The FOA public services union has warned the Vikapleje private eldercare company that it will face strike action from 15 June unless it ensures that its employees are paid in line with the municipal agreement. The company provides services for the Halsnæs municipality north west of Copenhagen and FOA has been trying for some time to negotiate an agreement with the company along the lines of those it has with many other private companies. The union estimates that Vikaplege is costing workers as much as DKK 90000 (EUR 12000) a year in lower pay and pension benefits.
Remunicipalisation, Privatisation, Denmark
It has taken three and a half years and legal action by the FOA public service union to ensure that care workers finally get the money they owed from their employer, Kaerkommen, which went bust in 2015. The 77 workers were owed around DK 12 million (EUR 1.6m) in pay and holiday allowance but the public authorities - municipalities on the one-hand and the wage guarantee fund on the other - refused to take responsibility for the compensation. The court ruled that the wage guarantee fund should pay up and the employment minister has now drafted new legislation to cover such cases and ensure that
(May 2017) Around 200 workers and the 1100 people they provide care for are the latest victims of private care company bankruptices. The collapse of Hjemmehjælpen Aarhus, the largest private care company in Aarhus, Denmark's second city, is the third private care company bankruptcy in May and the 41st since 2013 when a new tendering system was introduced. The FOA public service union is calling for a change to the system with requirements to monitor professional and management skills, company finances and to protect working conditions.
(March 2017) The FOA public services union has called for action to stop low cost bids for social care contracts require quality provision in the tenders. The union reports one recent example where municipalities have chosen a bid from a private company that involves DKK 10,000 less spending per client. The union argues that the situation has lead to bankruptcies as companies realise they can't meet the contract. This impacts on workers' jobs and is a challenge for FOA to ensure private companies sign up to the sector collective agreement.