COVID-19, Information & consultation
Members of the FNV trade union are in the process of voting on whether to support the agreement covering the municipal sector that was negotiated last month. The agreement provides for a 1.5% pay increase from 1 December 2021 and a further increase of 2.4% from 1 April 2022. There will also be a €1200 lump sum paid, €900 of which is pensionable and €300 of which reflects a COVID bonus. Also the agreement commits municipalities to guarantee a €14 an hour minimum wage from 1 January 2022. There are several other elements to the agreement including a working-from-home allowance and measures
The GPA and vida trade unions that organise in private health and social care have launched a new campaign, “Words are not enough” with the support of their confederation, the ÖGB. The unions are calling for increased funding for the sectors to improve pay and conditions, increase staffing by at least 20000, reduce workloads and provide a further COVID bonus and additional time off. The unions say that applause and praise for health and social care staff is not enough and action is needed to increase the funding that covers private health and social care.
The vpod/ssp trade union is mobilising for a national demonstration of health workers in Berne on 30 October. The aim of the protest is to highlight the efforts and sacrifices that health workers have made in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Key demands include a COVID bonus but also action to deal with the long-standing problems of pay and understaffing in the sector. The union is also calling for measures to improve training, work-life balance and retirement provision and argues that pay increases should reflect the arduousness of many health workers’ jobs.
A new report from municipal services union Kommunal reveals how the pandemic affected workers across the sectors in which it organises. Based on interviews with nurses, cleaners, paramedics, caretakers and other workers, the report confirms the huge impact on healthcare where workers’ efforts have been central to the management of the pandemic. Employees have had to make huge sacrifices, working extra shifts, double shifts and overtime, with many authorities having to hire temporary staff, get pensioners back to work and with staff having holidays cancelled or being transferred to different
EPSU and The Federation of European Social Employers call for more Social Dialogue in the Social Services Sector: Lessons learnt from COVID-19
EPSU and The Federation of European Social Employers support sectoral social dialogue as a tool to improve the working conditions and wages of social services workers.
Unions representing healthcare workers have called for immediate talks with the Health Services Executive to discuss how to recognise healthcare workers’ efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. SIPTU, Fórsa, and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation raised the issue at the Labour Court, which acknowledged the extraordinary efforts of health staff and called on all parties to begin “effective engagement” to resolve the matter. In line with practice in several other European countries, the unions are looking for a bonus, pay addition or extra leave.
The GPA services union is determined to hold the government to account over the EUR 500 Corona bonus promised to nurses in June. The union joined with other trade unions in successfully calling for the bonus to be extended to other workers but is still concerned that it will not be available to all in the social care sector. However, the GPA is angry that three months on the bonus has not been paid and there is still lack of clarity over who is entitled. The union complains of the lack of respect for the workers who have been exposed to extreme stress and heavy workloads for months and deserve
Public service trade unions have reacted angrily to a series of pay offers that they argue fail to compensate workers for inflation or for the massive efforts made to maintain services during the pandemic. The 3% pay offer for health workers has been widely condemned and unions are consulting with members about what action to take. The unions point out that the pay rise is too low to have any impact on the serious staff shortages that persist across the health sector. Meanwhile local government employers have made a small increase to their pay offer, but this still means only a 1.75% increase