2019 June epsucob@NEWS 12
IN THIS ISSUE
- France: Nine trade union organisations coordinate demands on jobs and pay
- Belgium: Union organises regular actions over workloads and working conditions
- Ireland: Health workers strike as talks resume
- Portugal: Health union plans 24-hour strike over failure to implement agreement
- Spain: Union secures first collective agreement for health researchers
- Italy: Ministry of Justice workers to strike
- UK: Outsourced workers continue action over living wage
- Europe: ILO agrees new convention to tackle violence and harassment at work
- Europe: Global report highlights worsening rights for European workers
- Europe: Survey finds increasing real wage growth across Europe
- Netherlands: Approval for pensions agreement
- France: Health unions take action over pay, jobs and services
- Israel: Action planned against pensions cut
- Europe: Latest collective bargaining news across all sectors in Europe
Jun. 20, 2019 A survey of European wage developments by the Hans Böckler research organisation finds an upward trend since 2017, with the highest increases recorded in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Overall real wage increases across Europe averaged 0.9% in 2018, twice the level of 2017 and the figure so far for the current year is at 1.0%. The median increase in the 11 countries of North and West Europe was 0.6% in 2018, rising to 1.1% so far this year, contrasting with the higher figures for CEE countries of 5.2% in 2018 and 3.7% in 2019. The six countries in Southern Europe registered lower increases - a median of 0.2% in 2018 and 1.0% so far in 2019.
Jun. 20, 2019 The latest issue of the Collective Bargaining Newsletter produced by the European Trade Union Institute includes over 70 articles covering developments in over 30 countries. Among the more interesting this month are moves to a four-day week in Austria, action by outsourced workers in Cyprus, strikes by ambulance staff in Ireland, action by nursery workers in Spain and pay offers from Glasgow City Council in Scotland to resolve the equal pay dispute there.
Jun. 20, 2019 The CNE trade union is organising a series of weekly actions in the health and care sector to raise awareness of the serious problems relating to workloads and poor working conditions in hospitals and other care institutions. The union is coming up with a range of inventive actions on each "white-shirt" Tuesday to highlight the demands of workers to make the sector more attractive. The third Tuesday (18 June) focused on care homes and the poor pay and working conditions of care workers, particularly in home run by multinational companies.
Jun. 20, 2019 The SINTAP public services union has organised a 24-hour strike in public hospitals for 28 June. The dispute is over the failure of the employers to implement the collective agreement negotiated a year ago covering workers on individual contracts, the main aim of which was to bring them in line with public employees. The main demands of the strike include: unfreezing career progression for all workers; creation of a career as an auxiliary health technician; wage increases for all workers; increased staffing; the payment of unpaid overtime hours and the creation of a single employment contract. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Jun. 21, 2019 The Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp and Uil Pa public service trade unions are organising strike action in the Ministry of Justice on 28 June. The unions say that the action is necessary to force the government to act to address massive staff shortages. By 2021 the Ministry will face a 50% staff shortfall, compounded by an ageing workforce. The unions also say that the situation is not helped by the fact that justice workers are among the worst paid in the public sector.
Jun. 21, 2019 The Histadrut trade union organisation is planning to call a strike of teachers, government workers and health employees if the government goes ahead with a plan to cut pension payments. Hundreds of thousands of workers could be affected by the proposed cut of 1.259%. Histadrut has called for a six-month delay but this has not been granted and the union expects that the strike action will go ahead.
Jun. 21, 2019 Members of the FNV trade union voted 73% in favour of a new pensions agreement that slows down the increase in retirement age and allows for faster indexation of pensions. The retirement age will be set at 66 and four months and will rise more slowly. The agreement also takes account of the need for early retirement for arduous work and provides opportunities for the self-employed to access the scheme.
Jun. 21, 2019 On 11 June the CGT, FO and SUD federations in the health and social services sector organised a day of action with a series of urgent demands for the government. The key demands included a stop to all job cuts and cuts to services, beds and institutions. The unions also want extra funding, additional staffing, provision for training for emergency services, higher pay and assurances of a one-to-one staffing ratio in care homes.
Jun. 21, 2019 The latest report on global trade union rights from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reveals a deterioration of workers’ rights across the world. The greatest increase in cases where workers were denied the right to establish or join a trade union was experienced in Europe where 50% of countries now exclude groups of workers, up from 20% in 2018. The report also highlights the fact that “Europe, traditionally the mainstay of collective bargaining rights, saw companies in Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain seek to undermine or circumvent workers’ rights.”
Jun. 21, 2019 Employees of the multinational contractors Aramark and ISS are continuing their strike action at the head office of the government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in London. The latest five-day action by catering, cleaning, security and portering staff is to put pressure on both the contractors and the government department to pay the £10.55 an hour (EUR 11.55) living wage for London. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Jun. 21, 2019 Nine public service federations - CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA, FSU, Solidaires, FA-FP, CFE-CGC and CFTC - are continuing to work together in their campaign to defend jobs and services across the public sector and secure better pay and conditions for public sector workers. They are planning to rally outside the ministries of finance and public services at midday on 27 June, a few days before a meeting on pay planned for 2 July where the unions will be calling for salaries that recognise the work, skills, qualifications and commitment of public service workers.
Jun. 27, 2019 Around 10000 health workers took 24-hour strike action on 26 June to put pressure on the ministry of health to act on the results of a major job evaluation exercise. Many workers - including those involved in portering, household and catering services and employed as health care assistants, maternity care assistants, laboratory aides, chefs and surgical instrument technicians - have been waiting for their job and pay to be upgraded but the government has stalled on implementing the job evaluation. The SIPTU union agreed to further talks on 26 June but said it was still preparing for further action. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Jun. 27, 2019 On the final day of its centenary conference the International Labour Organisation agreed a new Convention, the first since 2011, against violence and harassment at work. The Convention defines “violence and harassment” as behaviours, practices or threats “that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm.” The Convention covers anyone at the workplace including interns and volunteers and has a broad definition of what constitutes the workplace. There is an accompanying Recommendation which sets out how the Convention should be implemented.
Jun. 27, 2019 The health section of the CCOO confederation has made a major breakthrough by negotiating the first collective agreement covering researchers working for the biomedical research foundations of the Madrid health service. Around 1200 researchers will be covered by the agreement which will link their salaries to the pay structure of the Madrid health service. An important element of the agreement will be tackling the excessive use of temporary contracts. Up to 90% of the researchers are on temporary contracts and around a third of contracts are thought by the union to be illegal.