Minister backs unions' safety demands
The FNV, NU'91 and other health unions have welcomed the decision by the health minister to support their demands on personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and social care staff. The unions have been calling since March for workers to be able to decide when they need to use PPE and to have the appropriate equipment available. The unions had criticised the guidance from the RIVM public health institute which left discretion to employers and which, unions believed, had been drawn up with the scarcity of equipment in mind. The unions' approach puts this discretion in the hands of care
COVID payments boost healthworkers' pay
Latest data indicate that average salaries in healthcare across the country for the first six months of 2020 were 9% higher than for the same period in 2019.The healthworkers' union says that special payments for working with COVID-19 patients has contributed to this bearing in mind that many healthworkers would not be on full pay because of sickness or isolation measures. However, the union has made it clear to the government that there have been problems with ensuring the extra payments apply to all hours worked and that any change to the payments system has to guarantee the COVID bonus for
Unions protest over exclusion from childcare advisory council
Public services union younion joined with the GPA-djp and vida private services unions in a protest outside a meeting of the advisory council on early years education. Supported by the ÖGB confederation and Chamber of Labour, the unions expressed their disappointment that they weren't involved in the council which was set to make important recommendations that would affect the 61500 workers in the sector. The unions argue that the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of the sector and are calling for national quality standards, including staffing levels, to be introduced to end the
ETUC sets out arguments on minimum wages and collective bargaining
With the European Commission expected to publish its draft directive on fair minimum wages on 28 October, the ETUC has put together a range of documents and press releases that cover a wide range of arguments in favour of legislation on minimum wages and collective bargaining. The ETUC argues that initiatives to boost pay and strengthen collective bargaining are essential as part of the response to the pandemic and that it is crucial not to repeat the mistakes following the last crisis when collective bargaining was undermined in some countries as part of austerity measures.
Unions call for European legislation to tackle stress
The ETUC and Eurocadres - the European body representing managers and professionals - have launched a campaigned calling for EU legislation to tackle stress at work which they say is all the more important in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While increased stress was already a major concern for many trade unions, the impact of the pandemic has increased the urgency for action with workers worried about their jobs while those working from home facing new pressures that affect their mental health. Endstress.eu is the campaign website with all the key arguments for why action at European
Latest on negotiations in health and public service
22 October saw public services union ver.di involved in two major negotiations. The third round of bargaining covering municipal and federal employees was underway with ver.di underlining the importance of a decent settlement in recognition of the work carried out by public service workers during the current pandemic. The union expects the employers to continue to stress the problems facing public finance and to push for a long-term deal with small pay increases. Ver.di mobilised through warning strikes and online action in the lead up to the negotiations. Meanwhile, negotiations covering
UPDATED joint ETUFs recommendations to EWC/SE members during COVID-19
In March 2020, the European Trade Union Federations [ETUFs] published joint guidelines for EWC, SNB and SE Works Council members and coordinators on how these bodies should operate during and deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
Germany: latest agreement to boost pay in health and care
After intensive negotiations over the weekend, public services union ver.di has negotiated a new collective agreement covering 2.3 million workers in municipal and federal government with specific measures benefiting employees in health and social care.
Unions secure pay rises for 2.3 million public service workers
Ver.di and other public service unions have negotiated what is seen as respectable deal in a challenging bargaining environment that delivers a 1.4% pay rise for all workers on 1 April 2021 with a further 1.8% increase in April 2022. The agreement runs until 21 December 2022. The pay increase in 2021 is backed with a 50 Euro a month minimum which means that the lowest paid workers will see pay increase by 2.59%. Meanwhile, nursing staff will get 70 Euros a month additional payment from March 2021, rising to 120 Euros in 2022. Other payments for health and care workers include an increase in
Healthcare unions strike and demonstrate over funding and staff shortages
Nine unions representing health workers in the Basque region – ELA, SATSE, LAB, SME, UGT, CCOO, ESK, SAE and UTESE – are calling for urgent action to increase funding for healthcare and deal with staff shortages. Strikes took place on 29 October in the Araba province, on 5 November in Gipuzkoa and then on 12 November further action is due in Bizkaia. The unions say that the public health system is facing a serious situation across primary care, hospitals and mental health. Workers are physically and emotionally exhausted because of high workloads with further problems arising from high rates