Trade unions representing firefighters and health and social care workers mobilised across the country on 15 October as part of their continuing campaigns to defend jobs and services. The joint protests called for an end to privatisation, more funding for services and increased pay as proper recognition of the hardship and risks involved in these vital areas of public service. Further action is planned for 14 November.
Social Services, Union Rights, Restructuring, Firefighters
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
(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.