Members of the PCS central government union have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in over 120 areas of government activity. The average majority “yes” vote of over 86% is the highest in the union’s history. The union is calling for a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security and no cuts to redundancy terms. With no response from the government on these issues PCS has agreed an initial programme of targeted action in the ministries covering ports, borders and all areas of transport among others. Meanwhile, more health workers in range of areas including blood and transplant services
Strike, Low pay/minimum wages
The younion and GÖD public sector unions have negotiated a 7.15% pay rise from 1 January next year with a 7.32% increase on allowances. However, the minimum guaranteed increase of €170 a month wiil mean that the lowest paid workers will see pay rise by 9.41%. Meanwhile, the vida and GPA private services unions have concluded a new collective agreement covering 130,000 employees in the private health, social and care sector. The two unions welcomed the 8% wage increase from 1 January 2023 along with the guaranteed minimum rise of €175 a month that means an increase of 10.2% for the lowest paid
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 ADEDY public service and GSEE private sector trade union confederations report strong support for their nationwide strike action and national protest on 9 November. ADEDY was calling for an increase in wages to compensate for inflation along with several other improvements to employment conditions, including re-establishing the 13th and 14th month salaries, an increase and extension of the allowance for dangerous and unhealthy work, negotiating collective agreements in the public sector, a boost for public health care funding, and massive recruitment of permanent staff to tackle staffing
The RCN nursing union has voted for industrial action for the first time in its history and strikes over pay across the health service could spread as other unions’ ballot results are announced in the coming weeks. UNISON is recommending strike action to its 350,000 members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the ballot due to end on 25 November. Members of the GMB union in Northern Ireland have already voted for strike action there. Meanwhile Unite plans to ballot its members in England and Wales and is already carrying out ballots of its members in the ambulance service, as is the
The SIPTU trade union has called for the pay rates of workers in early years education to keep pace with the Living Wage following the announcement that it is to increase by €0.95, taking it to €13.85 per hour. Childcare professionals secured an historic first pay deal this year, establishing a minimum rate of pay of €13 per hour. This was €0.10 cent over the Living Wage at the time. The union is now calling on the government and employers to deliver a pay increase to reflect the rise in the cost of living otherwise all the work done to address low pay, high staff turnover and the recruitment
The LO, mainly blue-collar workers’ trade union confederation, has put specific figures to its proposed pay coordination formula that it has drafted for the pay bargaining round in early 2023 with a key aim of supporting lower paid workers. The general pay claim would be for a 4.4% increase but with a minimum increase of SEK 1192 (€110) for those earning less than SEK 27100 (€2500) a month and with an increase of SEK 1371 (€126) on minimum wages in collective agreements. The majority of LO member organisations backed the plan although there are some concerns that the overall target is too low
The three trade union confederations ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB organised a day of action and strikes over pay, prices and welfare benefits on 9 November. The confederations are calling on the government and employers to negotiate pay increases to help address the cost-of-living crisis and in particular to changes in the law to provide trade unions with more room to manoeuvre when negotiating on pay rises. The unions also want government support to help with energy bills and for increase social security payments. The confederations are determined to defend the system of pay indexation
The vpod/ssp public services trade union is mobilising its members around the country in support of action to secure higher pay. The union is organising a rally in Bern on 18 November where the regional government is proposing a pay rise of only 2% leaving workers with an effective pay cut. A day of strike action has already taken place in Geneva on 12 October and further action is planned for both 3 and 24 November. Vpod/ssp members in Fribourg are demanding a 4% pay rise in the face of the 2.3% on offer. The union is collecting signatures for a petition which will be handed in on 4 December
The public service unions Fagforbundet and Delta, along with the UF teachers’ union, are stepping up their industrial action to secure better pension rights for workers in private kindergartens. The action began on 17 October when mediation with the PBL employers’ organisation failed. More workers were due to join the action on 27 October which aims to ensure that workers covered by the PBL agreement have the same pension rights as childcare workers in municipalities. The action is getting widespread support, including a delegation from EPSU and its affiliates, and has helped boost union
The SINTAP public service union has signed an agreement with the government that will see pay increase by €52.11 a month in each of the years 2023 to 2026. The agreement also includes an increase in the food allowance and a range of pay improvements for selected occupations as well as commitments on career development. Meanwhile, the STAL local government union and other unions in the Frente Comum are planning a national strike on 18 November as they believe the proposed pay increases are inadequate.
The major trade unions in the health service are balloting for industrial action over pay with results due over the coming weeks. In England and Wales, unions have generally rejected the £1400 (€1610) increase on annual salaries with ballots in the RCN nursing union and UNISON public services union due to end on 2 and 25 November respectively. The RCM midwives’ union launches its ballot on 11 November. Unite is also balloting its members in Wales. Meanwhile, in Scotland a revised pay offer of a £2205 (€2540) increase on annual pay has not satisfied all unions. UNISON Scotland will consult its
The ETUC coordinated a demonstration in Strasbourg on 5 October followed by a meeting with MEPs to highlight the catastrophic consequences of huge price increases on working people and their families. The confederation is calling for decisive action from the EU and national governments including increased wages and income support, a tax on profits and a cap on prices, all covered in a six-point plan. The ETUC wants to see support for collective bargaining, increases to minimum wages and targeted emergency payments for low-paid people struggling to afford their energy bills, along with a ban on