On 20th September 2023 the EPSU Childcare network met to discuss monitoring and evaluation in early childhood education and care, and the results of a survey on working conditions and professionalisation.
The group discussed recent developments on worker protection in the EU and beyond, an interactive risk assessment tool in healthcare, and the revisions of directives on Carcinogens and Mutagens and Reprotoxins (CMRD 5) and asbestos.
The vpod/ssp trade union is busy building support for a national demonstration in Bern on 16 September with a key demand for a 5% pay rise. The union highlights recent data on price increases, particularly for energy, while average real pay has fallen for three consecutive years – the first time this has happened for over 70 years. The data also show how the low paid have fared the worse with women forming the majority of this group. Vpod/ssp points out that not only are big private sector employers making large profits but public authorities also have the funds to cover pay rises for their
The JHL trade union reports that the next efforts to resolve the dispute over a new collective agreement for personal assistants will take place at the Office of the National Conciliator on 28 August. Negotiations began in January and the union organised industrial action in the spring but negotiations were interrupted in June without a solution in sight. Pay is a key sticking point with JHL arguing that the special characteristics of the work of personal assistants have not been sufficiently taken into account in the negotiations and that specific measures are needed to improve the
The ver.di trade union has welcomed the recommendation of the Care Commission to increase minimum wages for long-term care workers but the union also calls for more measures to ensure decent pay in the sector, particularly the negotiation of comprehensive collective agreements, as essential for trying to address the major staff shortages. The three hourly wage rates (skilled, one-year trained and semi/unskilled) will increase by between 6.8% and 9.5% in May 2024 and then by 3.9% to 5.1% in May 2025. So from May 2025 skilled workers will earn at least €20.50 per hour, one-year trained employees
EPSU recently held a productive discussion with European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, to tackle the critical staff shortages facing healthcare and care workers in Europe.
The FOA trade union reports that data from the Danish Working Environment Authority shows a record number of offences in psychiatric homes in 2022 where staff were not adequately protected against violence. There were 92 cases, up from 73 in 2021, representing the highest figure since records began. FOA says this reflects a picture of everyday violence that is unacceptable for both staff and patients. Overall, there were 482 accidents at work due to violence in psychiatric institutions in 2022, a 37% increase since 2019. FOA is critical of governments that have promised action over the years
Survey evidence from members of the Kommunal trade union paints a worrying picture of staffing levels in homes for the elderly over the summer. The union asked its local union representatives about staffing levels with as many as 62% saying that staffing will be insufficient and only 3% stating that staffing will be adequate. Four out of five also said that staffing will be similar to last year or worse while only 9% said things had improved. Kommunal argues that the situation for staff in elderly care is catastrophic and year after year, they are forced to work harder and faster to cover the
The ver.di trade union is running two weeks of action as part of its campaign to secure equal rights for workers employed by church organisations. Between 25 September and 6 October, union members will be out promoting the campaign petition with the aim of securing 4000 signatures. Currently church-based employers like the Diakonie and Caritas, organisations that employ hundreds of thousands of health and care workers, have special treatment under the law in relation to co-determination, collective bargaining and the right to strike. Ver.di wants this changed so that all workers have the same
The FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL public service federations have called a one-day strike on 27 September to put pressure on the AIOP employers’ organisation to return to negotiations over the sector agreement covering private residential and care homes. The three unions normally negotiate with AIOP and ARIS, the employer organisation representing religious providers. AIOP, however, is aiming to negotiate a different agreement with the UGL trade union – an organisation outside of the three main confederations and with links to the far right – and the unions argue that this flies in the face of
The strike by retained firefighters over pay and staffing was due to go ahead on 26 July after being suspended by the SIPTU union to allow for a Labour Court hearing. At the hearing the employers failed to produce an acceptable offer and the date for action was confirmed by the union. Meanwhile, the Fórsa trade union is balloting members in its health and welfare division over two disputes – one in relation to career development and the other in relation to the excessive use of agency staff and external consultants. Both unions, along with the INMO trade union are also continuing to campaign
Members of the FNV trade union have voted by a large majority to endorse the new collective agreement covering 60000 social workers that provides for pay increases totalling 15% over the next two years. The agreement also includes measures to tackle excessive workloads with permanent employees having more control over their work schedule and having precedence over freelancers. Wages increased by 7% on 1 July and there will be two further increases – one of 7% on 1 January 2024 and then one of 4% on 1 July 2024. From 1 January 2024, every permanent employee will receive at least €14 gross per