Nine trade unions and five student organisations have come together to issue a joint communique calling for action in response to the impact of inflation on the standard of living of workers, students and pensioners. They are calling for a policy of redistribution in favour of wages and action to tackle inequality, particularly between men and women. The organisations also underline that the minimum wage should be only regarded as appropriate as a starting salary and not a wage level that applies throughout a working life. The communique underlines that both public and private sector employers
Environment/Climate Change, Low pay/minimum wages
Responding to the challenge of climate change
Climate change, the largest single threat to current and future generations, is posing fundamental challenges for public services and public service workers. In recent years, we have seen extreme weather events, flooding and forest fires for example, leading to loss of life and widespread damage and destruction of buildings and infrastructure. Our members across many services have been part of the immediate and longer term response – in emergency and rescue services, energy and water, local and regional government. EPSU has been working hard to influence policies at global and European level aimed at decarbonising our economies and calling for a shift away from growth at all costs. It is essential that we achieve a more sustainable society is achieved through a just transition whereby no one is left behind.
This briefing, produced for EPSU's 2019 Congress, sets out the federation's recent activity on climate change and current priorities. EPSU has published research focusing on some of the key issues and policy developments including its position on the EU's Green Deal, the failure of energy liberalisation to address climate change and an analysis of action on climate change adaptation.
Forest fires and heat waves are hitting Europe hard – yet again. With record high temperatures and no rain, life and work for many people in Europe is reaching a point of no return, putting the health and - in certain cases - life of many at risk.
More than 38 million people in Europe can’t afford a week’s holiday despite being in work, according to an analysis by the European Trade Union Institute for the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). The ETUC argues that the cost-of-living crisis is putting holidays even further out of reach with the share of the total population who cannot afford a holiday increasing in over half of EU member states since 2019 and even the share of working people who can’t afford one has increased in 11 countries. Romania, Greece and Lithuania have the highest share of workers unable to get away for a
The European Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the decision by member states to support the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive that it says will help ensure that millions of workers across Europe get fairer wages and improved rights to collective bargaining. The directive is now set for a final sign-off by MEPs and ministers in September. The proposal includes a framework for setting adequate statutory minimum wages and a duty on member states to promote collective bargaining and combat union busting and to produce an action plan to support collective bargaining in states where coverage is
The trilogue negotiations between the European Commission, Council and Parliament have produced a provisional agreement on the Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages. It is now up to the Council and Parliament to vote on the proposal with the prospect that the Directive might be law by the autumn. The ETUC believes that the directive’s provisions on both statutory minimum wages and collective bargaining could be game changing, delivering not just vital increases for millions of workers who are facing surging prices but new rights and possibilities for trade unions to strengthen and extend
The STAL municipal workers’ union joined others in the Common Front group of public service unions in a national demonstration on 20 May in Lisbon. The main call was for government action to protect the purchasing power of workers in public administration. The unions argue that 12 years of wage stagnation has seen purchasing power fall by 15.4% and that the proposed pay increase of 0.9% for this year will again mean a significant cut in real pay as prices of food, energy and fuel surge. The unions also want to see a €90 a month rise for all workers, a minimum monthly wage of €850 along with
Municipal unions are pushing for the right to full-time work across the sector to tackle what they see as excessive use of part-time contracts. The FOA trade union has calculated the financial implications of full-time (37 hours a week) work for different occupations working different hours. For example, a social and health care assistant, who today is 41 years old, can increase their lifetime income (including all allowances and pensions) by DKK 5.3 million (over €700,000) by working full-time instead of 25 hours. Even older workers would see a real difference with a 51-year-old cleaner able
Members of the FNV, NU’91 and other unions have endorsed the new collective agreement covering around 190000 workers in disability care that is backdated and runs from 1 October 2021 to 31 January 2024. There is a 2.2% pay rise as from 1 May 2022 but with an €85 minimum increase and with also a commitment to a minimum hourly rate of €13.00. This means a 5% increase for the lowest paid. On 1 May 2023 there will be a further increase of 3.2%. The agreement also provides for hours reductions for older workers to encourage them to stay at work longer and measures to address the needs of women
EPSU’s Pan-European Conference on Public Utilities is back! Join us online on Tuesday, 10 May 2022 for the opening proceedings and a panel discussion on an issue that is only becoming more important: rising energy prices, and how unions can take action.