Jun. 19, 2020 The UNISON public services union has written to the health minister and launched a campaign calling for full pay for carers who are sick or have to self-isolate in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in care homes or among those receiving home care. The vast majority of carers are low-paid and get basic sick pay of only £95 a week (EUR 105) which makes it impossible to provide for a family and puts pressure on the carer to stay at work. UNISON has welcomed £600 million (EUR 665m) of extra funding for the sector but is concerned this will end up in the coffers of private care companies with no guarantees that their employees will benefit
Jun. 19, 2020 14 June marked the anniversary of the massive mobilisation and strike action of women workers across the country to highlight persistent gender inequality. Latest figures show a gender pay gap of close to 20% and an even higher pensions gap of nearly a third. With major mobilisations impossible in the current situation, a week of online and local actions were organised in the week beginning 8 June to highlight the urgent need for action to tackle inequality.
Jun. 19, 2020 The FOA trade union has called for regular testing for COVID-19 for care home staff. The union is concerned about a recent article that found over half of homes had no plans for regular testing and the news that 29 infections were found at a nursing home in North Jutland. FOA is proposing that a system of mobile testing be set up so that all staff could be tested quickly and efficiently, particularly if they are to meet the recommendation from the European Centre for Disease Control of testing every two weeks.
Jun. 18, 2020 Kommunal, the municipal workers' union, has negotiated an agreement with the SKR local and regional government employers' organisation to provide for more staff and training in eldercare. The government has provided an additional SEK 2.2 billion (EUR 210 million) in 2020 and 2021 to cover the extra staffing. Kommunal wants to ensure that workers are taken on on full-time contracts and training takes place during paid working time and is line with the existing training provision for nursing assistants and nurses.
Jun. 18, 2020 The health workers' union has raised serious concerns about the failure to ensure that medical workers get the appropriate compensation for the fight against COVID-19. The union has also had many reports from around the country about abuse of health workers' rights and argues that local institutions are failing to properly negotiate and consult with worker representatives. The union wants to see a much broader range of health workers who face risks of COVID-19 infection getting special payments and also appropriate support in terms of sickness insurance and provisions for recovery and rehabilitation.
Jun. 18, 2020 18 June saw the beginning of a series of actions by health workers to give more visibility to their campaign to secure increased funding for the sector and their claims for more jobs and better pay and conditions. Physical actions in Brussels and Charleroi were combined with online photo and video actions, highlighting the key demands and the work done in the fight against COVID-19. There was also a guarded welcome for progress on additional funding for the sector with progress in the parliamentary process of approving additional funding of EUR 402 million which would include funding for 5000 additional jobs. However, unions calculate that around EUR 650m is needed for a new salary structure covering both public and private sectors and EUR 200m to improve working conditions.
Jun. 18, 2020 Health and social care workers took part in over 250 demonstrations across the country on 16 June in a major mobilisation by trade unions and campaigning groups. An estimated 80000 joined the main protest in Paris. Although partly in reaction to the COVID-19 crisis, the mobilisation is part of a long-running campaign by trade unions to secure increased health funding, better pay and conditions for workers, increased staffing and a block on closures and privatisation.
Jun. 18, 2020
Together with the European Federation for Retired People and the Elderly (FERPA), EPSU expressed disappointment that the European Commission’s Recovery Plan for Europe does not address the havoc the pandemic has caused for the elderly and elderly care workers.
Jun. 18, 2020 The ADEDY public sector confederation called for a three-hour work stoppage on 16 June in support of action organised by the POEDIN and OENGE health unions. There was main demand for higher public spending on health with specific calls to address the 40000 vacancies in the sector, for permanent status for the 16000 workers on temporary contracts who have often been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, for higher pay - salaries start at only EUR 650 a month - and improvements in a range of allowances related to risk of infection, night work and holiday pay.
Jun. 17, 2020 The FeSP-UGT public service federation has sent a number of key demands to the public service ministry for a new agreement covering public sector workers. The union wants action on improving employment conditions and reducing precarious employment but also has a number of specific proposals on telework, noting that the estimated impact of COVID-19 has been an increase from 26,000 to more than 450,000 public employees doing telework. Among the key demands are action to balance security and flexibility with increased productivity; voluntary nature of telework; equality of rights with other workers; privacy, confidentiality, risk prevention, training and information; health and safety; working time and consultation. Meanwhile, the FSC-CCOO federation has denounced the fact that, more than a year after the entry into force of agreement covering 40000 workers in state administration, the government is refusing to increase salaries and the payment of accumulated pay arrears amounting to some 35 million euros. There is also a failure to establish new professional classification system. The union has called for an immediate confirmation of funding for the pay increase and says it will consider protests and mobilisation after crisis if this is not addressed.