Five firefighters are set to receive a total of almost half a million euros in compensation following a victory in a legal case on working time supported by their union, JHL. The city of Jyväskylä will have to pay the unpaid wages and the costs incurred by the union. The Labour Court ruled unanimously that the firefighters should have been paid in full for working time for periods on standby. In a system in force between January 2004 and the end of March 2016, the firefighters were required to arrive at the fire station within five minutes of the alarm being sounded. The court ruled that five
Local government, Firefighters, Defence Sector
The FBU firefighters' union has expressed disappointment that the employers' organisation has failed to provide a response to the union's pay claim that was submitted in early June. The union is looking for an immediate and substantial increase in pay to take account of 10 years of pay freezes and below-inflation increases. Meanwhile, the main civil service union, PCS, has launched a campaign on pay with the aim also of securing a pay increase that will begin to restore pay levels after a similar period when pay has been frozen or kept inflation.
Seven trade union organisations, including the CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA, representing 85% of all firefighters have been taking strike action to demand improvements in pay and for a significant increase in jobs. The joint actions began in June and are running until the end of August. The unions want to see the withdrawal of legislation on public service reform and a number of other measures to improve pay, health and safety, pensions and trade union rights. A key demand is an increase in recruitment on statutory conditions. There are 40000 professional firefighters. This is the same number as in
As reported by the newsletter in March, the municipal workers' union Kommunal has been negotiating a new agreement with the SKL employers' organisation to cover work during major emergencies. This initiative was taken following last summer's spate of forest fires. The agreement was finally signed at the end of June. It provides for an additional 120% of pay for each hour worked during the crisis and there is 150% for emergency overtime. There is a special procedure for determining what counts as a crisis. The agreement replaces the requirements of the Working Hours Act and will apply to all
The municipal workers' union Kommunal, along with other public service unions, is seeking to negotiate a collective agreement to clarify the conditions that apply to workers dealing with disasters. The union says that last year's forest fires required a massive response from the emergency services, particularly fire and rescue, and there was lack of clarity over how to apply certain rules, particularly those relating to working time and overtime. The union believes that a specific agreement should help and could apply to other groups of workers who may be affected such as those in the health
A national demonstration by firefighters took place on 14 January as they continued their campaign against unilateral action by the government to change their employment conditions. This follows the strike that ran from 19 December to 2 January (see previous epsucob@NEWS). The unions involved argue that the proposed changes undermine career development in the fire service and retirement rights. They are particularly angry that the government has attempted to introduce the changes without any consultation or negotiation.
Firefighters, members of the STAL and STML trade unions, took strike action from 18 December to 2 January in protest at government plans to change the statutes covering their pay, retirement and other conditions. The unions not only reject the proposed changes but are angry that the government aimed to implement them without any consultation or negotiation with the unions. The unions have made a series of demands related to protecting basic pay and ensuring appropriate payments for on-call and overtime work as well as allowances for dangerous and arduous conditions. They are also seeking
The STAL and STML trade unions that represent firefighters organised a national protest in Lisbon on 3 December to challenge the government over changes to the statutes that regulate pay and conditions in the sector. The trade unions had already registered their anger with the government over its failure to negotiate with them. The government did agree to meet the unions but they rejected its proposals for change because they threatened to undermine firefighters' pay, pensions and career progression.
Firefighters' unions in Spain and Italy are calling for government action to address a number of longstanding issues. In Italy the FP-CGIL trade union has declared a state of agitation around a number of key demands related to the collective agreement, recruitment, occupational safety, pensions and the right to elect workplace representatives. The union wants to see action to reduce bureaucracy and increase investment. Meanwhile, in Spain the unions want a framework law to establish a clear national structure for the service which is characterised by significant differences across the regions
In a timely intervention, the FSC-CCOO has called on the government to put more resources into the prevention and fighting of forest fires - an issue which the union sees has become one of the most urgent for the country and rural communities. Along with a strengthening of the fire service - increased employment, professionalisation and training - the union argues that more has to be done to take preventative measures, some of which could actually help to boost rural economies.