A survey of workers in energy, waste and water, carried out by services union ver.di, reveals widespread discontent, with many employees feeling they are insufficiently trained, overworked, health-impaired or have financial worries. Over 14,500 workers responded to the survey, highlighting a range of urgent needs that the union will aim to address. Staff shortages are creating a lot of pressure on workers and many complain about the failure of employers to offer professional training and development opportunities. With work intensity increasing there has been a dramatic rise in stress for many
Waste, Social Dialogue
The Social Employers and EPSU with the affiliate partner Nexem are pleased to annouce the launch of the FORTE Project. The project outcomes will feed into joint discussions and outputs in the framework of sectoral social dialogue in social services.
The STAL municipal service union organised a two-day strike across the FCC Environment waste group on 15-16 August. The union says that the company is refusing to negotiate on pay, claiming that its financial situation prevents it from offering a pay increase to workers. The union says that urgent action is needed to tackle low pay and the impact of inflation and wants to see a minimum monthly increase of €90, along with negotiations on better working conditions and health and safety and a consistent approach across the whole company.
Members of the STAL municipal services union took strike action on 1 August in protest at the failure of the Braval waste company to increase pay in the face of soaring inflation. The publicly-owned company provides waste services across a range of municipalities in northern Portugal. The union says that there has been no pay increase for two years and it is calling for a minimum increase of €90 for all workers. It also wants the company to abide by the collective agreement particularly in relation to career progression and wage development.
Drivers, refuse workers and street cleaners continue to take action around the country to secure pay rises as inflation eats further into purchasing power. The Unite, GMB and Unison trade unions are all involved in a dispute with Serco the private contractor used by Sandwell council near Birmingham. Workers have voted for strike action on 28 and 29 July and then on 4, 5 and 8 August. They have rejected an 8% pay offer and argue that the company can afford a higher increase having seen profits soar by 25%. Refuse workers employed by Newham council in east London are being balloted for strike
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.
Social Dialogue Training Programme: how to develop independent social dialogue structures in social services
As part of the FORESEE project, EPSU has co-led two trainings on how to develop independent social dialogue structures in social services in the last month, alongside the Social Employers and other project partners.
Industrial action by waste workers is continuing in a number of local authorities. Drivers in Coventry have just voted unanimously to continue their strike to secure pay levels comparable to the private sector and in line with other local authorities in the region. The strike against the Labour Party-controlled authority began at the end of January. Meanwhile waste workers employed by the Veolia multinational that provides services to Croydon Council in South East London are set to strike for three weeks from 16 June. As with the Coventry dispute, their union, Unite, is calling for pay rates
EPSU and HOSPEEM, the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association, have negotiated a new Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention. It includes aspects relating to COVID-19, work-life balance, digitalisation and health and safety. It also stresses social partners’ commitment to strengthen the attractiveness of the sector and to support a rights-based approach to recruiting migrant workers. The framework refers to existing initiatives for retention, e.g., an active ageing policy and EPSU and HOSPEEM emphasise that social partners must be involved in workforce planning
Yesterday, the EU sectoral social partners in the hospital and healthcare sector, the European Public Services Union (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM), signed the updated Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (FoA R and R).