Union Rights, Restructuring, Privatisation, Firefighters, Prisons Services
Seven trade union organisations, including the CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA, representing 85% of all firefighters have been taking strike action to demand improvements in pay and for a significant increase in jobs. The joint actions began in June and are running until the end of August. The unions want to see the withdrawal of legislation on public service reform and a number of other measures to improve pay, health and safety, pensions and trade union rights. A key demand is an increase in recruitment on statutory conditions. There are 40000 professional firefighters. This is the same number as in
Firefighters' unions in Spain and Italy are calling for government action to address a number of longstanding issues. In Italy the FP-CGIL trade union has declared a state of agitation around a number of key demands related to the collective agreement, recruitment, occupational safety, pensions and the right to elect workplace representatives. The union wants to see action to reduce bureaucracy and increase investment. Meanwhile, in Spain the unions want a framework law to establish a clear national structure for the service which is characterised by significant differences across the regions
On 20 August the UK government was forced to take back control of a privatised prison in Birmingham in central England following a damning report by the prisons inspectorate. The prison had been run since 2011 by the G4S group, one of three multinationals that run 14 prisons in England.
The CSC/ACV and CGSP/ACOD unions representing prison workers have taken strike action in protest at government plans to legislate on limiting their right to strike. EPSU sent a solidarity message to the unions highlighting the deteriorating conditions and overcrowding in prisons across the country and the importance of having the right to strike to highlight the need for urgent action to address these problems and reverse the impact of austerity. Rather than attack trade union rights, EPSU argues that the federal government should open negotiations to tackle the critical situation facing the
(March 2017) The FP-CGIL public service federation reports that it has made some gains in the current negotiations over pay and reforms to the fire service. An EUR 80 a month pay increase will be implemented while the union will continue to negotiate a new collective agreement. The federation has also had some influence of the restructuring proposals put forward by the government and is particularly please that the fire service will retain some autonomy and not come under the control of the local prefecture.
(February 2017) The FP-CGIL public services federation has called on the government to stop the planned reorganisation of the fire service and to consult properly with the unions about any proposals to change the role and organisation of the service and the pay and working conditions of employees. The union says that the government has ignored the opinitons of the union over plans to restructure the service and reduce its autonomy by giving a role to the local prefecture.
(January 2017) Using the latest official figures, the FSC-CCOO federation warns of the growing crisis in the prisons sector with over 2800 posts unfilled. Some prisons face higher than average shortages and the union warns of the health and safety threat posed both to prison workers and inmates. Projections also show that without urgent action a quarter of the workforce will be over 60 by 2020. The union is concerned that staff shortages will contribute to pressure to privatise some services. This critical situation also featured in a session at the EPSU collective bargaining conference in
(12 January 2017) Over 120 participants from across Europe gathered in Brussels on 10-11 January to debate a wide range of issues related to the quality of employment – how to define it and what action to take to improve it.In opening the conference, EPSU general secretary, Jan Willem Goudriaan