May. 27, 2016 (May 2016) After three rounds of negotiations and a series of warning strikes, public sector unions have agreed a two-year deal covering just over two million workers in national and local government. There will be a 2.4% pay increase this year, backdated to 1 March and a 2.35% next year as of 1 February. There are also increases for apprentices and an extension to the agreement to offer apprentices jobs when they quality. Read more at ver.di (DE)
2016 June epsucob@NEWS 07
May. 27, 2016 (May 2016) The three main public sector federations - Fp-Cgil, Cisl-FP and Uil-Fpl - organised a national mobilisation on 19 May as part of a campaign to improve and increase childcare services and the pay and conditions of childcare workers. The unions have raised concerns about inadequate staffing levels, too few nurseries, particularly for the 0-3 age group and precarious working conditions for childcare workers. They have called for an urgent meeting with the government to discuss these issues. Read more at Fp-Cgil (IT)
May. 27, 2016 (May 2016) The ST civil service union has negotiated a new agreement covering companies in the rail infrastructure sector. There will be a wage increase of 2.38% along with increases on unsocial hours payments and the agreement runs until 30 April 2017. There are also provisions to increase job security with monitoring of the use of fixed-term contracts, The agreement also includes clearer language on the employer's responsibility for the working environment, covering issues like workloads, overtime and victimization. Read more at ST (SV)
Jun. 17, 2016 (June 2016) Following a conference in Oviedo on 8 June, the FSC-CCOO public services federation has called for safety committees in the fire service to implement plan of action to tackle cancer risks for firefighters. The conference discussed the findings of 32 studies involving more than 110,000 firefighters, showing the risks firefighters face through contamination of uniforms, materials and equipment. The union wants to see action to eliminate or reduce the risk of cancer with implementation of routine cleaning and decontamination of equipment. The plan would also involve modifying the design of equipment and adapting the organization of work and times of each intervention to the actual needs of personal protection. Further initiatives would include storage, collection, bagging and labeling of unifiorms and materials for decontamination. Read more at FSC-CCOO (ES)
Jun. 17, 2016 (June 2016) Members of the services union ver.di working for the Median rehabilitation clinic in Berlin took strike action on 17 June as part of the union's campaign to defend collective bargaining. Median is the largest private provider of rehabilitation services with 13000 employees in 78 facilities across the country. The company announced it would no longer negotiate a collective agreement and would look to local arrangements with works councils or individual employees. Ver.di has strongly attacked the company, owned since 2014 by the Dutch investment fund Waterland, for aiming to maximise profits at the expense of workers' pay and conditions. Read more at ver.di (DE).
Jun. 17, 2016 (June 2016) The vida and GPA-djp service unions have negotiated a new collective agreement with private employers in the spa and rehabilitation sector and includes a 1.3% pay increase from 1 July with a backdated lump sum of EUR 220 to cover the period October 2015 to June 2016. The agreement runs until the end of 2017 and includes a further pay increase on 1 January 2017 that will be based on the average inflation rate between October 2015 and November 2016. The trade unions and employers emphasised the importance of an effective social dialogue in delivering results for both employees and companis in challenging negotiating environment. Read more at vida (DE).
Jun. 20, 2016 (June 2016) Over 1900 activists from the FOA public services union met in Odense on 9 June to discuss the impact of cuts in spending on care for the elderly and childcare. Eldercare has been particularly hard hit creating a massive increases in workloads and major problems with stress. The proportion of FOA members who feel stressed, has more than doubled, from 9 percent in 2010 to 19 percent in 2015, while last year 72 percent of FOA members said that their workload had increased in the past year.The union discussed what initiatives to take and in particular how to alert the public to the issues. Read more at FOA (DK).
Jun. 20, 2016 (June 2016) The International Labour Organisation has contributed to the debate around a European pillar of social rights highlighting some of the essential issues such as minimum wages and work-life balance. Above all it agrees with the call from trade unions and employers at European level that "more attention should be paid to recognizing, promoting and respecting social dialogue processes and outcomes." The ILO sees the European Pillar of Social Rights initiative as a unique opportunity to embed effective and inclusive dialogue in the EU governance, raise living standards in the EU and foster upward convergence among the Member States. Read more at ILO
Jun. 20, 2016 (June 2016) The union for National Academy of Sciences Workers organised a demonstration outside the parliament on 15 June call for a major increase in spending on science spending. The union points out that, according to the final provisions of the Law on Science, such funding should be 1.7% of GDP by 1 January 2020, but last year it was only 0.3% of GDP, and this year is 0.2%. The lack of funding is having a direct impact on science workers and if there is no increase then employees of the National Academy will either have to go on unpaid leave or work part-time. This is part of a long running campaign by the union which also organised a protest over funding in April.
Jun. 20, 2016 (June 2016) The European Trade Union Institute has published a policy brief looking at the mechanism of collective bargaining extention. With collective bargaining under attack in some countries, the policy brief reviews the different forms as well as the spread and current practice of extension mechanisms across Europe. It then discusses the relationship between extension mechanisms, collective bargaining coverage and union density and finally formulates political recommendations of how to ensure the future of multi-employer bargaining through extension procedures. Read more at ETUI (EN).
Jun. 21, 2016 (June 2016) The process of negotiating the so-called competitiveness pact is nearly at an end with 86.5% of workers now covered on the basis of the unions that have signed up. Some negotiations are continuing and so the final figure may exceed 90%. One trade union leader described it as a choice between a pest and cholera with the government threatening tougher measures if the pact were not agreed. It will mean a pay freeze and all workers working 24 hours a year more without pay. But public sector workers will also see a 30% cut in their holiday bonus. Read more at JHL (EN).
Jun. 21, 2016 (May 2016) The BDDSz childcare workers' union (one of EPSU's newest affiliates) secured an important legal victory at the end of May. Following strike action earlier this year, the legality of the strike had been challenged by the government which had argued that the union should have provided a minimum level of service. The legal challenge went throught the whole legal process and the highest court ruled in favour of the union saying that the nature of the service did not require the minimum service. Read more at BDDSz (HU).