Low pay/minimum wages
Nov. 02, 2018 The GPA-djp private services union has underlined the need for action in the care sector to address the quality and quantity of services and the pay and conditions of care workers, three quarters of whom are women. With demand increasing, particularly as a result of the ageing population, the union wants to see the federal government take responsibility to introduce national standards of care to end the variation between the regions and to increase funding to the sector to help address low pay and the widespread use of part-time work.
Nov. 02, 2018 The Fagforbundet public service union has revealed figures showing that care workers in the private sector in Oslo are between EUR 7000 and EUR 8700 worse off than those in the public sector. A starting salary for a graduate care worker in the public sector is NOK 367000 (EUR 38500), NOK 84000 more than the same worker in the private sector. Those on minimum wages in the sector are EUR 7000 better off if employed by the municipality. Fagforbundet also says that private sector workers are more likely to face heavier workloads as a result of understaffing. Fourteen of the 40 care homes in Oslo are currently run by the private sector although the municipality has plans to gradually bring them back under public management.
Nov. 02, 2018 The solidly supported two-day strike by around 8000 local government workers in Glasgow was successful in getting the council back to the negotiating table. The strike was over the council's failure to deal with longstanding demands for equal pay for a wide range of low-paid women workers in care, catering, cleaning, school support and other services. The strike on 23-24 October was called by the GMB and UNISON trade unions and UNISON now reports that initial talks with the council have been positive and constructive. EPSU, PSI and many affiliates sent messages of support.
Oct. 26, 2018 On 17 October, around 20000 trade union members from both private and public sectors marched through Kyiv city centre and blocked the government quarter. The main demands of the demonstration were for investment in industry for decent jobs, raise the minimum wage to help stop emigration, not to increase utilities prices, for the state budget to allocate the equivalent of 7% of GDP to education and 5% to healthcare, to urgently pay outstanding wages to more than 100,000 workers and to stop state’s takeover of trade union property and respect trade union rights.
Oct. 24, 2018 On 17 October the Labour Court in Nordhausen in central Germany ruled that two employees of the Celenus social care company had been unfairly dismissed for trade union activity and should be reinstated. Carmen Laue and Heike Schmidt, members of the ver.di service union, were summarily sacked in April for distributing leaflets as part of a long-running, and continuing campaign for better pay at Celenus which is part of the Orpea social care multinational. EPSU and its affiliates from France, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Spain that also organise in Orpea sent messages of support.
Oct. 10, 2018 EPSU affiliate LAKRS organised a picket of the ministry of transport on 4 October calling for better pay and conditions and a collective agreement covering bus workers. The union wants to see a minimum wage of EUR 7 an hour for drivers and action to tackle the widespread problem of long working hours.
Oct. 10, 2018 On 9 October the KTAMS civil service union organised a day of strike action in all workplaces in which it organises in protest at the sharply falling purchasing power of workers' pay. A steep decline in the Turkish Lira has led to much higher inflation, leaving the minimum wage effectively below the poverty level. The union wants to see legislation that will ensure the increasing cost of living is reflected in workers' pay on a monthly basis. During the day's strike action, KTAMS is organising a march to the parliament to present its proposals.
Oct. 10, 2018 On 3 October unions in the DISK and KESK confederations organised a half-day work stoppage in the city of Izmir in western Turkey. The strike called for the reinstatement of workers who have been arbitrarily dismissed by the government in its continuing indiscriminate actions following the attempted coup in 2016. The unions also called for an increase in the minimum wage and for municipal workers to be treated the same as civil servants in relation to the government's recent legislation to end outsourcing.
Sep. 14, 2018 Workers in public administration and some other public services will see their pay rise by at least 5% in 2019, with higher increases for low-paid workers in some areas including the departments of justice, culture, labour and social administration. There will higher increases of 15% and 10% for teachers and non-teaching staff in education while the security forces will get between 2% and 6%. The increase for health workers has yet to be confirmed. The OSZSP health union wants a pay rise of 10% across the board which it argues has been promised by the prime minister. However, the health minister has proposed a 10% increase in the wage bill but with different increases for different groups of workers. In a recent meeting with OSZSP, the Czech Nurses' Association confirmed its support for a 10% increase.
Sep. 13, 2018 The SIPTU general workers' union has welcomed new government intiatives on funding and regulation of the childcare sector which it believes will help improve children's safety and the quality of care. However, the union argues that urgent action is needed to tackle low pay and precarious employment in the sector. SIPTU says with average pay at only EUR 10.88 an hour, there are significant recruitment and retention problems as reflected in a staff turnover rate of just over 28%.The union wants to see a major overhaul of funding for the sector to provide the basis of decent pay for such undervalued workers.
Sep. 07, 2018
Trade unionists from all over Europe agree to step up efforts to build networks in health and social care multinationals
On 4 September, more than 40 trade union representatives from 15 European countries met in Brussels to discuss how to coordinate their activities in multinational enterprises in the health and social care sectors.
Aug. 17, 2018 The GMB general and public services union has raised concerns about safety in the waste sector. The union says that official figures show that deaths among refuse workers rose from eight to 12 last year while staff faced 1,000 instances of dangerous driving every single day. The GMB points out that workers are facing these serious threats to their safety while having seen their pay plummet in real terms since 2011.The average earnings of a refuse worker are just over £19,000 a year (EUR 21250), 7.4% lower in real terms than in 2011.
Aug. 16, 2018 The SIPTU services union has negotiated an agreement that could provide significant improvements to the pay and conditions of around 8000 home care workers employed in the community sector. The workers will have a guarantee that travel time will be include in the calculation of their pay and working time and the new deal should see them benefit from a proper valuation of their work, with minimum qualifications to be set for new workers and an end to precarious work. This will help bring the sector more line with the pay and conditions enjoyed by workers directly employed by the Health Service Executive. The union is also keen to ensure that there is an overall increase in hours of home care provision to benefit service users.
Aug. 02, 2018 The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has produced a new report arguing for a doubling of investment in the care sector to prevent a global care crisis. It says that investment on this scale could create 269 million new jobs by 2030 and provide a major boost to women's employment while addressing massive gender inequality in unpaid care. The ILO estimates that over 600 million women want paid employment but are prevented from entering the labour market because of their caring responsibilities. The report underlines the need for a "high road" to increase care provision which means tackling the low pay and poor working conditions that characterise the sector.