Water workers and firefighters set strike dates
The SIPTU trade union has announced dates for industrial action by water workers and retained (part-time) firefighters in June. Water workers currently employed by local authorities face restructuring as a new national water company is established. The dispute is over the failure of local authorities to guarantee the protection of all pay and conditions if the workers choose to remain with their local authority. The firefighters’ action is over pay and the serious staff shortages in the sector which are putting extra pressure on existing staff who often forego holidays in order to ensure cover
Stop Cancer at Work welcomes new EU guidelines and list of hazardous medicinal products, but more needs to be done to protect workers
Employers, workers and Member States need to work together to raise awareness, enhance best practice and implement the guidelines and list of hazardous drugs in the workplace.
EP sets new frame to protect workers from asbestos! Now it is time for the European Commission to do the same.
(Joint Press Release) Today, the European Parliament (EP) approved the legislative report on Protecting Workers from Asbestos. The document includes measures such as a ban on encapsulating asbestos and the recognition of all asbestos related diseases.
Commission analyses reveal gaps in working time protection
European Commission reports on the Working Time Directive, published on 15 March, reveal that Member States’ legislation is generally compliant, but that some problems remain in ensuring that the legislation is having full effect, particularly across all public services.
Federations continue their campaign for statute for forest firefighters
On 28 February the FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT public service federations organised a demonstration outside the Ministry for Ecological Transition in the latest stage of their long-running campaign to secure a coherent, national statute covering the 20,000+ people who work as forest firefighters. The long-promised statute should be confirmed in the coming months but the trade unions want to keep up the pressure to ensure that there are no delays and that some of their remaining issues of concern are addressed. These include qualifications and competences covered by the statute, retirement issues
No let-up in strike action across public services
With the UK government still refusing to negotiate on pay, the RCN nursing union is planning its biggest strike action so far for 48 hours from the morning of 1 March to the morning of 3 March. It will impact 128 NHS employers across England and involve all members in workplaces with a mandate to strike. This follows the two days of strikes on 6-7 February which were already a step up from the level of action in December. In the same week ambulance workers also maintained their campaign over pay with action spread over several days involving UNISON, Unite and the GMB and with more areas voting
Firefighters’ union organises protest over pay
The SPGS firefighters’ union organised a rally on 16 February in protest at proposed changes to the public sector pay system that would adversely affect its members. A significant compression of the pay structure would leave firefighters in the bottom tenth of the grades rather than the top third as now. There are also concerns about the suspension of promotion and performance bonuses. The SPGS argues that firefighters are not being treated on an equal basis in relation to other, comparable jobs or professional groups.
Firefighters set to join public service strikes
Members of the FBU firefighters’ union have voted overwhelming for strike action and the union has given the government 10 days to respond before setting any strike dates. This means firefighters will join the widespread actions across the UK involving central government workers, nurses and ambulance staff along with education and rail workers. The PCS civil service union organised a national strike on 1 February and further targeted action is planned for later in the month. The TUC confederation also organised protests around the country on 1 February in protest at the government plans for
Firefighters vote for industrial action
Members of the SIPTU union working as retained (part-time) firefighters have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action, including strike action, in protest at the failure to address problems in relation to pay, leave and working time. The union argues that serious recruitment and retention problems are putting extra pressure on existing staff who have also seen a decline in their pay and are finding increasingly difficult to take leave. SIPTU is calling for the introduction of a structure system of pay and conditions.