Unions representing workers across municipalities and regions are negotiating with the SKR and Sobona employer organisations on changes to the crisis agreement. The aim is to ensure that the agreement is better adapted to longer crisis situations, based on experience from the pandemic. The crisis agreement can be activated temporarily by the employers in special crisis situations and means that regular working hours are increased at the same time as staff receive higher compensation. The agreement also allows for special emergency overtime and relocation of staff. It was drawn up with short
The Sanitas health union is calling on the government to offer permanent employment to the many medical and auxiliary workers who were taken on to help cope with the pandemic. These workers will see their contracts terminated once the end of the emergency is declared. The union argues that these workers have clearly demonstrated their skills and competences in helping to deal with the crisis with many facing high risks of infection and some even losing their lives to COVID. Sanitas also sees continuing staff shortages as another argument for offering these workers permanent employment.
Several unions representing workers in early years education came together on 5 May in a day of strike action and a demonstration in Brussels. Workers are angry about the impact of the pandemic on the sector and the failure of the authorities in the Wallonia and Brussels regions to address their concerns. The unions were also demanding a revaluation of pay in the sector and a range of other measures to deal with staffing issues, leave, contracts and increased public funding.
The PCS public and commercial services union reports strong support for its second round of strike action at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority in South Wales. Other unions and Labour MPs have backed the action which aims to secure improved health and safety provision at a workplace that has seen some of the highest rates of COVID infections anywhere in the country. Meanwhile the union is also celebrating a positive result from strike action taken by its members working in the court service but employed by the OCS multinational. They secured a new two-year agreement backdated to April
Following the welcome announcement on 5 May by President Biden that the US Government will no longer oppose lifting IPR patent protection in the WTO TRIPS agreement for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, all eyes are now on the upcoming EU Trade Council meeting on 20 May.
On Tuesday, 4th May, EPSU together with Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES), the Foundation for European Progressive Studies, Kommunal and Arena Idé organized a conference to raise awareness of the extraordinary challenges care workers had to face during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, 29 April, EPSU participated in an event organized by the European Policy Centre and other civil society organisations on the importance of the European Pillar of Social Rights for the social services sector in the wake of COVID-19.
Following negotiations with the government, the OSZSP health union has won payments of up to CSK 120000 (€4650) for emergency medical staff. These workers weren’t covered by special payment negotiated for other groups of health staff, but the union pointed out that ambulance workers have faced massively increased workloads, with callouts increasing by more than a third, and in many cases the same level and type of work carried out by intensive care staff in hospitals.
The younion and GÖD public sector unions, representing around 120000 workers in health and social care have called on the Austrian Chancellor to stand by his commitment to improve pay for those working in intensive care during the pandemic. The two unions underline that their demand covers all health and care workers, not just intensive care staff, as they are all part of an essential team and need to work together to deliver care and who have endured significant physical and mental challenges in maintaining services. Younion and GÖD are calling for a tax-free €1000 bonus for all health and