The SIPTU trade union has announced dates for industrial action by water workers and retained (part-time) firefighters in June. Water workers currently employed by local authorities face restructuring as a new national water company is established. The dispute is over the failure of local authorities to guarantee the protection of all pay and conditions if the workers choose to remain with their local authority. The firefighters’ action is over pay and the serious staff shortages in the sector which are putting extra pressure on existing staff who often forego holidays in order to ensure cover
Strikes and industrial action
The right to strike is fundamental for trade unions. Although strikes and industrial action are the weapons of last resort, it is crucial that trade unions can use them in the fight to defend workers' rights and get a fair deal from employers. The challenge for many unions, particularly those in the public sector, is that the right to strike is restricted or even completely denied. Information on the right to strike in the public sector is available in 48 country factsheets that cover the main rules and include information on cases that trade unions have taken to the International Labour Organisation and Council of Europe.
Strike action could be on the cards across local government in England and Wales as members of the main trade unions – UNISON, GMB and Unite – have rejected the £1925 (€2215) flat-rate pay offer. Meanwhile, action over pay is continuing in the National Health Service in England where Unite is continuing its campaign to get pay negotiations re-opened with targeted strike action in hospitals and the ambulance service. The RCN nursing union is balloting its members in England over further action while RCN members in Wales have also rejected the separate pay offer there. In central government, PCS
The FSC-CCOO, FeSP-UGT and other trade unions in the ministry of justice have been maintaining their campaign of strike action with high levels of support for the strike that took place on 4 May and with further action set for 9-11 and 16-18 May. The main demands focus on the need to negotiate implementation of the law on organizational efficiency and to deliver salary improvements that recognise the functions workers perform and ensure the development of the professional careers. The ministry has so far rejected any salary increase for most staff – around 90% - despite agreeing to an increase
The trade union and student-led campaign against the government’s pension reforms and increase in pension age from 62 to 64 is building up for the next protest on 6 June. The main unions, including the CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA and CFE-CGC, coordinated demonstrations across the country on 1 May – the 13th national day of action – with an estimated 2.3 million taking part. The 6 June action is timed just before a vote in the national assembly on 8 June on a proposed law that would repeal the pensions legislation. This will effectively be the first time that MPs will be able to vote on the issue as
The campaign of industrial action over pay, jobs and pensions by the PCS trade union is set to continue following a new strike ballot. The union managed to secure reach the threshold required for public sector strike action in 106 government departments and agencies. In Scotland, with separate negotiations on pay, PCS members have accepted an increased pay offer delivering a total increase of at least £2200 (€2535) for all staff earning £36000 (€41455) or less. The guarantee of no compulsory redundancy for all staff is extended to 31 March 2025 and there is a commitment to review the lowest
In three separate disputes, members of the Fórsa and SIPTU trade unions have voted in favour of industrial action. In the ambulance service, SIPTU members voted with a 95% majority to back industrial action following the refusal of management to implement a restructuring plan that had been negotiated with and was fully supported by the union. Meanwhile, SIPTU members in the water sector will take strike action on 7 June unless there is a guarantee that their local authority pay and conditions will be protected when they transfer to a new employer, Uisce Éireann, a new standalone public utility
After three months of negotiations on a new collective agreement for around 20000 personal assistants for disabled people, the JHL trade union is planning industrial action to put pressure on the Heta employers’ organisation. Targeted action is set for 25 and 31 May in the Helsinki area. Meanwhile a ban on additional work, overtime and shift changes will continue and the measures will also impact employers that are not organised by the Heta. JHL says that the pay and conditions of personal assistants are too low in relation to the demanding and wide-ranging nature of the work and are
The long-running industrial action in central government sees another national strike on 28 April with the PCS union expecting 133,000 civil servants in 132 departments to walk out. This is the third full national mobilisation in a campaign over pay, jobs and pensions that began last year and has involved targeted action in a wide range of departments and agencies. In a separate action members of PCS, Unite and UNISON at the Care Quality Commission, the body that monitors health and care services, took a day’s action on 17 April over pay, following a campaign of action short of a strike. The
The FSS-CCOO, FeSP-UGT and other trade unions representing workers in the Ministry of Justice are stepping up their campaign of industrial action in what has become a long-running dispute over pay and restructuring. Partial stoppages of three hours a day earlier this month helped ensure a start to new negotiations with the Ministry but so far without positive results. Full day strike action is now planned for 4 May along with a national protest outside the Ministry. Further all-out action will then follow on 9-11 and 16-18 May.
Members of the Executive Committee, representing over eight million public service workers across Europe, sent letters to French President Emmanuel Macron outlining their solidarity with French trade unions and their concern for the protection of workers' rights and social benefits.
Trade unions, including FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT, are mobilising for what could be an indefinite strike of the 45,000 civil servants in the various bodies and agencies of the Ministry of Justice. The strike will begin on Monday, 17 April with partial stoppages from 10 am to 13 pm every day. On 19 April, a strike will be called for the whole day along with a national demonstration. The action follows the refusal of the Ministry to put forward a decent pay increase, in line with the demands on and responsibilities of workers. The unions say that the Ministry has recognised the need to adjust the
Members of the STAL trade union working in the waste sector have been taking action over pay, collective bargaining rights and precarious employment. The workers at FCC Environment were set to strike on 7-11 April while those employed by ERSUC were due to take action on 10-11 April. Action over pay was also planned for 6-9 April by STAL members employed by the PSML company that maintains the Parque de Sintra site. Members of the SINTAP union were due to take industrial action at the Infraestruturas road and rail maintenance company on 6 April over pay, collective bargaining and staffing while
Members of UNISON at the Environment Agency will take four more days of strike action on 14-17 April with the employers failing to respond to calls to negotiate on an improved pay offer. After the latest strike day on 31 March, health workers in Northern Ireland have called off further action pending a re-opening of negotiations over pay. This is separate from the pay dispute in England where unions are awaiting the response to their consultation of members over a revised pay offer. However, junior doctors in England in the BMA trade union, who are covered by a separate agreement, are
Despite a major strike across the public transport network involving 500,000 workers, in the lead up to the third round of bargaining, federal and local government employer organisations failed to come up with an improved pay offer for the 2.5 million employees covered by the agreement. Ver.di and the other unions involved in the negotiations had been seeking a 10.5% pay rise with a minimum increase of €500 which they argue is essential to protect the purchasing power of those on lower and medium rates of pay. The breakdown in negotiations will mean the process moves to mediation.