The government is going ahead with proposals for new working time legislation despite widespread criticism from the trade unions and even doubts expressed by employer organisations. The government wants to allow more flexibility in working time, including longer night and shift work and more local agreements on working time. The unions are worried that this is all about more worker flexibility and are concerned about the lack of provisions to ensure workers are protected. The unions also point out that this is a missed opportunity to tackle the spread of precarious work.
A new report from the health federation of the CCOO confederation covering the period 2012-2016 confirms the union's concerns over a widening gender pay and employment gap in the health sector. The report finds that women tend to have more precarious contracts with many on temporary contracts while they make up the vast majority of part-time workers and both of these contribute to the persistent gender pay gap. The union wants to see equality plans produced in any health institutions that don't yet have them and existing plans updated. Along with the CCOO, the UGT trade union has called on the
Following a meeting with the French president over the summer, ETUC general secretary Luca Visentini is to meet French labour minister Muriel Pénicaud to discuss possible revisions to the Posted Workers Directive. This is an important piece of legislation that needs revision to ensure it is more effective in protecting the pay and conditions of workers who are on temporary assignments in other EU countries. The ETUC wants to see a guarantee of same salary for the same work in the same place and full entitlement of posted workers to all pay and conditions in collective agreements. Along with
Workers employed in the Agency for International Co-operation for Development (AECID) took strike action on 8 September in protest over pay and conditions. Around 40% of staff have either left or are thinking of leaving the service because of deteriorating conditions pay frozen since 2009 and eroded by inflation and currency fluctuations. This has left some workers as much as 60% worse off in real terms. Unlike workers in other overseas departments AECID employees don't get any protection against local changes in the cost of living and this is the key demand of the strike.
In the run-up to negotiating a new collective agreement covering 80000 workers in the childcare sector, the FNV trade union has published the results of a survey that reveal excessive flexibility in working hours and too many fixed-term contracts as major issues for childcare workers. The union argues that many workers have so few set hours that they can be called on at short notice to work additional hours, creating uncertainty and stress. With the increasing demand for workers in the sector the FNV argues that these issues need to be addressed if more qualified workers are to be recruited.
The two groups of public sector unions organised in the Frente Comum and FESAP federations have agreed their main collective bargaining demands for 2018. There are several common issues with unions calling for measures to tackle precarious employment, to unblock opportunities for career progression and confirm a 35-hour week for all public sector workers. The unions want to see a pay rise in 2018 that will begin to compensate workers for the loss of purchasing power since 2009, with the Frente Comum calling for at least 4% while the FESAP demand is for at least 2.5%. The federations also want
The ETUC has welcomed the consultation with social partners on the revision of the Written Statement Directive. Trade unions and employers have until 3 November to react to the proposals to amend the Directive which sets out what information employees should be entitled to when they start work. The ETUC is pleased that the planned changes will mean that workers in general will be covered ensuring some protection for workers in the gig economy or "employed" by platform operators like Uber. The ETUC also hopes that the proposals on minimum hours and probation periods will be clarified and
Strike action and demonstrations in over 140 cities across the country were part of a successful day of action on 10 October organised by the nine public sector trade union organisations. Unions estmate that over 400000 joined the national protests involving workers right across the public services. The day of action was in protest at government plans to freeze pay again and to cut jobs. The unions are due to meet the public services minister, Gérald Darmanin, and they will then meet together on 23 October to discuss whether and when to take further action. A contingent with EPSU banners
The JHL public services union says that it will aim for a flat-rate rather than a percentage pay rise in the upcoming bargaining round as a step towards closing the pay gap between the low and high paid. Another priority for the union is more control for workers over working time and shift work, seen as crucial to improve well-being at work. JHL will also be looking at initiatives to address the cut in holiday bonus in the public sector and action on zero-hours contracts.
A new survey published by public services union Unison exposes the pressure faced by home care workers and their precarious working conditions.Three-quarters (75%) of care workers said they had too little time to provide proper care because they are too rushed, often because employers pressure them to fit in an excessive number of visits.The report also highlights the job insecurity faced by home care workers with more than half (52%) on zero hours contracts, and more than three in five (63%) not getting paid for the time it takes to travel between care visits.
The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations have called a strike on 16 October involving workers in the government's overseas services. The strike is in protest at the freezing of salaries for the 7000 workers in the service and increasingly precarious employment conditions. The unions say that the strike is necessary as there has been no response to their demands since a meeting a meeting in June and despite a number of other protests and actions so far in 2017.
Negotiations are set to begin between the European institutions over revisions to the Posted Workers Directive. European trade union organisations including the ETUC and the EFFAT and ETF sector federations, have expressed their disappointment with the outcome of the meeting of Employment Ministers on 23 October. This agreed a document that excludes road transport workers; contains insufficient safeguards on allowances; does not include a legal base to make it an instrument for the protection of workers, as opposed to only single market law; fails to recognise many types of collective
The FSC-CCOO federation has analysed new data on public sector employment and found a worrying increase in temporary contracts. While over 58000 new workers have been taken on, more than 87% of these are on fixed-term contracts and this has taken the overall percentage of temporay contracts across the public administration from 22.9% to 24.1%. The data also shows an increase in the average age across the public administration with 43.1% now 50 or over.
The FNV trade union has welcomed new data showing an increase of 56000 in the number of children benefitting from childcare places. The union says this good news has to be weighed against the main challenges facing the sector with many workers on precarious contracts, with variable hours and often facing high workloads. The union plans to raise the issues in the upcoming negotiations over a new collective agreement. The current agreement covers 80000 workers and expires in January. Negotiations are due to begin in November.
The FeSP-UGT and CCOO federations in the public sector have come together to launch a campaign to get the government to negotiate over employment in the public sector and to adjust the budget for 2018 to begin to tackle the staffing crisis. The unions point out that not only have 350000 public sector jobs been cut since 2010 but the problem is being compounded by an ageing workforce. In social security, for example, around 48% of staff are set to retire over the next 10 years. The unions also want to ensure implementation of the agreement signed earlier this year to reduce the number of