Working Time, Central government
Negotiating and campaigning on working time
After pay, working time is core collective bargaining issue but is also an important area of employment regulated by national and European legislation. EPSU has been very active in defending and calling for proper implementation of the Working Time Directive and is involved in current debates on working time. The why and how of working time reduction is a guide produced for EPSU by the European Trade Union Institute and examines long-term trends in working time, the arguments for reducing it and examples of how this has been achieved.
The vpod/ssp public services union is continuing to sound the alarm over urgent staff shortages in healthcare. It says that action is needed to retain staff as well as recruit new workers and that initiatives to shorten the working week can help. Reductions to weekly working hours have been introduced or are being planned in the Wetzikon and Felix Platter hospitals along with the Siloah and Lindenhof health groups. Meanwhile, vpod/ssp reports that Aargau hospitals have significantly increased their allowances for weekend and holiday shifts. The union is also continuing to press employers to
The KOZ trade union confederation reports that collective agreements for state and public service workers have been negotiated for the period 1.1.2023-31.8.2024. Basic salary scales will increase by 7% from 1 January 2023 and by a further 10% from 1 September 2023. Amendments to higher-level collective agreements for 2022 provide civil and public servants with a one-off payment of €500 in August. Pay increases for health workers are still being negotiated. The latest collective agreements also include a range of social benefits, not least a reduction of working time for public employees
Workers at the ZUS social insurance institution are getting a large pay rise thanks to months of campaigning and negotiating by their union ZPP ZUS. Most workers will get at least PLN 600 (€125) but on average increases will be around PLN 900 (€190). The minimum salary is now PLN 3100 (€650). Some workers will benefit from discretionary increases with a maximum increase for most workers of PLN 1200 (€250) while IT workers could get up to PLN 1500 (€315). EPSU wrote to the prime minister underlining the massive amount of additional work ZUS employees had to undertake in relation to the pandemic
Members of the Fp-Cgil, Cisl-Fp and Uil-Pa public service federations have been mobilising across the Ministry of Culture in protests over staff shortages and other issues, including application of the new collective agreement, remote work regulations and health and safety. The unions want to see an extraordinary recruitment plan implemented and warn of national strike action in September if the Ministry doesn’t respond. Meanwhile, members of the three federations in the Ministry of Defence are also mobilising over staff shortages and the impact of privatisation along with concerns about
On Friday, 17 June, the EU social partners for central governments – TUNED led by EPSU for the trade union side and European Public and EUPAE for the employers - reached a landmark agreement on digitalisation.
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)
The public services trade unions from the three main confederations (CSC/ACV, ACOD/CGSP, VSOA/SLFP) have negotiated an agreement that will provide for pay increases and a range of other benefits for the 65,000 workers in the federal government. The agreement still has to be confirmed by the government before being implemented from the beginning of 2023. This will mean the first pay rise for civil servants, over and above the normal indexation, for 20 years. The lower pay scales (D and C) will get a 2% increase in 2023 while the B category will get 2% in 2024. The A category will see pay rise
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 FNV and other trade unions have negotiated a new two-year collective agreement covering workers in central government that will run from 1 July. The first pay increase of 2.5% plus an amount of €75 will be paid out in September 2022 but backdated to 1 July. From that date there will also be a minimum hourly wage of €14. There will be a further structural salary increase of 3% on 1 April 2023 and another 1.5% will follow on 1 January 2024. In December 2022 and in April 2023, there will be lump sum payments of €450 (gross), adjusted according to number of weekly working hours. There is a
After several weeks of conflict, rallies and the threat of strike action, the HSMCTU health union, with the support of the GTUC confederation, secured an agreement from the Ministry of Health that it would not introduce a 12-hour work schedule for paramedics. The Ministry also agreed to remunerate employees’ overtime work and to have further meetings with the union to discuss how to increase salaries. The dispute had arisen following the Ministry’s decision to remove a wage supplement that had been introduced during the Covid pandemic and its plan to introduce a 12-hour work schedule
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