Nov. 07, 2019 Unions in the health sector, including Fagforbundet, YS and unions represented by LO-Stat, are celebrating a positive ruling by the National Wages Board. The ruling means that pensions will now be based on all earnings which ensures that part-time workers will be entitled to pensions for the first time. The Board also endorsed the pay rise that ensures that all workers benefit from an increase already agreed for nursing staff. The unions' strike action had been brought to a halt in the summer when the government claimed it posed a threat to health and referred the matter to the National Wages Board.
Nov. 07, 2019 Members of the PCS civil service union are continuing their long-running campaign for union recognition at the Interserve outsourcing company which provides maintenance and cleaning services at the Foreign Office. Four further days of strike action were planned for 7, 8, 11 and 12 November. Meanwhile members of the UNISON public service union are planning two days of strike action at three hospitals run by the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. Around 1000 cleaners, caterers, porters, security and estates staff are threatened with outsourcing as part of a national trend in the health sector to set up wholly-owned subsidiaries. UNISON is campaigning against the initiative.
Nov. 07, 2019 The CCOO-Sanidad health federation organised a national mobilisation on 6 November to put pressure on the national health service to deliver on reforming the pay system that covers around 500,000 workers. The union wants to see major changes in the pay structure on the basis of a professional qualification framework that recognises the skills and competences of a wide range of occupations. It argues that this is necessary to establish appropriate salary levels that should provide higher pay for many health workers.
Nov. 07, 2019 Following the national protests and strike action on 8 and 15 October, health and social care trade unions are building for the next national day of action on 14 November. The unions are calling for increased funding for health and social services and measures to increase staffing and improve the pay and conditions of workers in the sectors. On the same day unions representing workers in the finance ministry and customs will be protesting over plans for major restructuring that poses a threat to jobs and services.
Nov. 07, 2019 Following protest actions on 5 November, health and social care workers in the Vaud canton (region) are planning a strike on 5 December to ensure that all workers in all sectors covered by the regional health collective agreement get a pay rise and benefit from an increased minimum wage. The unions, including the ssp/vpod public services union, are concerned that the employers want to restrict pay increases to certain occupations.
Nov. 06, 2019 Public service unions younion and GÖD have taken part in the first two rounds of bargaining in the annual pay negotiations. The key data for the negotiations were agreed as an inflation rate of 1.7% and economic growth of 1.5%-1.7%. The unions are looking for a clear increase in purchasing power for all public sector workers along with recognition of the staffing situation with concerns around workers facing heavy workloads and precarious employment conditions. The employers made no pay offer in the second bargaining round on 5 November. The next negotiations take place on 15 November.
Nov. 05, 2019 Health unions FNV and NU'91 report that very high levels of support are building for the first ever national hospital strike set for 20 November. The unions initially expected action to be organised in around half of hospitals and clinics but the level of anger among workers means that strike action in non-urgent services is being planned in over 90% of institutions. The unions are looking for a 5% pay increase for 2019 and additional payments for workers who are called in to work at short notice (see EPSU Collective Bargaining News 20, October).
Nov. 05, 2019 Workers at the Schildautal hospital in Seesen in Lower Saxony are continuing their strike action to secure a collective agreement despite management's aggressive anti-strike measures (see EPSU Collective Bargaining News 19, October). Public services union ver.di has condemned the hospital owners, Askeplios, for failing to agree a minimum service agreement, threatening workers with the sack and offering strike-breaking bonuses. Further action was taken on 1 November despite the employer's intimidation and on the basis of the union's own proposal for minimum service.
Oct. 24, 2019 Health and social care unions from all three trade union confederations took strike action on 24 October to put pressure on the employers to resolve issues in the non-profit sector negotiations. Trade unions are particularly concerned to resolve problems around stability and predictability of working hours and contracts, right to annual leave, action to tackle burn-out and training. The unions say that most private hospitals were affected with action also taking place in the social care sector.
Oct. 24, 2019 The public services union UNISON has secured a major victory for around 900 outsourced security and cleaning workers at University College, London. The workers will soon see their holiday entitlement aligned with that of directly employed workers while pay, overtime, sickness and pension benefits will be brought into line by the autumn of 2021. Meanwhile the union is continuing its campaign to get better pay for outsourced workers employed by the Compass multinational at two hospitals in North West England. The minimum hourly rate for these workers is only GBP 8.21 (EUR 9.50 - the national minimum wage) while the minimum for directly employed staff is GBP 9.03 (EUR 10.50).
Oct. 24, 2019 Trade unions representing firefighters and health and social care workers mobilised across the country on 15 October as part of their continuing campaigns to defend jobs and services. The joint protests called for an end to privatisation, more funding for services and increased pay as proper recognition of the hardship and risks involved in these vital areas of public service. Further action is planned for 14 November.
Oct. 24, 2019 Around 5000 health workers joined a national demonstration in Sofia on 7 October to call for higher pay and more training to help prevent the loss of more staff from the sector. Following the protest a delegation met the health minister who committed an extra BGN 200m (EUR 102m) to the 2020 budget, three quarters of which would go to fund salary increases. The CITUB confederation said that this would help ensure salaries met a target of BGN 900-950 (EUR 460-485) for nurses and BGN 1100-1200 (EUR 560-615) for doctors.