On World Health Day 2023, health and social care workers represented by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) call for urgent action to improve working conditions, reminding policymakers that there is no healthcare without healthcare workers.
Following a successful strike over pensions at the PBL employers’ organisation, the Fagforbundet trade union has managed to secure improved occupational pensions for employees in kindergartens covered by the NHO Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise. The four-week strike in NHO companies ended on 17 March with negotiations guaranteeing that the portion of public subsidies intended for pension purposes will be fully applied and that savings rates for pensions will also be guaranteed rather than varying from one kindergarten to another. The deal also means that employers are not tempted to
The FOA trade union and the Danish Chamber of Commerce have agreed a two-year renewal of the collective agreement for employees private care covering also residential homes and nursing homes for the first time. The hourly wage increases by DKK 6 (€0.80) as of 1 March and there will be a further increase of DKK 5.75 (€0.77) per hour on 1 March 2024. FOA made a point of securing a flat-rate increase for all employees. This will mean that a social and health assistant on day duty can will get a monthly salary increase of just over DKK 3,600 (€485) when the full effect of the collective agreement
On 3 March the FSS-CCOO and FeSP-UGT federations signed a new three-year collective agreement covering around 300,000 workers in the public residential care sector. The agreement runs until 31 December 2025 and was secured after negotiations lasting for almost five years. It includes salary increases of 4% this year and 2.5% in both 2024 and 2025. A salary update clause means that there could be additional adjustments depending on developments in inflation. There will an hours reduction calculated on an annual basis with an 8-hour cut in 2024 and a further cut of 12 hours in 2025. Improvements
The EAKL trade union confederation reports that the state wants to give additional pay to carers from July, which requires trade unions and employers to negotiate an agreement. Monthly pay in nursing homes varies from €725 to €1300 per month, depending on the region. EAKL says that trade unions want to negotiate a minimum wage for care workers in a sector collective agreement with a view to achieving the same level as that in the collective agreement for health workers where the minimum wage for care workers in health care institutions is set to reach €1160. With staff shortages reaching
EPSU Social Services Working Group discussed effective collective bargaining coverage of social care workers in Central and Eastern Europe, the European Commission’s Skills and Talent Package and other topics.
The three main federations in the public services – ACV/CSC, CGSP/ACOD and SLPF/VSOA – have called for a week of action from 6 to 10 March to highlight the staffing and funding crisis facing all parts of the sector. The federations will be coordinating a series of actions with calls to strengthen public services with more public investment and funding and end the push for privatisation. They also want to see improvements to pay and conditions to make public services more attractive to work in and especially to stop the attacks on public service pensions. Finally, the federations want to see
Public service federations in the CCOO, FeSP-UGT along with ELA and other trade unions coordinated strike action across public services in the Navarra region on 15 February. The unions are calling for increased funding for regional government to guarantee quality, universal and free public services for all. They are also seeking an increase in pay to begin to recoup the 20% loss in purchasing power over the past decade. Other demands include a commitment by the regional authority to reach the long-standing target of having only 8% of all workers on temporary contracts as well as initiatives on
Over 400 social care workers in Legnica in south west Poland could begin strike action on 27 February if their pay demands are not met. Their union, NSZZ "Solidarność", points out that over half the workers are on the minimum wage and this is set to rise to three-quarters if the employers don’t respond to the call for pay increases. The union says that this is a fight not just about pay but for the dignity of the profession. Meanwhile, water workers in Wielkopolska in central west Poland – members of the NSZZ "Solidarność" and Forum trade unions – are involved in protests over pricing and
Federations in the CGIL, CISL and UIL confederations are maintaining their protests against the decision by the ANASTE employers’ organisation to sign a collective agreement with unrepresentative trade unions. ANASTE brings together private sector residential care companies that employ around 20,000 workers. CGIL, CISL and UIL argue that the three-year collective agreement signed with the unrepresentative unions is weak in a number of aspects, not least the level of the pay increase – well below inflation – and provisions related to sick pay and leave. The CGIL, CISL and UIL trade unions had
The Kommunal trade union reports that municipalities on the island of Öland are looking to reduce working time while maintaining pay to try to address the recruitment problem in eldercare. Mörbylånga in the south of the island was the first to offer 85% of working hours at full-time rates in response to indications that workers needed the full-time level of pay but couldn’t cope with the demands of a full-time job. This produced an increase in recruitment and the now arrangement is being tested for a year in Borgholm in the north of the island.
Over 25000 workers in the non-profit sector joined a march through Brussels on 31 January to highlight the urgent need for action on jobs and investment in health and social care services. The unions in the sector are warning of the pressures created by understaffing across hospitals, social care, childcare and other vital services and calling on the federal and regional governments to provide the additional funding necessary to improve pay and conditions, take on more staff and invest in these vital services.