Sep. 28, 2018
Today health workers and their trade unions organise a protest and mobilisation in Berlin against the anti-union practices of the ORPEA group in Germany.
Sep. 18, 2018
Report on the Privatisation and Private Sector Involvement and other Forms of State Disengagement in Migration and Refugee Services
(18 September 2018) The European Public Service Union (EPSU) and Public Services International (PSI) commissioned a research to inform both our work in inf
Aug. 30, 2018 Workers at University Medical Centres (UMC) are involved in a series of actions to push for a new collective agreement, including a 3.5% pay increase and measures to reduce excessive workloads. Negotiations have been stalled since the end of May and members of the FNV and NU'91 unions have organised demonstrations and worked-to-rule to underline the strength of feeling to employers. The UMC agreement covers 60000 workers. Meanwhile, youth care workers have also been active over excessive workloads and outsourcing. Around 2500 youth care workers are expected for a national demonstration on 3 September. The workers, members of the FNV, are calling for an extra EUR 750 million for the sector - EUR 450m to compensate for previous cuts and EUR 300 million to deal with increased demand. Youth care workers say it is increasingly difficult to deliver a proper service to young people and their families.
Aug. 30, 2018 More workers have come forward to join legal action against the Aleris care company following revelations about employment and working conditions made earlier this month (see epsucob@NEWS 16). Public service union Fagforbundet says that the company is avoiding its social, employment and tax obligations by taking workers on as self-employed "consultants" rather than employees. The union has taken this up with the authorities and a further eight workers have joined the 17 who were already involved in legal action. Some of these workers have been summarily dismissed or are given excessive hours or shifts that are impossible to cover. Revelations from one worker even accuse the company of putting him under pressure to get drugs for residents.
Aug. 23, 2018
On 20 August the UK government was forced to take back control of a privatised prison in Birmingham in central England following a damning report by the prisons inspectorate. The prison had been run since 2011 by the G4S group, one of three multinationals that run 14 prisons in England.
Aug. 16, 2018 The Fagforbundet trade union has reported the Aleris Ungplan and Boi private care company to the authorities for possible breaches of labour, health and safety, tax and even criminal law. The union has taken up cases for a number of workers who have been denied their rights on pay, sick pay and pensions and forced to work excessive hours. The cases mainly involve workers who were taken on as "consultants" rather than employees so that the company could avoid paying pension, sickness and other costs. The company is a subsidiary of a major private sector health and social care provider, Aleris, and Fagforbundet says this is one of the worst cases of social dumping in the welfare sector it has seen and also wants action by regional government which is responsible for health and social care provision.
Aug. 16, 2018 A planned three-day strike by UNISON members at the Mid Yorkshire National Health Service (NHS) Hospitals Trust has been called off after the trust’s management lifted the threat of creating a wholly-owned subsidiary. In line with other NHS bodies around the country, the trust had intended to set up the company and transfer the contracts of cleaners, maintenance workers, IT and canteen staff to it. The subsidiary would have made it possible to put staff on non-NHS terms and conditions and to make it easier for it to be sold to a private company. UNISON is campaigning around the country to block these kinds of initiatives.
Aug. 07, 2018
The official auditing body, the Cámara de Cuentas, has challenged the privatisation of hospitals in the Madrid region, arguing that there has been no evidence provided for any increase in efficiency or improvements in healthcare arising from the privatisation.
Aug. 03, 2018
Twenty-nine participants from EPSU affiliates in 16 countries met in Kiljava in southern Finland at the beginning of July in a two-and-a-half day seminar on public services and privatisation.
Jul. 20, 2018 The Fagforbundet public services union has criticised private childcare companies for making excessive profits at the expense of the children and childcare workers. Private operators tend to employ fewer workers than municipal childcare providers, with employees often on lower pay rates and with poorer pension entitlement. The union welcomes the fact that a new law in effect on 1 August will require one childcare worker per three children aged 0-3 and one for every six children aged 3-5. Fagforbundet's priorities are now to get changes to the financing system for private childcare, win better pay and conditions for all childcare workers and increase the number of jobs.
Jul. 10, 2018 An update of a survey by the Kommunal municipal workers' union has revealed differences between private and public eldercare in terms of pay and conditions. On average a full-time municipal worker in eldercare is paid SEK 2300 (EUR 225) more a month than their private counterpart. Private sector workers are also more likely to work part time (72%) and on fixed-term contracts (37%) than municipal workers (61% and 27% respectively). A survey of members also found that private sector workers feel less satisfied with the job and less motivated than municipal workers and while both sets of workers often work unpaid extra hours, this is a much bigger problem among private sector workers.
May. 17, 2018 The four unions representing home care workers in the Basque region (ELA, LAB, UGT and USO) have planned further work stoppages as part of their long-running campaign to end the pay freeze and negotiate new collective agreements. Two three-hour stoppages will take place on 25 and 31 May. There will also be a protest outside the Mungia town hall on the 25th and workers will surround the Bilbao town hall on the 31st. The unions are targeting local authorities for allowing the contracting out of home care services without any minimum prices specified and no hours guaranteed for the workers. The workers have already carried out 10 stoppages and organised innumerable protests in their campaign to secure their first pay rise for five years.