Safe and effective staffing levels
Quality public services depend on having safe and effective staffing levels. This is crucial in health and social services but is also important in a range other public services. It is also about ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff who are otherwise overworked and under pressure to cover for staff shortages. Recruitment and retention and training and continuous professional development are key elements in working to achieve and maintain safe and effective staffing levels.
The FP-CGIL, UIL-PA and UIL-FPL public service federations are planning a week of action from 12-16 December with protests and strikes around the country in protest at the government’s budget for 2023. The unions argue that the budget fails to provide adequate funding across a range of services with nothing to address the cost-of-living crisis, to cover the renewal of collective agreements, to increase public employment, to end precarious contracts, to improve training and to ensure quality of services from childcare to health and social care and across local and national administration. The
The ver.di services union has welcomed the passage of the Hospital Care Relief Act, which establishes a nationwide requirement on staffing levels covering nurses in hospitals. The union is delighted that its long campaign has finally paid off and measures will be taken to tackle excessive workloads in the health sector. The basis for the legislation is a staffing assessment (PPR 2.0) that was developed by ver.di, the German Hospital Association and the German Nursing Council. Ver.di is also pleased about its successful advocacy for the development of needs-based personnel specifications for
After a month of strike action, the Fagforbundet, Delta and education trade unions have been able to secure an agreement with the PBL private childcare employers’ organisation on new pension arrangements. Workers will be able to build up a lifetime contractual pension from 1 January 2025 which will be comparable to that available to municipal employees. In addition, the percentage rate paid by employees for their own occupational pension will be reduced from 3% to 2.5% per cent in 2023, then down to 2% per cent when the new scheme is established. The employer's share is increased accordingly.
The FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL health and social care unions have joined with other unions in the sector to organise a major demonstration in Rome on 29 October. The protest calls on the new government to take urgent action to address the long-term underfunding of the sector and the crucial question of understaffing. The unions want to see the resources made available to fund the next three-year collective agreement and additional improvements to pay and conditions made through decentralised bargaining. They are calling for an emergency employment plan and measures to ensure that private
Thanks to warning strikes and other actions by members, health and care union ver.di has negotiated an agreement with the University Hospital of Frankurt/Main that will ensure more staff and reduced workloads. This makes it the 23rd facility where such an agreement has been reached and negotiations are taking place or being prepared in other hospitals, including the University Hospital in Dresden and the privately run University Hospital of Giessen and Marburg. The agreement in Frankfurt/Main covers approximately 4,000 non-medical employees and stipulates shift staffing in line with the PPR 2
With a general election imminent the FOA trade union has welcomed a proposal from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to set aside an extra DKR 3 billion (€400m) a year for better pay and working conditions in the public sector. The funds would be phased into the public collective bargaining from 2024 onwards and are aimed at helping to solve the recruitment challenges facing the sector over the coming years. According to SDP calculations, the proposal could mean a salary increase of around DKK 2,000 (€270) a month for 235,000 public sector employees if DKR 2.5 billion is spent on better pay.
The Tehy and SuPer trade unions have agreed to a mediated settlement to their long-running dispute with municipal employers that includes pay developments over five years, COVID compensation payments and other improvements to working conditions. The average salary in the health and social services sector will increase by at least 17.3% over five years, with an increase of 15.3% in the first three years. There will be a separate one-off payment of €600 for those who involved in treating COVID patients. The unions say that a practical nurse will see their salary rise from the current €2,255 to
Following their action in July, employees of the Ministry of Defence mobilised again on 28 September to voice their concerns over understaffing and the threat of privatisation. The public service federations – FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-PA – coordinated the action which called for an emergency recruitment plan and measures to address concerns about restructuring, changes to pay tables, implementation of the collective agreement, agile work (form of telework) and proper consultations with and participation of the trade unions.
A survey by the health and services union ver.di has revealed that the already high burden on employees in the emergency medical service has increased significantly since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Around 7,000 workers replied to the questionnaire with 39% saying they would change professions immediately if they had the opportunity. There are serious problems with working hours, work intensity, physical and psychological stress and risk of physical assaults. Almost all respondents reported problems balancing work and private life. Staff shortages mean that 61% of employees are (very)
The OSZSP health workers’ union and LOK-SČL doctors’ union organised a joint press conference on 29 September in response to the government’s intention not to increase health workers’ pay in 2023. The unions underlined the sacrifices that workers had made during the pandemic and that the government’s failure to deliver improved pay would create further problems in the recruitment and retention of staff. The unions are unconvinced by a government plan to offer bonuses instead of higher pay scales and they are calling for a 15% increase to pay rates. They also argue that the government had
The TEHY and SuPer nurses’ trade unions have condemned the new law that imposes tougher requirements on industrial action in the care sector. Despite the law, further action as part of the unions’ continuing campaign to secure higher pay took place on 27 September and the unions are determined to pursue their claims with SuPer considering declaring mass resignations in home care. The unions also point out that existing legislation already regulated strike action and so the new law imposes a further burden that targets the care sector specifically. They also argue that, in contrast to the rules