Fórsa members across eight health and social care professions are set to take industrial action from 11 September in dispute over the career pathway review. Over 90% voted in favour of action, demonstrating the level of frustration with negotiations that began in 2018. The workers are employed in both the public and non-profit sectors and are demanding implementation of the promised career pathway review, meaningful discussions on clinical specialisms, advanced practice and management roles. The union argues that progress on these issues is an important factor in addressing the growing level
The FNV trade union is preparing for negotiations covering maternity workers that are set to begin at the end of September. The union is concerned that salaries in maternity care have been the lowest in the care sector for years and higher pay is important to attract more workers to address staffing shortages. The FNV is aiming for a main increase of 14.3%, based on the inflation rate of October 2022. It argues that pay for maternity nurses has been eroded by inflation with only a 3% wage increase in 2022 and no pay rise at all in 2021. The union is looking to new research to be published
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.
European Parliament interest group calls for concrete steps to protect healthcare workers' mental health
On 11 July 2023 the European Parliament Intensive Care Interest Group (EPIC-IG), adopted a joint declaration on mental health calling on the European Commission and the Member States to take concrete steps to safeguard the mental health of workers in the healthcare sector.
The collective agreement covering 80000 employees in University Medical Centres is due to expire at the end of the year and the FNV trade union has begun consulting workers over the main demands that should feature in the upcoming negotiations. The union is particularly concerned that action is needed to improve conditions for permanent employees and tackle the impact of poor rosters and excessive workloads that lead to absenteeism and high turnover of staff. A central demand will be for pay to increase in line with inflation in January 2024 with an additional payment of €100 a month. The
The FSC-CCOO trade union federation has attacked prison service management for the long-term failure to address the growing problem of violence against staff which has risen to historic highs. The union argues that the only measure taken in recent years was an action protocol that provides a response to attacks once they’ve happened but with no serious attempt to prevent violence in the first place. The FSC-CCOO cites the latest official statistics for the year 2022, which show that acts of physical aggression per thousand prisoners increased by 19% compared to 2021 and by over 110% since 2010
The vida trade union and the Chamber of Doctors have begun negotiations with the church-based hospitals in the Carinthia region to update the collective agreement covering around 1600 workers. The first bargaining round took place on 2 August and negotiations will resume on 29 September. The agreement has not been properly updated for 30 years and the union is pushing for major revisions that will improve pay and conditions and make work in the sector more attractive. The union has set out over 40 areas of potential revision covering working time, leave arrangements, sabbaticals and training
The OSZSP health and social care union has cited official statistics showing a shortage of 3000 nurses across the country to underline its longstanding message that urgent action is needed to recruit and retain health workers. The union further warns that on current trends and without action the shortage could rise to 13000 in five years’ time. The union makes clear that excessive workloads and long hours are key factors in deterring young people from joining health professions and that the government’s proposal to increase overtime limits will only add to the problem, while threatening the
The OSZSP health and care workers’ union has joined with the LOK-SČL doctors’ union in condemning government proposals to extend the limits on overtime for health workers. The government claims this is needed to ensure staffing levels in small facilities. The unions, however, criticise the government for failing to take any measures to tackle the staffing crisis and for increasing the risk of burnout and ill-health in a workforce that is already suffering from long working hours. The unions also fear that many health workers would be vulnerable to pressure to work the extra hours and they
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
COVID-19 Report of the European Parliament rightly identifies the issues for health and care workers but is less ambitious in overall recommendations for the future
On the 12 July 2023 the European Parliament adopted a report on the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic and recommendation for the future.
Negotiations between the health and care workers’ union Sanitas and the government continue to deliver on the union’s key demands on pay and conditions in addition to the successes reported in the last newsletter. All categories of employees in health care will get pay increases from 1 August, representing partial payment, in advance, of increases that will be provided for in the new wage law. From 1 August a range of occupations are also set to get additional payments for on-call duty that range from 100 to 1000 lei (€20-€200). The Ministry of Health will immediately begin the process of
Last month the Wage Structure Committee produce a detailed report on pay in the public services as a basis of a tripartite discussion that is due to begin in the autumn and that will have an impact on negotiations of the next three-year collective agreements in the public sector that will run from April 2024. The committee, with trade union participation, was set up in 2021 as a first step in trying to address the persistent problem of pay inequality across the public services and the major staff shortages across many occupations. The initial reaction of many EPSU affiliates is to welcome the