Environment/Climate Change, Central government
Responding to the challenge of climate change
Climate change, the largest single threat to current and future generations, is posing fundamental challenges for public services and public service workers. In recent years, we have seen extreme weather events, flooding and forest fires for example, leading to loss of life and widespread damage and destruction of buildings and infrastructure. Our members across many services have been part of the immediate and longer term response – in emergency and rescue services, energy and water, local and regional government. EPSU has been working hard to influence policies at global and European level aimed at decarbonising our economies and calling for a shift away from growth at all costs. It is essential that we achieve a more sustainable society is achieved through a just transition whereby no one is left behind.
This briefing, produced for EPSU's 2019 Congress, sets out the federation's recent activity on climate change and current priorities. EPSU has published research focusing on some of the key issues and policy developments including its position on the EU's Green Deal, the failure of energy liberalisation to address climate change and an analysis of action on climate change adaptation.
Members of the PCS central government union have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in over 120 areas of government activity. The average majority “yes” vote of over 86% is the highest in the union’s history. The union is calling for a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security and no cuts to redundancy terms. With no response from the government on these issues PCS has agreed an initial programme of targeted action in the ministries covering ports, borders and all areas of transport among others. Meanwhile, more health workers in range of areas including blood and transplant services
The FSC-CCOO, FeSP-UGT and other unions in the ministry of justice in Spain have been protesting to demand negotiations over the impact of legislation on organisational efficiency in the justice sector. The unions coordinated a demonstration outside the ministry on 22 November to highlight their concerns that the law doesn’t guarantee rights in relation to mobility, promotion, remuneration and other labour issues and that it poses a risk to jobs and the quality of service. Above all the unions want to ensure that all these questions are the subject of negotiation. Meanwhile, in Italy the three
The FeSP-UGT and FSC-CCOO public service federations are set to mobilise their members working in social security in protest at the ministry’s failure to address longstanding problems in the department. The unions argue that the ministry is hiding behind the Treasury in claiming that it doesn’t have the funds to address a range of issues including a commitment to improve working conditions. The federations also have major concerns about management of the department and oppose the decision to recruit a large number of interns which the unions argue will not address the need for additional
New Commission Communication “The power of trade partnerships: together for green and just economic growth
In June 2022 the European Commission published a Communication “The power of trade partnerships: together for green and just economic growth” that strengthens the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) provisions of EU trade agreements.
The annual negotiations on public sector pay began on 20 October with the younion and GÖD public sector unions endorsing the key data that will form the basis of the negotiations. As with past negotiations the agreement is to apply the inflation rate for the year to September 2022 and this is 6.9%. The other key figure agreed is the 4.75% economic growth rate for 2022. The negotiations are normally concluded before the end of the year so that the pay increase can be applied from 1 January. The union side have not yet put forward a specific demand on the level of the pay increase. The next
The SINTAP public service union has signed an agreement with the government that will see pay increase by €52.11 a month in each of the years 2023 to 2026. The agreement also includes an increase in the food allowance and a range of pay improvements for selected occupations as well as commitments on career development. Meanwhile, the STAL local government union and other unions in the Frente Comum are planning a national strike on 18 November as they believe the proposed pay increases are inadequate.
The ZSVS health union reports that an agreement covering public sector pay and other benefits for 2022 and 2023 was signed by the majority of unions on 13 October. Pay rises range between 4.5% and 8.5% and there are increases to compensation for annual leave and food allowances. As part of the agreement, the government undertakes to adopt systemic changes to the wage system by 30 June 2023, addressing issues relating to the wage gap in the lower third of the pay scale and the minimum wage. The union is continuing to negotiate on pay for health and social care workers and to close the gap with
The public sector federations in the CCOO confederation and the FeSP-UGT federation have now formally signed the new three-year agreement covering five million public sector workers. The agreement will deliver increases of 3.5% in 2022, 2.5% in 2023 and 2.0% in 2024 but with the prospect of three extra increases of 0.5% depending on inflation and growth. If the conditions for the extra increases are met this would mean salaries rising by 9.8% by the end of 2024. The FeSP-UGT has also called for a government commitment that there will be no delay in ensuring workers in mutual societies, that
On Thursday, 6 October the EU social partners for central governments, TUNED for the trade union side and EUPAE for the employers, signed a new agreement on digitalisation with the participation of the European Commission.
Public service federations, including FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT, have welcomed a new three-year agreement that could deliver pay increases of more than 9% by the end of 2024. Following government imposed pay rises of only 0.9% in 2021 and initially only 2% in 2022, unions pushed the government to open negotiations and respond to the cost-of-living crisis. There will now be an additional 1.5% increase in 2022 backdated to January. In 2023 there will be an increase of 2.5% but two further increases of 0.5% will follow depending on the level of inflation and economic output. There will also be a 2.0%
Following their action in July, employees of the Ministry of Defence mobilised again on 28 September to voice their concerns over understaffing and the threat of privatisation. The public service federations – FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-PA – coordinated the action which called for an emergency recruitment plan and measures to address concerns about restructuring, changes to pay tables, implementation of the collective agreement, agile work (form of telework) and proper consultations with and participation of the trade unions.
The SZSVS health union reports that a new agreement covering the public sector is close to being finalised with a 4.5% pay increase due from 1 October this year. There will also be increases to the lunch allowances and some starting salaries will be moved up one pay bracket from April 2023. There will also be additional compensation ranging from €100 to €300 for the lower paid. However, several matters affecting different pay categories of health workers, that prompted a strike earlier this year, remain unresolved and firefighters are also concerned to see some occupations move up the pay
The younion and GÖD public sector trade unions have written to the government calling for the annual pay negotiations to start. The unions want the government to recognise the enormous efforts made by their members during the pandemic and the continuing challenges to maintain services in the face of staffing shortages which are likely to worsen as large numbers of workers reach retirement age. The unions are calling for a sustainable pay rise that addresses the cost-of-living crisis. Meanwhile, the vida private services union has launched its pay claim covering workers in private hospital