Staffing levels, Low pay/minimum wages, Germany
Member of the services union ver.di working in several hospitals across the country took strike action on 19 September as part of the union's campaign on safe staffing levels and reducing workloads. EPSU general secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan sent a message of support, underlining the importance of protecting the well-being of both health workers and patients by taking urgent action to reduce staff shortages in the sector estimated at over 160000, including over 70000 frontline care workers.
The ver.di services union is arguing that a sector pay agreement is needed to cover workers involved in childcare, youth and family work and care for the disabled. It says that the problem faced by the sector is that many welfare-based and private providers fail to pay decent wages with some pay rates as much as a third less than those that apply in the public sector agreements. Ver.di is highly critical of low-paying employers who don't recognise that urgent action is needed to address the shortage of skilled staff, with an estimate that kindergartens alone will face a shortfall of 329000
Members of the ver.di services union have secured pay increases following action in both the health and energy sectors. After more than a year in dispute, the union has managed to negotiate a new pay deal for workers at the CFM facilities management company. Around 1600 low paid workers will benefit from a basic pay rate of EUR 11 an hour which will mean increases worth 10%-16%. The union will be building on the solidarity maintained over the course of the dispute in preparation for next year's bargaining round which will begin no later than 1 July. In the energy sector 4500 employees at EON
Over 70000 workers joined the initial round of warning strikes in support of the negotiations covering federal and municipal workers. The focus was on the North-Rhine Westfalia region but further action is planned around the country, involving a broad range of workers from childcare and water to administration and transport. The services union ver.di is determined to secure a real wage increase for all workers, ensuring that any percentage rise is underpinned by a flat-rate amount to benefit lower paid workers.
Services union ver.di is celebrating the best negotiating result in many years for federal and municipal workers who will see pay rise by 7.5% in a new 30-month agreement. There will be increases of 3.19% on 1 March 2018, 3.09% on 1 April 2019 and 1.06% on 1 March 2020. The increases will be implemented through a fundamental revision of the pay structure, including particular changes to lower pay levels. The aim was to ensure faster pay developments in early stages of a career to make the sector more attractive and also to close the gap where there are big differences with the private sector
On 17 October the Labour Court in Nordhausen in central Germany ruled that two employees of the Celenus social care company had been unfairly dismissed for trade union activity and should be reinstated. Carmen Laue and Heike Schmidt, members of the ver.di service union, were summarily sacked in April for distributing leaflets as part of a long-running, and continuing campaign for better pay at Celenus which is part of the Orpea social care multinational. EPSU and its affiliates from France, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Spain that also organise in Orpea sent messages of support.
The ver.di services union has called on employers of all kinds across the eldercare sector to negotiate a sector agreement. The union argues that this is needed urgently to ensure better pay for eldercare workers and that they all are covered by a sector agreement whether they work for the private for profit, non-profit or public sectors. Ver.di has welcomed steps taken by non-profit welfare organisations to create an employers' organisation and argues that the next step is a sector agreement that will help improve the attractiveness of the sector and tackle staffing shortages. The union's
Following a government report on nursing and care, services union ver.di has called for urgent action for a long-term solution to understaffing across health and care institutions, particularly in light of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In conjunction with hospital and care associations the union has already put forward a process for assessing staffing needs in hospitals and says that an academic proposal for evaluating staffing levels in eldercare has identified the need for an extra 100000 staff. Ver.di argues that measures are needed on training and pay and working conditions. It
After the third round of bargaining, the ver.di services union has secured a new 24-month agreement covering around 21,000 employees at the clinic operator Helios. There will be a 3.8% increase in total with a 1.4% rise in April this year, 2.0% in April 2022 and a further 0.4 percent in November 2022. Employees will also receive a EUR 400 corona bonus (trainees EUR 100) as well as an additional day off in recognition of the extra work during the pandemic. Working hours at the eastern German Helios locations will be reduced to the western level from January 1, 2023. A care allowance of EUR 100
In February this year, the Supreme Court in the UK ruled that Uber, the driving, and delivery platform, should treat its drivers as workers and not as self-employed. This follows a trend across Europe where courts in several countries have forced digital platforms to revise the employment relationship with the workers providing their services. Platform work is changing the economic and social landscape, revolutionising the way services are delivered while raising major questions about social and labour rights.
The ver.di services union has written to MPs calling for urgent improvements to be made to the draft regulations on pay in the eldercare sector put forward jointly by the health and labour ministers. The union argues that in their current form the regulations could allow social dumping through yellow unions signing poor collective agreements with employers. Ver.di has argued that a sector collective agreement is needed and called for its agreement with the BVAP employers’ organisation to be extended to the whole sector. However, the initiative was blocked by the big non-profit employers in the
Services union ver.di coordinated demonstrations across the country on 16 June to coincide with a meeting of health ministers. In the lead up to the general election in September, the union has been determined to show members’ anger over the failure to deliver improved working conditions for health and social care employees. A survey of over 12000 workers commissioned by ver.di revealed that 78% could not imagine staying in their profession until retirement under current conditions. Almost three quarters of respondents reported excessive workloads and understaffing. The union is concerned