New project to examine relationship between Covid-19, mental health of care workers and trade union responses
Healthcare and nurses trade unions across Europe, represented by the European Public Service Union (EPSU), are very concerned about the short and long-term mental health effects of Covid-19.
Nurses’ unions agree settlement with municipal employers
The Tehy and SuPer trade unions have agreed to a mediated settlement to their long-running dispute with municipal employers that includes pay developments over five years, COVID compensation payments and other improvements to working conditions. The average salary in the health and social services sector will increase by at least 17.3% over five years, with an increase of 15.3% in the first three years. There will be a separate one-off payment of €600 for those who involved in treating COVID patients. The unions say that a practical nurse will see their salary rise from the current €2,255 to
Public sector workers could see pay rise by more than 9%
Public service federations, including FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT, have welcomed a new three-year agreement that could deliver pay increases of more than 9% by the end of 2024. Following government imposed pay rises of only 0.9% in 2021 and initially only 2% in 2022, unions pushed the government to open negotiations and respond to the cost-of-living crisis. There will now be an additional 1.5% increase in 2022 backdated to January. In 2023 there will be an increase of 2.5% but two further increases of 0.5% will follow depending on the level of inflation and economic output. There will also be a 2.0%
Survey shows massively increased workload for emergency medical services
A survey by the health and services union ver.di has revealed that the already high burden on employees in the emergency medical service has increased significantly since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Around 7,000 workers replied to the questionnaire with 39% saying they would change professions immediately if they had the opportunity. There are serious problems with working hours, work intensity, physical and psychological stress and risk of physical assaults. Almost all respondents reported problems balancing work and private life. Staff shortages mean that 61% of employees are (very)
Public sector deal moves closer
The SZSVS health union reports that a new agreement covering the public sector is close to being finalised with a 4.5% pay increase due from 1 October this year. There will also be increases to the lunch allowances and some starting salaries will be moved up one pay bracket from April 2023. There will also be additional compensation ranging from €100 to €300 for the lower paid. However, several matters affecting different pay categories of health workers, that prompted a strike earlier this year, remain unresolved and firefighters are also concerned to see some occupations move up the pay
Health unions react to government’s plan to freeze pay rates
The OSZSP health workers’ union and LOK-SČL doctors’ union organised a joint press conference on 29 September in response to the government’s intention not to increase health workers’ pay in 2023. The unions underlined the sacrifices that workers had made during the pandemic and that the government’s failure to deliver improved pay would create further problems in the recruitment and retention of staff. The unions are unconvinced by a government plan to offer bonuses instead of higher pay scales and they are calling for a 15% increase to pay rates. They also argue that the government had
Union campaigns across the country for higher pay in response to higher prices
The vpod/ssp public services union is mobilising its members around the country to call for higher pay in response to the cost-of-living crisis. In Fribourg the demand will be for a 4% pay increase in response to the regional government’s proposed 2.3% offer. The main demand in the Vaud region will be for a special payment of CHF 100 (€103) for all employees to to compensate for the increase in energy costs. In Geneva, the vpod region is calling for a 5% increase from 1 January 2023 while in Neuchâtel the claim is for 4%-5% percent while in the Jura region the target is 3%. There has been a
Unions criticise Long COVID compensation proposal
The FNV and CNV trade unions have reacted angrily to government proposals to offer health workers a one-off payment of €15000 as compensation for contracting Long COVID. The unions are unhappy that it has taken so long – over two and a half years – for the government to come up with a proposal and that the offer, announced without consultation with the trade unions, now has to be confirmed by the council of state.
Public service unions set out bargaining demands
The younion and GÖD public sector trade unions have written to the government calling for the annual pay negotiations to start. The unions want the government to recognise the enormous efforts made by their members during the pandemic and the continuing challenges to maintain services in the face of staffing shortages which are likely to worsen as large numbers of workers reach retirement age. The unions are calling for a sustainable pay rise that addresses the cost-of-living crisis. Meanwhile, the vida private services union has launched its pay claim covering workers in private hospital
Health and safety of workers must be taken more seriously: stop asbestos
On 28 September, the European Commission published its proposal to better protect workers from asbestos, by lowering the current occupational exposure limit for asbestos from 100,000 fibres per cubic meter to 10,000 fibres per cubic meter.
Health union in second round of warning strikes
The LVSADA health workers’ union organised two further warning strikes on 27 and 28 September following an initial action on 27 July. The union is pressing the government to agree to pay increases for all health workers in recognition of the work they continue to do under difficult circumstances. LVSADA says that both the European Commission and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have acknowledged the need for action, including improvements to pay, to help tackle staff shortages. The union is angry that the government has unilaterally put forward a new pay system which