Privatisation, Economic Policy
A long-running dispute in hospitals in North West England has been resolved with pay rises for workers employed by the outsourcing company Compass. Before the deal, Compass employees were on the national minimum wage (£8.21 per hour/EUR 9.65), while colleagues employed directly by the NHS were earning at least £9.03 (EUR 10.60). This meant Compass workers were losing out to the tune of around £1,500 (EUR 1760) a year (see EPSU CB News August 2019, 15). The agreement negotiated by UNISON and overwhelmingly supported by the workers means they’ll now receive a significant pay rise, more money for
(10 March 2020) The European Semester – the European Union’s annual process of economic and social policy coordination – has posed significant challenges for public service trade unions since its inception in 2011. The initial focus on fiscal consolidation has shifted but “fiscal responsibility” and
Public service unions have called for urgent action to address the immediate threat to jobs and the long-term issue of outsourcing in the wake of the collapse of a second major outsourcing company in two years. Interserve has around 45000 workers and government contracts worth GBP 2.1 billion (EUR 2.45 billion). Unite, the largest trade union in the company, has called for urgent talks in order to address the future of workers employed on the hundreds of contracts for cleaning, catering, facilities management and construction. Public service union Unison has called for all Interserve contracts
Verdi health and social services against commercialisation and privatisation. In solidarity with DISK President standing trial
Leading activists of Verdi in the health and social services joined European actions against the privatisation and commercialisation of health and social care.
On 1 and 2 April EPSU participated in and contributed to activities in relation to World Health Day (7 April) to fight against (more) privatisation, marketisation and commercialisation in this sector across Europe.
Unions have reacted negatively to new government proposals for economic transformation. The unions are particularly concerned about the possbility of changes to severance payments which they see as a fundamental employment right especially where workers experience widespread restructuring and precarious employment conditions. The unions are also worried about plans to give a greater role to private pensions and about possible changes to taxation. While proposals for a reduction in indirect taxation might be welcome the unions are unhappy that the measures could further reduce the contribution
Public service unions are fighting for better pay from outsourcing companies and to stop further outsourcing. Members of the PCS civil service union are continuing their long-running strike to get outsourcers Aramark and ISS to pay the living wage. They are calling on government intervention to resolve the dispute. Meanwhile health workers in Bradford in the north east are threatening an all-out strike in protest at plans to transfer them to a wholly-owned subsidiary rather than retain them as direct employees of the National Health Service.