The FOA trade union is planning to open old cases related to firefighters and cancer, following the publication of new research that links at least two cancers to firefighting, with further limited evidence in relation to five other cancers. The union argues that there is now sufficient evidence that mesothelioma (linked to asbestos) and bladder cancer may have been triggered by working as a firefighter and should be added to the occupational disease list. FOA has been at the forefront of developing procedures to prevent firefighters from being exposed to the harmful substances that develop
Health and Safety, Early Childhood Education and Care
The FOA and DSR trade unions have both published official data revealing the reality of overwork, understaffing and low pay in the health and social care sectors. FOA quotes from the latest survey by the Danish Working Environment Authority covering 30,000 workers. This shows that 23% of social and health care assistants say that they have often or constantly felt stressed within the past two weeks. Of all the industry groups, 'Residential Institutions and Home Care' is the sector where the largest proportion of employees feel stressed. The union says that understaffing, a high rate of sick
The SES health union organised protests and work stoppages on 7-8 July in response to the murder of Cardiology Specialist Doctor Ekrem Karakaya at the city hospital in Konya in south central Turkey. The union is calling for action to ensure safe working environments, to enact effective legislation to combat violence and to abandon the kinds of health policies that it argues give rise to violence in the sector. It wants to see a health system that prioritizes prevention and the right to health and life rather than the provision of health services as a commodity. SES is also extremely concerned
This week, the EPSU Childcare Network met to discuss monitoring and evaluation of early childhood education and care, the capacity of ECEC systems to welcome Ukrainian children and ECEC staff, and child : staff ratios.
After three days of bargaining the ver.di services union has negotiated an agreement with the VKA municipal employers that goes some way to address the undervaluation and overwork of staff in social and educational services. The union thanked its members for mobilising to achieve the result in the face of considerable resistance from the employers. Over 40,000 ver.di members took action in the week leading up to the latest negotiations. The agreement will provide employees with two additional days off as well as the option to convert part of their salary into two further days off. Educators
Public and private sector unions representing workers in early years education, younion and GPA, have attacked government plans for the sector as farcical. They argue that the claim that there will be an extra billion euros in funding is a sham and that in reality the additional money is less than €60 million and already worth less because of inflation. The unions are also concerned that the aim is to create more childcare places when facilities are already full and staff overstretched. They also criticise the government for developing policies without proper consultation and negotiation with
Public services union ver.di organised a nationwide day of action on 6 April for employees in day-care centres, and workers providing child, youth and disability care in non-profit organisations, including churches and private employers. Various initiatives were taken including lunchtime demonstrations and photo campaigns. The aim was to underline the importance of securing better pay and conditions for workers across the sector, making work more attractive and tackling staff shortages. While the current negotiations concern the 330,000 workers directly employed by the public sector, the
The GPA and vida private service trade unions organised an action in Vienna on 29 March as part of their campaign to win better pay and conditions for workers in early years education. Along with better pay to help attract new staff the unions want action to reduce workloads, improve staff:child ratios and major investment in training. GPA and vida underline the need for national initiatives on pay structure and funding to reduce the different approaches from region to region.