The UNISON trade union is planning strike action at the St.Monica Trust care company in Bristol in south west England over threats to sack staff unless they accept a pay cut. The union says that more than 100 staff were told in March that they must accept inferior new contracts – costing them thousands of pounds a year and watering down their sick pay – or be fired. The first strike will take place on 29 June, with further action planned for 2, 5, 10 and 11 July. The company is threatening to cut weekend pay rates for senior care workers by 21%, while other staff are being asked to take a 10%
EPSU Collective Bargaining News
Fórsa and other public service unions have invoked a review clause in the current public service agreement in response to the surge in inflation. However, pay talks convened by the Workplace Relations Commission ended without agreement as the government proposals fell far short of 2021 inflation and projected 2022 cost-of-living increases. There are no immediate plans to reconvene the talks. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform had offered supplementary pay rises of just 2.5% for the period 2021-2022, despite expected annual inflation of at least 9% over the two-year period. Another
The public service federations in CCOO and UGT have renewed their call for the government to enter into negotiations over pay and conditions for all public service workers. They argue that the unilateral pay increase of 2% for 2022 needs to be reviewed and a multi-annual agreement negotiated covering pay and other conditions, including the various rights and benefits cut during the period of austerity. Meanwhile, FSS-CCOO and FeSP-UGT have welcomed the court ruling that will require companies in residential care to pay the 6.5% pay increase as established in the sector collective agreement.
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 FNV trade union has negotiated a new collective agreement with the national grid operator TenneT that provides for a 4.3% pay increase over 16 months, backdated to 1 May. The union reports that the negotiations went smoothly, with the employer recognising the need to respond to rising inflation to remain an attractive employer. There is a structural wage increase of 3.1% and a one-off payment of 1.2%. From 2023, TenneT's employees will get 5 May off each year as opposed to enjoying the official holiday only once every five years. The agreement runs from 1 May 2022 to 1 September 2023. In
Services union ver.di has strongly restated its demand for needs-based and binding staffing levels across all hospitals, following the publication of new research revealing a shortfall of up to 50,000 full-time employees in intensive care units. The union argues that this is a huge gap that endangers intensive care as well as the health of professional nurses. The study published by the Hans Böckler Foundation, calculates that in order to comply with the Nursing Staff Lower Limits Ordinance alone, the number of full-time positions would have to rise from 28,000 (as of 2020) to 50,800. If the
The collective agreement covering the municipal sector has now been finalised and runs from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025. EPSU affiliates JHL and Jyty report that salaries will increase this month by €46 per month for those on less than €2300 a month and by 2% for salaries above this amount. Allowances will also increase by 2%. A pot of 0.5% will be distributed in October depending on negotiations in September. If the negotiations don’t produce a result the 0.5% will be a general increase for all. Next year and in 2024 wages will increase by at least 1.5% in June with a further 0.4%, allocated
After several weeks of conflict, rallies and the threat of strike action, the HSMCTU health union, with the support of the GTUC confederation, secured an agreement from the Ministry of Health that it would not introduce a 12-hour work schedule for paramedics. The Ministry also agreed to remunerate employees’ overtime work and to have further meetings with the union to discuss how to increase salaries. The dispute had arisen following the Ministry’s decision to remove a wage supplement that had been introduced during the Covid pandemic and its plan to introduce a 12-hour work schedule
The energy federations of the CGT, CFDT, FO and CFE-CGC report widespread and strong support for their strike action on 2 June. The unions want energy sector employers to agree to immediate negotiations over pay. The unions regard the 0.3% pay increase implemented in January of this year as completely unacceptable and that an immediate increase of 4.5% is needed to help compensate for increased prices but negotiations are also needed to address several years of below-inflation pay rises. The unions issued a joint statement indicating the strength of feeling among workers and the unions’ clear
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
The HK Kommunal local government union reports that negotiations are underway to make the four-day week permanent at the Odsherred municipality, north west of Copenhagen. An experimental scheme began in 2019 with the standard 37 hours worked on Monday to Thursday, leaving Fridays off. The view of staff is generally positive and the negotiations may involve the option for greater flexibility in terms of the weekly day off. Meanwhile, there are new developments in the global 4-day week campaign with the launch of pilot projects involving over 3300 workers in 70 companies in the UK. In contrast
The STAL local services and FIEQUIMETAL industrial trade unions are continuing their collaboration in a campaign to assert their collective bargaining rights in the Águas de Portugal water company. The latest action was in Portalegre, north east of Lisbon where the two unions protested outside the company’s local offices. The unions are demanding that the national collective agreement be properly implemented across all the company’s subsidiaries and for negotiations on wage increases in response to the recent surge in inflation.
After three days of bargaining the ver.di services union has negotiated an agreement with the VKA municipal employers that goes some way to address the undervaluation and overwork of staff in social and educational services. The union thanked its members for mobilising to achieve the result in the face of considerable resistance from the employers. Over 40,000 ver.di members took action in the week leading up to the latest negotiations. The agreement will provide employees with two additional days off as well as the option to convert part of their salary into two further days off. Educators
Trade unions in the energy sector are planning strike action on Thursday 2 June over the erosion of purchasing power of their members. In a joint statement, they criticise the employers in the sector for failing to agree a timetable to negotiate and for applying an increase of only 0.3% on the basic national salary in January this year when inflation was already at 4.5%. The unions also highlight the fact that energy sector pay has not kept pace with inflation over many years and they are demanding an immediate increase of 4.5%.