Apr. 05, 2018 Public service unions report a massive response to their call for a day of protest and strike action on 22 March against government plans for the public sector. While the unions are calling for a wide range of measures to support statutory employment rights, increase pay, reduce precarious employment, improve career development, the government response has been to talk about reforming existing social dialogue structures, weaking the statutory system and extending individualisation of pay. Following the abortive meeting with the government on 3 April, unions will meet on 10 April to discuss how to respond with the prospect of a range of initiatives during April and further demonstrations and strike action likely in May.
Mar. 19, 2018 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public sector federations have negotiated a deal with the government which will mean gradual restoration of purchasing power and other rights lost during the years of austerity. Over the next three years salaries will increase by at least 6.12% but this could rise to 8.79% if certain economic and deficit targets are met. There is also a commitment to get temporary employment down from 24% to 8% of the workfoce. Restrictions on recruitment will be loosened with certain priority areas now able to replace all workers who leave. The deal also confirms the return to collective bargaining and among other measures the possibility to negotiate on working hours with a view, where appropriate, to return to a 35-hour week.
Mar. 09, 2018 The CCOO and UGT trade union confederations report massive support for their two-shift strike action across the public and private sectors on 8 March in protest at the gender pay gap, precarious emploment and violence against women. The two two-hour stoppages took place from 11.30 to 13.30 and from 16.30 to 18.30. The unions say that over 100000 people joined rallies in front of town halls across the country and that the success of the action was the result of intensive preparation through thousands of trade union meetings, trade union statements and an well-organised information campaign in the lead up to the day.
Mar. 08, 2018 The STAL local government trade union and other unions in the Frente Comum federation of public service unions are organising a national demonstration in Lisbon on 16 March. The protest is to underline the unions' main demands for a 4% pay increase with a minimum of EUR 60 a month. While the government has finally unfrozen career development after 13 years, some of the lowest paid workers hardly benefit at all, moving only from below to slightly above the minimum wage. The unions' demands also include action to reduce precarious employment and increased allowances to cover arduous and dangerous work.
Mar. 08, 2018 A survey commissioned by the DISK trade union confederation reveals the low pay and long working hours faced by many workers across Turkey. Some 54% of all workers say they are “struggling to make ends meet,” while 71% of workers without any social coverage say the same. In contrast, only 19% of trade union members say they are “struggling to make ends meet.” However, union density is only at 13%. Twenty-four percent of all workers say they do not take any annual leave, rising to 48% among uninsured workers.The study also revealed that 44% of workers believe their health and safety conditions are poor.
Feb. 21, 2018 The CCOO and UGT unions in the public sector met with the finance ministry on 19 February to underline their demands for a new agreement on public employment that would include a target of reducing temporary employment to 8% of total employment over the next three years and to end the restriction on replacing employees who leave which has had major implications not just for workers but also the quality of services. The unions are also looking for an above-inflation pay rise and a restoration of the 5% salary cut from 2010. They also want to see a return to the 35-hour week across the public sector.
Feb. 08, 2018 A new report from the Kommunal local government union paints a positive picture of pre-school education but reveals increased pressure on staff, a failure to ensure appropriate staffing levels and an excessive use of fixed-term contracts. The report is based on a large survey of Kommunal members and interviews with 3352 childcare workers. The survey found that 39% of childcare workers found their work mentally exhausting, up by 15% since 2012. The union wants to see proper application of the official guidelines on staff/child ratios and an increase in the number of staff on permanent contracts.
Feb. 07, 2018 Home care workers in the Basque region of northern Spain are in the third month of their campaign to secure better pay and employment conditions. Their latest partial work stoppage took place on 25 January and further action is planned for 12 and 27 February to put pressure on city councils and the regional council to act on the low pay and precarious employment conditions that are common to the contracts run by private companies across the region. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Jan. 26, 2018 The 2018 edition of the World Employment and Social Outlook from the International Labour Organisation has a generally positive analysis of unemployment trends in Europe but underlines the often poor quality of jobs being created which has also partly contributed to constraining wages. The report says that since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, a large share of the jobs created, especially in the Euro Area, have been part-time jobs, and workers have often taken them involuntarily, owing to the lack of full-time employment opportunities.
Jan. 25, 2018 25th January will see the first of another series of partial work stoppages by home care workers in the Basque region in protest at poor pay and working conditions. The actions follow similar protests at the end of last year coordinated by the UGT, USO, ELA and LAB trade union organisations. The unions say that companies are not respecting the collective agreement and make no guarantees on hourly payments when they bid for contracts. The unions are also protesting against excessive flexibility and use of temporary contracts and the fact that workers haven't had a pay increase for five years. They will be taking their case to the Basque regional authority demanding measures to ensure quality employment and quality services in the sector.
Jan. 10, 2018 A new report from the European Trade Union Institute shows what aspects of work improved or deteriorated over the last decade. It updates the Institute's European Job Quality Index which covers a broad range of work and employment characteristics, including wages, non-wage aspects of employment and work organisation, and collective interest representation. The results indicate a decline in non-wage job quality over the past decade and sluggish real wage growth in the years following the crisis.
Jan. 10, 2018 The government has passed a decree that effectively ends outsourcing in central and local government. Outsourced workers in central government will be directly employed by the central government institutions while those in local authorities will be transferred to local authority-owned companies, rather than directly to the local authorities. The changes have been welcomed by trade unions although some have expressed concern about the difference in rights and pay and conditions for those in local authority companies and about the fact that the changes were implemented by decree with no consultation with the unions.
Jan. 05, 2018 On 20 December the European Commission published is draft directive on transparent and predictable working conditions to replace the Written Statement Directive. The initial response from the ETUC is to welcome the requirement on employers to provide information to workers on day one and to extend this right to a range of atypical workers. There are also positive measures related to training, prohibition periods, protection of trade union reps and the rights of flexible workers. However, the ETUC wants to see additional measures to tackle the worst forms of precarious employment, particularly for workers on zero-hours contracts.
Jan. 05, 2018 The three main trade unions representing workers in ministries and agencies - FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-PA - have welcomed the new agreement signed on 23 December that marks the end of almost nine years of a freeze on collective bargaining. Covering around 250000 employees, the agreement re-establishes the importance of the role of the trade unions and collective bargaining and implements the basic pay provisions set out in the public sector framework deal agreed at the end of 2016. The central government agreement has a wide range of provisions on leave, including extra leave for women who are victims of violence, study leave rights for temporary workers and improved rights to training. There are also measures to tackle precarious work, to deal with stress and burnout and to retain the 36-hour working week.