The ver.di health union at the KfH, a national institute for dialysis and kidney transplants employing around 7000 workers, is planning its next pay claim with a view to closing the pay gap with the main public sector agreement which is between 5%-11% depending on the occupation. The union is also aiming to negotiate several improvements in pay and conditions that will apply only to ver.di members. The main demand will be for an 8% pay rise covering the 12-month period from 1 January 2020. The union also wants a system of variable payments to be replaced with a single fixed holiday payment of
Collective bargaining – trends and developments
Collective bargaining is a core activity of trade unions and EPSU’s affiliates negotiate with public service employers at every level. This can range from national public-sector wide bargaining to sector and local negotiations with public sector employers but also private and non-profit providers of public services. EPSU works with the European Trade Union Confederation to try to improve collective bargaining rights for all workers across Europe. We also act as a European information point so that EPSU affiliates are aware of trends in public service negotiations. EPSU’s collective bargaining newsletter provides regular updates on developments across Europe and this briefing gives an overview of the state of play in the main agreements in each country.
Members of the ver.di public services union employed by the private healthcare company Asklepios are taking action across the country to try to secure collective agreements. Only a third of the company's 46000 workers are covered by an agreement with most facing unilateral decisions by management on their pay. In some facilities this means employees are being paid EUR 1000 a month less than those doing the equivalent job in a public sector hospital. In some cases workers have rejected higher pay offers from management and demanded that the union be able to negotiate a collective agreement.
Addressing public debt is an important issue for unions. The constituency started with a PSI seminar of this topic. Debt is not an issue in isolation and is linked to the changes that have happened in the global economy over the last 30 years. The way debt crises play out have devastating effects on
Following talks with the BVAP eldercare employers' organisation, the ver.di services union has confirmed that both parties are committed to negotiate a sector collective agreement by the end of the year. They have also made it clear that they want the labour ministry to extend the agreement to cover all employers in the sector to prevent those paying low wages from undercutting the agreement. Ver.di and BVAP believe this is essential to ensuring decent pay in the sector and making occupations eldercare more attractive to workers.
Health unions were due to meet the government on 23 August to continue negotiations over the current collective agreement and previously agreed pay increases. The unions are threatening strike action if there is not a positive outcome and confirmation that pay increases included in the current collective agreement will be honoured. Pay increases of 3% (in August) for health workers in general and 4% (in October) for staff with diagnostic responsibilities are part of the annex to the collective agreement in force until 31 October. However, the government said it wouldn't confirm the increases
Services union ver.di has managed to organise and make progress towards a collective agreement in the uni-assist agency that checks applications to universities from overseas students. The agency was set up in 2003 and now has 300 employees, with ver.di membership now at 60% of those on permanent contracts. The union is aiming to secure an agreement in line with the public sector agreement and is focusing on a number of specific issues including a reduction to a 38.5 hour week from 40 hours. The agency is now a guest member of the Berlin municipal employers' organisation but without committing
Conference Public service trade unions – effective intervention in the European SemesterVenue :International Trade Union House (ITUH) - AuditoriumBoulevard du Roi Albert II, 5, 1210 BrusselsMeeting documents :Invitation letterPractical detailsList of hotels in BrusselsConference agenda DRAFT REPORT
The Frente Comum group of public service unions has criticised the government for failing to respect existing collective bargaining arrangements in the public sector. The government has put forward reforms to public sector pensions without going through the proper procedure for consultation. Instead of negotiating directly with public sector unions the government will use a social dialogue forum that includes private sector employers. The Frente Comum unions are concerned about the impact of the proposed pension reforms which could reduce rights for workers to retire from 60 with 40 years'
The European Trade Union Institute is publishing a comprehensive four-volume overview of collective bargaining in all 28 Member States of the European Union.This documents how collective bargaining institutions have been abolished, changed or narrowed in scope. However, it also highlights some positive developments with some collective bargaining systems proving more resilient than others in maintaining multi-employer bargaining arrangements. The key policy issue addressed in this book is how the reduction of the importance of collective bargaining as a tool to jointly regulate the employment
The FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL public service federations are continuing their campaign to force the AIOP and ARIS private health employer organisations to negotiate a collective agreement 12 years after the last one was signed. The latest initiative follows a meeting with the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces where the unions secured a commitment to push for a change in legislation on the accreditation of private providers that would require them to negotiate a collective agreement with the three recognised trade unions in line with the negotiations in the public sector.
The CCOO-Sanidad health union has negotiated another new collective agreement following on from its success reported in the last issue of the newsletter. Around 900 workers employed by the CIBER network of biomedical research institutions will be covered by a new agreement that will run until June 2022. The agreement will mean standardisation of pay and conditions for this group of workers and it will set out their rights in relation to pay, leave, relocation, working time and telework, the right to training and the target of limiting temporary contracts to 8% of the workforce.
Nine public service federations - CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA, FSU, Solidaires, FA-FP, CFE-CGC and CFTC - are continuing to work together in their campaign to defend jobs and services across the public sector and secure better pay and conditions for public sector workers. They are planning to rally outside the ministries of finance and public services at midday on 27 June, a few days before a meeting on pay planned for 2 July where the unions will be calling for salaries that recognise the work, skills, qualifications and commitment of public service workers.
The latest issue of the Collective Bargaining Newsletter produced by the European Trade Union Institute includes over 70 articles covering developments in over 30 countries. Among the more interesting this month are moves to a four-day week in Austria, action by outsourced workers in Cyprus, strikes by ambulance staff in Ireland, action by nursery workers in Spain and pay offers from Glasgow City Council in Scotland to resolve the equal pay dispute there.