conditions for older workers and measures to help those suffering with health problems or carrying out difficult and arduous jobs. The unions also want to see a public complementary pension system and they called for a meeting with the ministers of social security and labour.Read more at > OGB-L (FR)
Nov. 01, 2012 The Pardia state sector union and STTK confederation marked 28 October as equal pay day. According to data from Statistics Finland, women's pay in Finland is only 84,2% of men's. Converted into an annual pay, women's wages have effectively been paid by 28 October and work "without pay" for the rest of the year. One issue being raised by the unions is the legal requirement on employers to draw up an annual gender equality plan, including a pay survey. However, the evidence shows that the pay survey is often neglected, or it does not lead to action. Read more at > Pardia (EN)
Nov. 01, 2012 The ALFA Cartel trade union confederation, including EPSU affiliates Hipocrat and Sigol, organised a number of demonstrations in cities across the country on 2-4 October. The protests were over the coalition government’s failure to do anything about the labour law reforms that it promised to repeal when in opposition. The Confederation reports that the undermining of social dialogue has meant 1,000 fewer collective agreements this year. There have been attacks on pay and conditions, but no sign of any increase in jobs.
Nov. 01, 2012 Trade unions in the KESK confederation organising the municipal police and firefighters held a national demonstration in Ankara on 28 September in protest at the continuing lack of proper collective bargaining rights in the public sector.Read more at > KESK (TK)
Nov. 01, 2012 State sector union Pardia has underlined the need for trust in the workplace to improve productivity, highlighting the current public disagreement on the three-day training leave in the central negotiations. The union underlines the need for training in the current economic situation and state of constant upheaval in the workplace, training leave is a highly significant issue, since developing one’s knowledge and skills is the best security for employees in changing circumstances. The leave would also maintain the fitness of employees for the labour market, promote the well-being at work of employees aged 55 and over, and lengthen careers.Read more at > Pardia (EN)
Nov. 01, 2012 Union federations have attacked the introduction of new rules on collective redundancy that will affect 700,000 workers in public administration and around 140,000 workers in companies where the state owns 50% or more of the capital. The unions argue that it will make it much easier to implement large-scale redundancies and that public authorities will be more likely to make arbitrary decisions on cuts that will undermine the provision of public services. They also challenge the government for introducing such a measure when unemployment is at 25% and 117,000 public sector jobs were cut in the last quarter. The unions argue this is another major reasons for workers to support the general strike called for 14 November.Read more at > FSC-CCOO (ES)And at > FSP-UGT (ES)
Nov. 01, 2012 Municipal union Kommunal has welcomed the decision by the LO blue-collar trade union confederation to target low pay in the next bargaining round. LO and Kommunal argue that this will also mean improving pay in sectors dominated by women. The aim will be for all workers paid less than the monthly average industrial wage (SEK 25000, €2910) to get the same monetary amount as the percentage increase for those on more than the average. This would also apply to minimum wage rates.Read more at > LO (SV)And at > Kommunal (SV)
Nov. 01, 2012 Public sector unions are building for the general strike supported by both union confederations on 14 November. A national demonstration over the latest budget proposals was organised on 31 October and the STAL local government union is supporting a campaigning caravan of protest that is working its way around the country.Read more at > STAL (PT)And at > doniticias news website (PT)
Nov. 01, 2012 The vida and GPA-DJP private services unions are calling for a national, sectoral agreement covering all workers in childcare institutions. They argue that currently workers in the sector are covered by a range of different provisions - an educational collective agreement, the BAGS private health care agreement and in some cases by company-level agreements. This means considerable variation in pay and conditions and the unions want to see a more consistent approach, particularly in areas like the amount of preparation time workers should be paid for.Read more at > vida (DE)
Nov. 01, 2012 EPSU has collaborated with the SOZ ZaSS health union in producing an overview of recent developments in collective bargaining in the health sector. The article provides some background on the key negotiations and the challenges faced in securing improved funding for the sector as well as better pay and conditions for the workers. The situation is similar to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe and also raises questions about the potential of general healthcare unions to work with other organisations in the sector, particularly unions representing doctors.Read more at > EPSU (EN)
Nov. 01, 2012 The ADEDY civil service confederation and GSEE private sector confederation are planning the next general strike for 6-7 November in protest at the policies of the Troika - European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - that are continuing to push the economy into recession while undermining labour and trade union and other social rights. Read more at > ADEDY (GR)