(January 2017) The European Trade Union Institute has launched a new online service that will monitor developments in labour markets, pension reforms and strike activities as well as changes to legislation on industrial action. The Reforms Watch information service includes country files and will be updated through regular news reports. This is also linked to existing information on collective bargaining and industrial relations.
(May 2017) Trade unions representing childcare workers in the private sector have negotiated a new pay agreement which is in line with the municipal sector. Overall worth about 2.4% the agreement includes a 2% increase on minimum rates taking the lowest pay rate to NOK 295900 a year (around EUR 31650). The agreement covers over 26000 workers in more than 1700 workplaces. Meanwhile a strike over pensions in the Akasia group of kindergartens went into its fourth week at the end of May with more workers joining the strike. Equality of pension provision for men and women is a key demand.
(May 2017) Public service trade unions have had a series of meetings with the new minister of public accounts, Gérald Darminin, with some already unhappy that his remit is not broad responsibility for the public services. The unions have a number of major concerns including the need for a pay rise, particularly for the lowest paid occupations and rejection of the plans to cut 120000 civil service posts. Pensions and other working conditions were also raised in the meetings with the minister indicating that joint meetings with the unions would take place later in the year.
(May 2017) The revised labour code has been a major issue of debate in Lithuania for the last three years. The ETUI research organisation has just published a an update on this and other labour market, industral relations and pensions developments in the country. This is part of the ETUI's Reform Watch website covering all EU Member States.
The ADEDY civil service confederation along with the GSEE private sector confederation have called a general strike on 14 December in protest against the latest austerity measures proposed by the government. The unions want to see an end to pay freezes, steps towards decent pay and no reduction in tax allowances. They reject plans for further cuts to pensions and call for the creation of permanent jobs to deal with staffing shortages across the public services. The confederations also want to block any restrictions on the right to strike.
The FNV trade union has welcomed a new two-year agreement covering 7000 workers in the waste and environment sector. Pay will increase by 6% over the two years but with a EUR 900 flat-rate increase in the second year it will mean that lower paid workers will see wages rise by 7.5%. There is also a commitment to provide permanent contracts for 360 temporary workers, to reduce hours for older staff while taking on young workers and paid partner leave at the birth of a child will now be a minimum of four weeks. Private sector waste workers are covered by a separate (transport) three-year
A national strike in local government and municipal companies has been called for 27 October by the Frente Comum group of unions, including the STAL local government union. The strike is in support of improved pay and conditions with unions calling for a 4% pay rise (minimum 60 EUR a month) to start to compensate for the pay freeze since 2009. The unions also want to see the 35-hour week guaranteed for all workers. Earlier in the month unions organising in the ASAE food inspection agency took strike action over career development, working time, pensions and a range of other issues.
Firefighters in the FP CGIL public services federation have called a demonstration outside parliament on 17 October. The aim of the protest is to underline the union's pay claim in the current round of collective bargaining as well as to call for action on a number of other issues including recruitment, pensions and funding.
The CGSP/ACOD public service federation, part of the FGTB socialist confederation, organised a national strike on 10 October. The union was protesting against the austerity policies of the government, weakening of employment rights in the public sector, reduced pension entitlement and the increased threat of privatisation. The union is also objecting to plans to impose minimum service requirements when public service unions taken strike action. The union says that minimum service agreements are currently negotiated with public service employers and should not be unilaterally imposed by the
(July 2017) Firefighters are set to benefit from a new wage and pension arrangements that will see their net income protected with pension coverage to ensure there is no gap between retirement and getting the state pension. The new arrangements recognise the risks associated with the job and compensate for changes implemented in the state pensions system. Firefighters also keep their right to retire at 59. This agreement covers around 2600 firefighters in post before 2006. A deal covering all other firefighters will now be negotiated.
The European Commission has published its annual review of Employment and Social Developments which has a focus on intergenerational issues. The review notes the slow decline in unemployment but underlines that there remain major problems in some countries around youth unemployment while young workers in employment are more likely to face precarious employment conditions. At the other end of the age spectrum the Commission continues to focus on trends to higher effective retirement ages and the need, as it sees it, to increase retirement ages.
Eight years on since the renewal of the last collective agreement, the Ministry of Public Administration has confirmed the timetable for negotiations over firefighters' pay and conditions. The FP CGIL union is looking for a pay increase to recognise the professional responsibilities of firefighters with a minimum €80 a month as agreed in the initial public sector pay talks last year. The union will also be looking for improvements in pensions and ways of dealing with accidents and occupational diseases.
After lengthy negotations, services union ver.di has endorsed a new agreement with the Uniper energy company that it will put to its members over the coming weeks. Key elements of the deal are commitments to no compulsory redundancies and to an early retirement scheme, seen by ver.di as important for the company's coal-powered operations that will face restructuring. This part of the agreement will run to 2022 while the long-term pay deal will run to 2024. The union prevented the company from cutting bonuses like Christmas pay but performance pay will be ended. In 2018 workers will get a lump
The STAL and STML trade unions that represent firefighters organised a national protest in Lisbon on 3 December to challenge the government over changes to the statutes that regulate pay and conditions in the sector. The trade unions had already registered their anger with the government over its failure to negotiate with them. The government did agree to meet the unions but they rejected its proposals for change because they threatened to undermine firefighters' pay, pensions and career progression.