Oct. 09, 2019 The BSRB public service union has called for government mediation in its dispute with local authority employers. In the current negotiations the BSRB has focused on a reduction of the working week to 35 hours with no loss of pay. The employers, however, want to stick to a 40-hour week with the possibility of shorter hours negotiated at workplace level on the basis of concessions in relation to breaks and other benefits.
Oct. 09, 2019 The latest biennial report from the Eurofound research agency finds that there have not been any significant developments in working time across Europe. The average working week remains at 38 hours. Public administration is one of the specific sectors analysed where weekly hours averaged 37.6 in both 2018 and 2017. The report noted some specific sector developments with particularly negative legislation passed in Hungary affecting public administration allowing for longer hours and more flexibility. More positive agreements were noted in Estonia (health) and Greece (local government and waste).
Sep. 27, 2019 Unions in the UK and Ireland are both making moves towards a four-day week campaign with the TUC's initiative in the UK gaining momentum with support from the Labour Party. The TUC's conference last year put a four-day week on the agenda and last week's Labour Party conference set out the 10-year objective of a 32-hour week without loss of pay. Meanwhile public services union Forsa was the first Irish union to back a new coalition of businesses, environmental and other campaigning organisations to support a Four Day Week Ireland campaign for working time reduction.
Sep. 18, 2019
In view of the question from Mrs Sander (2019/2806 (RSP)) that is tabled for discussion in the European Parliament on Thursday 19 September 2019, EPSU stresses that the working time directive and subsequent case law must apply to all firefighters in France, whether they have professional or volunteer status.
Sep. 13, 2019 The vpod public services union has taken further action in its campaign to get the time health workers need to change clothes counted as working time. The union has submitted a whole series of complaints to the regional labour inspectorate in Zürich about the USZ hospital. These cover a range of issues around staffing and working time but the changing time is key. The issue has also been taken up by the hospital's staffing committee.
Sep. 12, 2019 A survey of hospital workers by the FNV health union reveals that more than four out of five think their wages and callout and standby allowances are too low and nearly three in four are thinking of leaving the health service. Again, more than four out of five see understaffing as a key issue. The FNV and NU'91 unions want to put pressure on the hospital employers to get a good collective agreement for the 200000 workers in the sector. They want a 5% pay increase and a range of other measures including on working time and rest breaks. Both unions are staging actions, including working to rule, in a series of hospitals across the country.
Sep. 12, 2019 The FSC-CCOO public service federation exposed social security fraud at the ambulance company, Ambulancia Tenorio, and this has now been officially confirmed following an investigation by the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate of Badajoz. Tenorio employs over 1000 workers and provides services mainly in the Extremadura region. The company has been found guilty of underpaying salaries, social security contributions and overtime. The company has to pay 505 workers EUR 1.4m and must pay back EUR 400000 to the social security system. This comes shortly after Tenorio was found to have infringed rules on hiring and working time - also exposed by the FSC-CCOO.
Aug. 22, 2019 Hospital workers have begun a series of protest actions to put pressure on the NVZ employers' organisation in difficult negotiations over a new collective agreement that covers 200000 workers. So far workers in hospitals in Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Assen and Eindhoven have taken part and the actions are set to spread. Meanwhile, workers at the Evean health and care company have won improvements in working time, notably guaranteed paid breaks and an eight-hour limit to the working day that are seen as important measures to help tackle overwork, stress and poor work-life balance.
Aug. 21, 2019 Three unions - Fagforbundet, NSF and Delta - with a combined total membership of 560000, are joining forces to address the continuing problem of part-time work in health and social care. The unions say that around two-thirds of workers in the sector, employed mainly by municipalities - are on part-time contracts. This is a problem for many workers, making it difficult to make ends meet. The unions argue that the problem has been recognised at national level and some municipalities have taken action but they say the government needs to ensure that municipalities have the funding so that they can offer workers full-time contracts.
Aug. 07, 2019 The vpod/ssp public services union has been campaigning since last September for hospital workers who need to change into and out of their uniforms to have this changing time recognised as working time. In the latest development, the management of the Limmattal hospital in Zürich has refused to recognise changing time as such but has guaranteed one of two 15-minute break periods that it had not previously endorsed. In the meantime the vpod is busy using legal means to challenge other hospitals for unpaid wages for changing time.
Aug. 07, 2019 Services union ver.di has managed to organise and make progress towards a collective agreement in the uni-assist agency that checks applications to universities from overseas students. The agency was set up in 2003 and now has 300 employees, with ver.di membership now at 60% of those on permanent contracts. The union is aiming to secure an agreement in line with the public sector agreement and is focusing on a number of specific issues including a reduction to a 38.5 hour week from 40 hours. The agency is now a guest member of the Berlin municipal employers' organisation but without committing to sign up to the sector agreement. Ver.di has drafted a collective agreement and hopes to make progress in negotiations with the agency but doesn't rule out action, including warning strikes, to put pressure on the employers.
Aug. 07, 2019 Public services union UNISON has won a significant victory at the Court of Appeal that will benefit hundreds of thousands of employees working part-time and irregular hours. The case involved a part-time teacher and it clarifies that all workers are entitled to a minimum of 28 days of paid annual leave, even if they do not work or are not paid for parts of the year. The ruling also confirms that this leave must be paid at the rate of a normal week’s pay, or based on the average payment for the preceding 12 weeks if pay is irregular.
Jul. 25, 2019 The unions UGT-FICA and FSC-CCOO are both very positive about negotiating a new four year agreement with the AGA employers' organisation in the water sector. The agreement will run until 2022 and covers around 20000 workers. There will be a 3% pay increase in each year but there is also an opening clause if inflation exceeds this figure. Working time is reduced by eight hours with annual total of 1744 from 2020. There is a wide range of other measures relating to health and safety, work-life balance, equality and digitalisation among others.
Jul. 11, 2019 The latest collective agreement covering 89000 workers in the mental health sector includes a 8.38% pay increase over 2.5 years (3% in October 2019, 3% in August 2020 and 2.1% in June 2021). Workers will also get a EUR 500 lump sum payment. The agreement includes a number of measures to address training needs and a 7% higher starting salary to attract new workers to the sector. There will also be measures to address stress-related sickness and employees who work in particularly intensive care situations will get an extra 16 hours of leave.