Waste, Health and Safety
A major survey by the ST trade union found that seven out of 10 government employees report feeling stressed at work, with many citing lack of influence at work as a contributing factor. The union found that state sector employees are more stressed than those in the labour market as a whole. Some 55% said that their workload had increased in the previous two years, with almost 30% feeling that they cannot speak up when they have too much to do. Threats and violence at work was mentioned by 34% of respondents, up from previous surveys with many saying they have not received sufficient support
An analysis for the ETUC by the European Trade Union Institute reveals that deaths at work will continue to blight Europe for almost a decade longer than previously forecast after a rise in fatal accidents in almost half of member states. The latest figures for 2019 and 2020 show that deaths at work rose in 12 countries, most notably in Italy (+285), Spain (+45) and Portugal (+27). The ETUC is calling on the EU and national governments to stop workplace deaths by backing its Zero Death at Work manifesto which calls on the European Union, member state governments and employers to commit to and
On Thursday, 6 October the EU social partners for central governments, TUNED for the trade union side and EUPAE for the employers, signed a new agreement on digitalisation with the participation of the European Commission.
A survey by the health and services union ver.di has revealed that the already high burden on employees in the emergency medical service has increased significantly since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Around 7,000 workers replied to the questionnaire with 39% saying they would change professions immediately if they had the opportunity. There are serious problems with working hours, work intensity, physical and psychological stress and risk of physical assaults. Almost all respondents reported problems balancing work and private life. Staff shortages mean that 61% of employees are (very)
On 28 September, the European Commission published its proposal to better protect workers from asbestos, by lowering the current occupational exposure limit for asbestos from 100,000 fibres per cubic meter to 10,000 fibres per cubic meter.
A survey of workers in energy, waste and water, carried out by services union ver.di, reveals widespread discontent, with many employees feeling they are insufficiently trained, overworked, health-impaired or have financial worries. Over 14,500 workers responded to the survey, highlighting a range of urgent needs that the union will aim to address. Staff shortages are creating a lot of pressure on workers and many complain about the failure of employers to offer professional training and development opportunities. With work intensity increasing there has been a dramatic rise in stress for many
The FNV trade union is warning that government funding plans for prison services will have a major negative impact on staff and inmates. A recent report by consultants PwC says that an additional €398 million is needed to adequately finance services over the next 10 years. In response the government says it does not want to invest more than €170 million and so is effectively proposing a cut of €200 million. The FNV argues that the government approach will have serious implications for work pressure and safety. The union says that there have been staff shortages and high workloads for years
The Social Employers and EPSU with the affiliate partner Nexem are pleased to annouce the launch of the FORTE Project. The project outcomes will feed into joint discussions and outputs in the framework of sectoral social dialogue in social services.
The STAL municipal service union organised a two-day strike across the FCC Environment waste group on 15-16 August. The union says that the company is refusing to negotiate on pay, claiming that its financial situation prevents it from offering a pay increase to workers. The union says that urgent action is needed to tackle low pay and the impact of inflation and wants to see a minimum monthly increase of €90, along with negotiations on better working conditions and health and safety and a consistent approach across the whole company.
Members of the STAL municipal services union took strike action on 1 August in protest at the failure of the Braval waste company to increase pay in the face of soaring inflation. The publicly-owned company provides waste services across a range of municipalities in northern Portugal. The union says that there has been no pay increase for two years and it is calling for a minimum increase of €90 for all workers. It also wants the company to abide by the collective agreement particularly in relation to career progression and wage development.
Drivers, refuse workers and street cleaners continue to take action around the country to secure pay rises as inflation eats further into purchasing power. The Unite, GMB and Unison trade unions are all involved in a dispute with Serco the private contractor used by Sandwell council near Birmingham. Workers have voted for strike action on 28 and 29 July and then on 4, 5 and 8 August. They have rejected an 8% pay offer and argue that the company can afford a higher increase having seen profits soar by 25%. Refuse workers employed by Newham council in east London are being balloted for strike