Members of the local government trade unions – UNISON, Unite and GMB – have voted to reject a 2% pay offer from the employers in Scotland and to support industrial action. The unions argue that the offer is well below inflation and fails to take account of the long-term loss in purchasing power. It is also, particularly for low-paid workers, well below the £1925 (€2300) flat-rate increase on offer to council workers in England and Wales which would be worth 10.5% for the lowest paid and around 4% for top grades. UNISON and the GMB are consulting over their response to the offer but Unite has
South East European Energy Community, Local government
The Secretary of State for the Environment has told the FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations that he will present a draft statute covering forest firefighters to parliament for approval. This has been a long-standing demand of the trade unions who want to see common national provisions covering the wage structure, professional classifications, training, job security and social protection. The unions argue that this will professionalise the sector, help stabilise jobs and contribute to a better coordination across the autonomous regions.
In contrast to the continuing challenge to get the central government to award a general pay rise to public service workers and sign a collective agreement, the SSM confederation reports that unions are having considerable success at local level. The UPOZ and SUTKOZ trade unions are negotiating collective agreements with municipalities and local utilities companies, securing the targeted pay increase of 2806 denari (€45) and even setting up new trade union organisations. Recent deals have been negotiated in Stip, Prilep and Struga.
Protests organised by the CITUB and Podkrepa confederations have produced positive outcomes in the state budget with additional funds for a range of public services include provisions for pay increases in several areas. Municipal administrations will get BGN 30.3m (€15.5m) for salary increases while pay in regional administrations is set to rise by 10% on average. Workers covered by interior ministry responsibilities could see pay rises of up to 20% while employees in agencies dealing with social assistance, employment and labour inspection will see personnel costs increase by BGN 26m (€13m)
As of 1 July, the index point used to calculate public sector salaries was increased by 3.5%. This is the first increase in the index since 2010 and while welcomed by trade unions, they underline the fact that the increase neither compensates for current inflation nor begins to compensate for long periods when the index has been frozen. The CGT has called for an increase of 10% while FO points out that there is a long-term fall in purchasing power of 25% that needs to be addressed. Both the CFDT and UNSA see the increase as inadequate but a first step.
Trade Union rights project - Defending and strengthening trade union rights across the public services
Many of our members face restrictions on the right to organise, negotiate and take strike action. In some countries the limitations or complete bans impact particularly on uniformed staff –
The collective agreement covering the municipal sector has now been finalised and runs from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025. EPSU affiliates JHL and Jyty report that salaries will increase this month by €46 per month for those on less than €2300 a month and by 2% for salaries above this amount. Allowances will also increase by 2%. A pot of 0.5% will be distributed in October depending on negotiations in September. If the negotiations don’t produce a result the 0.5% will be a general increase for all. Next year and in 2024 wages will increase by at least 1.5% in June with a further 0.4%, allocated
The HK Kommunal local government union reports that negotiations are underway to make the four-day week permanent at the Odsherred municipality, north west of Copenhagen. An experimental scheme began in 2019 with the standard 37 hours worked on Monday to Thursday, leaving Fridays off. The view of staff is generally positive and the negotiations may involve the option for greater flexibility in terms of the weekly day off. Meanwhile, there are new developments in the global 4-day week campaign with the launch of pilot projects involving over 3300 workers in 70 companies in the UK. In contrast
Five of the six trade unions in the LO Kommune bargaining group agreed to back the mediation proposal for municipal workers that was finally delivered on 24 May, averting strikes across the sector. The largest union in the sector, Fagforbundet, reported that the agreement would deliver increases on annual salaries of between NOK 12000 (€1165) and NOK 16800 (€1635). The settlement was ahead of that achieved in manufacturing this year, as the unions had pushed for a better deal to allow catching up on the lower settlement in 2021. The agreement also provides for increased night and weekend
The Super and Tehy health unions are maintaining their ban on overtime and shift changes following their rejection of the proposed deal for health and local government. They continue to press for higher pay increases as essential to help tackle the urgent staff shortages in health and social care. Meanwhile, municipal unions JHL and Jyty are also keeping up their industrial action despite their provisional approval of the agreement. They are pushing for the agreement to be finalised and for the expected payments to be made by the summer, arguing that workers could lose out by over €300 if pay
The STAL municipal workers’ union joined others in the Common Front group of public service unions in a national demonstration on 20 May in Lisbon. The main call was for government action to protect the purchasing power of workers in public administration. The unions argue that 12 years of wage stagnation has seen purchasing power fall by 15.4% and that the proposed pay increase of 0.9% for this year will again mean a significant cut in real pay as prices of food, energy and fuel surge. The unions also want to see a €90 a month rise for all workers, a minimum monthly wage of €850 along with
The Super and Tehy health unions have firmly rejected the settlement proposed by the conciliation committee in the current dispute in local government and health. Meanwhile, the JHL and Jyty municipal services union have endorsed the proposal. The health unions argue that the pay increases on offer are inadequate and simply don’t address the urgent staffing problems in health and social care. The unions are now considering a mass resignation to put pressure on health employers to negotiate a better deal. For local government workers, the three-year pay deal should deliver pay increases of 1.9%