Feb. 18, 2020 Thirteen trade union organisationa and health campaigning groups came together on 14 February to strike and join demonstrations calling for urgent action on the funding and provision of health and social services. This follows the previous national action on 17 December (EPSU CB News 24, December 2019). The key demands are for an increase in funding, action on recruitment and training, recognitiion of the arduousness of work in the sector, a stop on closures of facilities, opening up governance of hospitals to workers and patients and ensuring equal access to quality services.
Feb. 18, 2020 The vida and GPA-djp private service unions will be coordinating further warning strikes on 26 and 27 February to put pressure on the employers in the negotiations covering 125000 workers in private health and social care. This follows the sixth round of bargaining which ended again without a concrete proposal from the employers. The unions are determined to press on with their central demand of a 35-hour week while maintaining pay and with an appropriate increase in staffing.
Feb. 18, 2020 Strike action, a major demonstration, political support and international solidarity have combined to bring the Ameos health company to the negotiating table. Members of the ver.di services union have been on strike to get a collective agreement and the reinstatement of 14 colleaguees who were sacked at the end of last year by the management of Ameos in the Saxony-Anhalt region. International solidarity was channelled through a labourstart campaign with over 6300 signatures calling on the company to negotiate. The strike action has now been suspended to allow time for negotiations which were due to start on 20 February.
Feb. 03, 2020 Workers at the Ameos private, for-profit health company in the Saxony-Anhalt region are taking strike action despite the aggressive intimidation of the company's management. The union wants to negotiate a collective agreement which links workers' pay and conditions to the public sector agreement. Not only have management refused to negotiate but they sacked 14 trade union activists before Christmas and are threatening a further 800 job cuts if the union contnues its campaign. EPSU joined with ver.di in launching a labourstart campaign, targeting the company management.
Feb. 03, 2020 The BSRB public employees' union joined with the BHM graduates' union and the nurses' union to discuss their collective bargaining strategy in a meeting on 31 January that was streamed to other meetings of local unions across the country. The unions say that after 10 months without progress since the last collective agreement formally expired they are losing their patience. Their message to state and local government negotiators was to return immediately to the bargaining table or the unions would look to take industrial action to get things moving.
Feb. 03, 2020 As the debate continues during the first phase consultation over the European Commission's proposals on fair minimum wages, the ETUC is highlighting the need for a major boost to legal minimum wages across Europe. It argues that in most of the 22 EU member states with a statutory national minimum wage it fails to meet even the minimal at risk-of-poverty wage threshold of 60% of the median wage. In 10 member states, the statutory minimum is 50% or less of the national median wage.
Feb. 03, 2020 AIOP, one of the private employer organisations in private health care, angered unions by posing a major threat to continuing negotiations in the sector. The three union federations - FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL - have been involved in intensive bargaining to try to reach the first new agreement in the sector for 13 years. However, they had to call an emergency meeting with regional health authorities and the ministry of health in order to get the negotiations back on track following an attempt by AIOP to insert a clause that would have enabled it to avoid certain aspects of the agreement on pay.
Feb. 03, 2020 GPA-djp and vida, the two unions that organise workers in private health care, are organising actions around the country in the lead up to the fifth round of negotiations on 10 February. The sector collective agreement covers 125000 workers and the unions want to see a 35-hour week with no compensating reduction in pay. At the fourth round of bargaining the employers refused to discuss the claim and made no offer themselves and so the unions decided to organise actions to show the strength of feeling on the issue.
Feb. 03, 2020 The collective agreement covering workers providing disability care has new elements to improve work-life balance. There is an annual hours system based on a 36-hour week for a full-time worker. This alllows for flexibility to help address peaks and troughs in the service but on the basis that employers have to abide by clear rules in both the collective agreement and legislation. Workers in the sector can also now look to the collective agreement to assert their right not to be contactable during their time off. The FNV trade union sees this as an essential measure to tackle increasing stress and burnout in the sector.
Feb. 03, 2020 The ver.di services union has welcomed a major improvement in minimum wages in the care sector agreed by the joint care sector committee that recommends rates for implementation by the labour ministry. With higher increases for Eastern regions, it means that there will be single rates for the whole country by September 2021. The rate for non-qualified workers will rise to EUR 11.35 this year and to EUR 12.55 by 2022. The rate for those with two-years' training will rise to EUR 13.20 and a new rate for those with three years' training will be introduced in 2021 at EUR 15 and rise to EUR 15.40 by 2022. The union underlines that it is aiming for further improvements for workers in elder care in the current negotiations with employers for a collective agreement to cover this sector for the first time.
Feb. 03, 2020 With a national protest and strike action trade unions demonstrated their anger with the government's offer of what is effectively a 0.3% pay increase for public sector workers this year. Trade unions are calling for a significant increase after years of pay freezes and for a strengthening of collective bargaining.
Feb. 03, 2020 Trade unions across the country have been mobilising in protest at the government's plans to make radical and negative changes to the labour code. These would include the unilateral termination of employment contracts, an increase in precarious employment, a reduction of overtime pay and at the same time reduction of existing limitations to overtime work. Other changes are in breach of ILO Conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining. Trade unions across Europe have been responding with messages of support and solidarity.
Jan. 21, 2020 The third round of bargaining in the private health and care sector, covering around 125000 workers, ended without a result. However, the two unions - vida and GPA-djp - are sticking to their main aim of achieving a 35-hour with full compensation in terms of pay and staffing. The unions say there were constructive discussions about a staged implementation of an agreement. They argue that the commitment to shorter hours is vital for the sector to boost recruitment and tackle the long-standing issue of staffing shortages. The unions are planning to convene staff council meetings to report on the negotiations and build support for the claim.
Jan. 21, 2020 Unions in Norway and Sweden have put the focus on green issues in their current and planned negotiations with church employers. In Norway there is a commitment to address sustainability issues with the Norwegian church in an agreement that also includes measures to ensure a working environment that promotes health and also initiatives to reduce sickness absence. Meanwhile, in Sweden upcoming negotiations will include green measures along with a focus on a clearer process of pay determination and increased control over working time to improve work-life balance.
Jan. 21, 2020 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have welcomed the confirmation by the government that the agreed pay increase of 2% (plus 0.3% in additional funds) will be implemented for all 3.2 million public sector workers, backdated to 1 January. The unions were concerned about a delay until a new government was in place. The FSC-CCOO says that it will now look to tackle a number of other key issues with the government including measures to reduce the level of temporary contracts to the target level of 8%, to increase recruitment and to work on issues related to career development and equality plans.