Five firefighters are set to receive a total of almost half a million euros in compensation following a victory in a legal case on working time supported by their union, JHL. The city of Jyväskylä will have to pay the unpaid wages and the costs incurred by the union. The Labour Court ruled unanimously that the firefighters should have been paid in full for working time for periods on standby. In a system in force between January 2004 and the end of March 2016, the firefighters were required to arrive at the fire station within five minutes of the alarm being sounded. The court ruled that five
Remunicipalisation, Local government
Bringing services back in-house
EPSU has consistently argued in favour of direct provision of public services to guarantee the quality of services and the quality of employment for workers delivering those services. Under the heading of remunicipalisation EPSU supports and promotes any initiatives to bring services back in-house where they have been privatised along with moves to have new services run by municipalities and other public authorities. EPSU is part of a network, coordinated by the Transnational Institute that has published research highlighting recent trends in remunicipalisation and insourcing.
The European and global trade union confederations (ETUC and ITUC) have written to the Romanian government to protest against the decision not to implement a pay increase for public sector workers. The letter also challenges the government on anti-union statements and threats to remove the right of trade unions to collect membership fees through check-off. EPSU also wrote to the government along similar lines in January and followed up this letter in March – with no reply received so far to either letter.
Public services union Fórsa has asked the government to open negotiations over an agreement on remote working. The union notes that there have been some positive outcomes from the recent increase in telework as a result of the pandemic, but an agreement is needed to regulate what could be a long-term shift in the organisation of work across the public sector. Fórsa has set out some key elements for the agreement which include, among others: agreed guidelines for identifying functions that can be performed remotely; fair access and the right to request remote work; right to decline remote work
Public sector unions remain angry that the government has not only failed to implement a pay rise that was set in legislation last year but also refused to engage in social dialogue. This anger has been further fed by anti-union comments from the prime minister who has challenged the independence of public sector unions, their right to collect dues by check-off and their right to protest. Unions are considering further protests. EPSU has sent letters of protest to the prime minister and raised the issue with the European Commission as the behaviour of the Romanian government clearly flies in
Public sector unions have been active in protests against the government’s refusal to abide by legislation and implement a pay increase for public sector workers. They are also challenging the government for its failure to agree to any social dialogue with the unions and are concerned about possible cuts to bonuses and holiday allowances. Health workers took action in January and other public service workers continued the protests through February and are now considering what further action to take. The Publisind federation that includes the SNPP police and prison officers’ union have also
Public sector workers will be covered by two new three-year agreements running from 1 April to the end of March 2024. The agreements covering municipal and state sector workers both have an overall value of 6.75% of the pay bill over the three years but the amounts are distributed differently. In the municipal agreement there will be a 5.02% general increase but there will be additional amounts allocated to address low pay, equal pay, recruitment and organisational issues, taking the overall increase to 5.94%. In the state sector there will be a 4.42% pay rise over the three years, with
The three main unions representing municipal workers – Unison, Unite and GMB – have put in a pay claim for an increase of at least 10% from this April. They say this will begin to redress a decade of cuts and recognise the key role played in the pandemic by school and council staff. The negotiations cover staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the claim aims to bring the lowest paid workers above £10 (EUR 11.50) per hour. This would put them above the real “living wage” of £9.50 (EUR 10.90) per hour (outside London). The unions calculate that staff working in local government
After many years of campaigning by public service unions, the government finally included provisions in the 2021 budget to ensure that public employers could pay an allowance for work that is arduous, risky or poses a threat to health. However, any decision on paying the allowance is left to local level and so unions are approaching local authorities to negotiate over the allowance. The STAL local government union is currently focusing its efforts in the Portalegre district in the east of the country where several parish councils and a municipality have already agreed on the payment. STAL is
After four rounds of bargaining the FNV trade union is still waiting for a concrete offer from the employers in the negotiations covering University Medical Centres. The union has insisted that the offer should include a pay increase for all workers, improvements to the allowance for irregular work, an objective and transparent job evaluation scheme and measures related to pensions and workloads. The FNV is encouraging its members to continue their photo action highlighting the pressure that many workers have been under during the pandemic. Meanwhile, negotiations are also underway in central
Public sector trade union federations have written to the new minister for public services to initiate negotiations for a new agreement covering public sector workers. They argue that there is a range of new and long-standing issues that need to be addressed not least increasing the workforce, creating job stability and reducing the level of temporary employment. There are also the questions of recovering lost purchasing power, improving working conditions and career and professional classification. More and better training, implementing equality plans and occupational health are among the
Public service unions have raised major concerns about the SIADAP performance management system. They reject the use of quotas and call for changes to ensure that workers have a faster and more transparent process of career development. Some unions have launched a campaign and petition calling for a total renegotiation of the system that they argue is bureaucratic and subjective. Others are looking for swift changes to the system and an end to quotas but are angry that the government has stated it will maintain quotas despite having agreed to meet unions to negotiate over SIADAP.
Public sector unions are angry that the government has issued an emergency ordinance to block a pay increase and bonus payments that are due for implementation this year. The pay rise was part of a four-stage increase that was set out in legislation passed in 2017. Unions are particularly concerned about the impact on lower paid workers as some higher paid staff are already benefiting from pay rises. Protests have been organised across the country, including pickets of key ministries. EPSU sent a letter of protest to the president and prime minister and other key people.
The mobilisation of workers in the EGF waste company on 18 December, reported in the EPSU Collective Bargaining Newsletter last month, was followed up with a 48-hour strike on 28 and 29 December. The action is part of a campaign by the STAL trade union to secure an increase in pay, payment of a supplement for risky and arduous work and a collective agreement. Meanwhile, in the public sector the SINTAP trade union has welcomed the inclusion in the 2021 state budget of provisions to allow for arduous work payments for waste and other workers in local government. However, the government has left