The European and global trade union confederations (ETUC and ITUC) have written to the Romanian government to protest against the decision not to implement a pay increase for public sector workers. The letter also challenges the government on anti-union statements and threats to remove the right of trade unions to collect membership fees through check-off. EPSU also wrote to the government along similar lines in January and followed up this letter in March – with no reply received so far to either letter.
Information & consultation, Health, Romania
Public sector unions remain angry that the government has not only failed to implement a pay rise that was set in legislation last year but also refused to engage in social dialogue. This anger has been further fed by anti-union comments from the prime minister who has challenged the independence of public sector unions, their right to collect dues by check-off and their right to protest. Unions are considering further protests. EPSU has sent letters of protest to the prime minister and raised the issue with the European Commission as the behaviour of the Romanian government clearly flies in
Public sector unions have been active in protests against the government’s refusal to abide by legislation and implement a pay increase for public sector workers. They are also challenging the government for its failure to agree to any social dialogue with the unions and are concerned about possible cuts to bonuses and holiday allowances. Health workers took action in January and other public service workers continued the protests through February and are now considering what further action to take. The Publisind federation that includes the SNPP police and prison officers’ union have also
Public sector unions are angry that the government has issued an emergency ordinance to block a pay increase and bonus payments that are due for implementation this year. The pay rise was part of a four-stage increase that was set out in legislation passed in 2017. Unions are particularly concerned about the impact on lower paid workers as some higher paid staff are already benefiting from pay rises. Protests have been organised across the country, including pickets of key ministries. EPSU sent a letter of protest to the president and prime minister and other key people.
The Sanitas health trade union has managed to negotiate a collective agreement in the sector despite the strict representative rules that make it extremely difficult to negotiate sector deals in Romania. The agreement confirms many of the rights the union has won over the years and ensures that they apply uniformly across the country. Among the most important elements are holiday entitlement (21-30 days depending on length of service), the role of the trade union in personnel policy, collective redundancies and disciplinary procedures and measures to support nurses' further education and
The Sanitas health trade union is continuing negotiations with the government and ministry of health over a range of issues including ensuring full funding is available to cover pay increases for 2019. Other key points relate to extra leave for healthcare workers and ensuring all in the sector benefit from pay increases. The union is also concerned that certain specific categories of higher qualified occupations such as pharmacists and psychologists are on the appropriate levels of the pay structure. Sanitas is positive about making progress.
On 28 March 2019 EPSU participated, together with its representatives of the two national affiliates from Romania, Sanitas, and Croatia, HSSMS-MT, in the kick-off meeting of the joint HOSPEEM-EPSU project focusing on strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector that will run in 2019 and 2020.
Members of the Sanitas health and social care union joined protests in 14 cities around the country on 20 March as part of the union's continuing campaign over pay and bonuses. Sanitas is trying to ensure that all workers in the health and social services sector get the pay rise they are entitled to and it also wants to see limits on bonuses lifted. Further actions are planned if the government doesn't come up with concrete proposals.
The Sanitas health union is continuing to put pressure on the government over health sector pay and the need to negotiate a collective agreement for the sector. A recent union delegation from across the country met the health minister to call for assurances that this year's pay rise will be fully funded and that bonuses will apply to all health workers. The union underlined its determination to pursue its demands with the promise of another delegation going to the labour ministry on 20 March and plans for a national rally in Bucharest in April.
The Sanitas health union has been continuing talks with the Ministry of Health over the pay legislation covering the health system. The union argues that the legislation effectively discriminates against certain occupations including pharmacists, biologists, psychologists, physiotherapists, medical registrars, and nurses. However, after the last meeting made no progress the union is now demanding to meet the prime minister to secure a commitment to act to resolve the issue and warns that it will mobilise its 100000 members if no progress is made.
A series of protests in March, a national rally in April and a two-hour warning strike on 7 May all helped health union Sanitas and other unions in the sector reach agreement with the government on a number of key issues. As a result the national strike planned for 11 May was called off. Health and social service workers will now get compensation for social contribution increases to protect their take-home pay. There will also be changes to the proposed 30% limit on bonuses and there is a commitment to negotiate collective agreements covering the health and social services sectors.
Health union representatives met with the government on 2 May following a well-supported rally on 26 April. The government has promised to tackle some of the pay and bonus problems identified by health unions but has yet to come up with concrete written proposals. Health union Sanitas wants the government to lift the 30% limit on bonuses and to increase pay for all workers in health and social services. It also wants to negotiate collective agreements in the two sectors. Unless the government addresses these issues the union is planning a two-hour warning strike on 7 May and a national one-day