Sep. 09, 2020 In anticipation of annual pay negotiations, the GÖD public service union has written to the government calling for sustained, real increases in pay and allowances for all public sector workers. The union argues that public employees have faced increasingly difficult working conditions as they have responded to the pandemic and its knock-on effects on employment and the economy by maintaining quality public services. The union points out the importance of public services to support Austria as a successful international economy and that a pay rise for the public sector would make an important contribution to domestic demand and economic recovery. The current pay agreement runs until the end of December this year and the GÖD wants a prompt start to the negotiations to ensure that pay increases apply from 1 January 2021.
Sep. 09, 2020 A survey of 1600 care workers by the FNV trade union has revealed disturbing levels of concern about safety, overwork and low pay. Some 70% of workers feel unsafe because government measures to tackle the pandemic are not properly enforced and only 25% say they have adequate personal protective equipment for a second wave. Three in four say they have a high or very high workload and 90% feel they are not appreciated by government or politicians. Seven in 10 want a structural pay increase and not a corona bonus payment. They say this is essential to make the sector more protective and address the 80000 vacancies that have occurred over the last two years. This situation is set to worsen as one in four health workers are thinking of quitting. The survey was published as part of the FNV's week of campaigning on health and social care and the impact of the pandemic.
Sep. 09, 2020 The Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp and Uil Fpl public service federations have called a national strike in private health care for 16 September. This is the latest step in their campaign to put pressure on the Aiop and Aris employer organisations to sign the sector agreement that was initially agreed on 10 June after three years of negotiations. Despite endorsements from the Ministry of Health and the regional authorities that play a key role in funding the sector, the employers refused to ratify the agreement saying there were not enough guarantees. The strike follows action on 31 August when the unions organised demonstrations outside the employers' head offices.
Sep. 09, 2020 Public services union ver.di reports that the first exchange with employers in the negotiations covering 2.3 million federal and municipal workers was a disappointment. The union has set out a series of key demands with the main one being a 4.8% pay rise with a minimum increase of EUR 150 a month. While the employers responded with some positive words about the efforts of public service workers during the pandemic they didn't come up with a pay offer. In fact, they underlined the challenges facing public finances and called for a long-term deal rather than the 12-month agreement demanded by ver.di. The union has launched a photo petition to support the negotiations, the next round of which takes place on 19-20 September.
Sep. 07, 2020
Juozas Neverauskas, the President of the Lithuanian Industry Trade Union Federation (LPPSF), died after fighting a serious illness on the 4th September. Juozas was 71. He was President of the union for the last 14 years.
Sep. 01, 2020
Unions are continuing to mobilise in various EU member states to ensure higher pay and better working conditions for health and care workers.
Aug. 27, 2020 The OSZSP health workers' union and LOK doctors' union held a joint press conference on 19 August to call for a 15% pay increase for all health workers in 2021. Both unions say that they are pleased with the additional payments for staff dealing with COVID-19 but that the government had to recognise the increase demands on the health service and the need to attract new staff in order to address excessive overtime and overwork. The unions say they are ready to negotiate but made clear that the health minister's proposal for a 5% pay rise was unacceptable.
Aug. 27, 2020 Earlier this month the Atomprofilska nuclear energy union began negotations with the Energoatom company. However, the industry is facing major challenges and the union is particularly concerned about the financial state of the company and the lack of support from the government. The union argues that the government has left the company effectively on the verge of bankruptcy and this is having an impact on maintaining proper health and safety. The union is looking to appeal directly to the President to take action, will organise protests in key cities, is calling for the resignation of the acting energy minister and may also appeal to the International Atomic Energy Authority.
Aug. 27, 2020
Expert webinar on EPSU case vs the European Commission (T310/18), on social dialogue and social partner agreements
The Universities of Louvain and Brussels are organising a webinar on a ground-breaking European legal case in which EPSU is involved and which will determine the future of the European level social dialogue 16 September.
Aug. 27, 2020 Trade unions coordinated by the LO confederation have secured a NOK 975 (EUR 93) increase on monthly pay for all workers covered by the negotiations with the Spekter employers' organisation. Spekter covers major companies providing public services, particularly in health, culture and transport/infrastructure. On top of this general rise local negotiations should deliver further increases. LO Stat, the coordinating body, emphasises that the local negotiations should take account of the low pay, gender equality and the situation of skilled workers and graduates. Low pay in this context is anyone getting 90% of the average industrial wage or less. The negotiations also include initiatives focusing on sustainability and proposals to collect examples of how unions and employers are dealing with digitalisation and artificial intelligence.
Aug. 27, 2020 Energy unions are facing challenges on several fronts. Leading gas company Centrica has faced major criticism from unions - GMB, UNISON, Unite and Prospect - when it followed up an announcement of 5000 job cuts with a plan to sack and re-hire 20000 staff on worse terms and conditions. The GMB union has already had a consultative ballot which showed 95% support for strike action and so a formal ballot will be undertaken. Meanwhile the GMB members at Northern Gas Networks have voted 98% in favour of industrial action on pay while Unite members at the Drax energy company have been balloted over action in protest at the company's plans to make 230 workers redundant despite a no-redundancy pledge last year.
Aug. 27, 2020 Trade unions, employers and the government have signed a major agreement which sets out a range of measures for the coming two years. These cover green and energy issues as well as plans to increase unemployment benefit and pensions. Health workers dealing with COVID-19 will see a 30% increase on pay for the period August-December this year, around 6000 employees will benefit. There is also additional funding for municipalities to ensure that the collective agreement covering childcare nurses is fully implemented. This will particularly affect workers in small towns guaranteeing that they receive the minimum rate. The tripartite agreement also sees moves towards ratification of ILO Convention 154 on promoting collective bargaining and initial steps to ratify Convention 151 on labour relations in public services. This could be an important development as currently civil servants don't have the right to collective bargaining.