Nov. 23, 2018 Industrial action across the public and private sectors forced the government to revise its proposal to make it easier to dismiss workers in small companies. Unions were angry not just about the change but also about the fact that the government hadn't consulted unions and employers over the proposal. Following the union action there were tripartite discussions and the draft law now has no minimum threshold for dismissal rights. While most unions accept the specific change, the TEHY health union is still concerned about the overall balance of the bill and the impact on sectors dominated by women.
Nov. 02, 2018 Public and private sector trade unions have suspended their industrial action in protest at planned changes to dismissal legislation following a commitment from the government to negotiate. The proposed changes would have made it easier to sack workers in small firms. Unions were objecting to the discriminatory provisions and to the failure to negotiate. The unions have only suspended the action and may restart it if the government doesn't undertake proper tripartite negotiations.
Oct. 31, 2018
Local and regional government workers across Europe and the globe provide essential public services which enable our cities and communities to prosper. Their working conditions, pay, and job security are closely interlinked with the quality and accessibility of services they provide – deficiencies in the former have a detrimental impact on the latter.
Oct. 25, 2018 The JHL public services union stepped up its industrial action against proposed changes in dismissal rights with a 48-hour strike by around 10000 members who work in cleaning, property maintenance and food service sectors and sports and culture services. The strike is part of widespread trade union industrial action against plans to reduce dismissal protection for workers in small companies. The unions argue that not only is the change unfair, creating two-tier labour law but also threatens to impact women workers more than men. Trade unions are also angry that the government is trying to change employment legislation without any negotiation or consultation with the union movement.
Sep. 14, 2018 The JHL public services union has warned that it will start a campaign of industrial action if the government goes ahead with plans to change the law on dismissal. The union leadership agreed that it would consider action short of a strike (such as an overtime ban) and even targeted strike action. The government is working on proposals that would make it easier to dismiss workers in companies with fewer than 20 employees which would cover 36% of all employees. JHL says that Finnish law is not restrictive by international standards and the government is pushing for the change even though there is no evidence that such a measure would have a positive effect on employment.
Sep. 13, 2018 The SIPTU general workers' union has welcomed new government intiatives on funding and regulation of the childcare sector which it believes will help improve children's safety and the quality of care. However, the union argues that urgent action is needed to tackle low pay and precarious employment in the sector. SIPTU says with average pay at only EUR 10.88 an hour, there are significant recruitment and retention problems as reflected in a staff turnover rate of just over 28%.The union wants to see a major overhaul of funding for the sector to provide the basis of decent pay for such undervalued workers.
Aug. 31, 2018 The three main unions representing health workers - FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and UIL-FPL - have issued a joint call demanding urgent action to tackle doctor shortages across the health service. The three federations are particularly concerned about precarious employment, the need for more specialists and for a recruitment plan for doctors to be put in place as soon as possible. They made their case at a meeting with the Ministry of Health on 30 August where they highlighted the impact of austerity and recruitment freezes which have impacted emergency services above all. The unions have warned for many years about the impact of doctor shortages and want to see a boost to recruitment of permanent staff and increases to both specialist and general medical training.
Aug. 30, 2018 More workers have come forward to join legal action against the Aleris care company following revelations about employment and working conditions made earlier this month (see epsucob@NEWS 16). Public service union Fagforbundet says that the company is avoiding its social, employment and tax obligations by taking workers on as self-employed "consultants" rather than employees. The union has taken this up with the authorities and a further eight workers have joined the 17 who were already involved in legal action. Some of these workers have been summarily dismissed or are given excessive hours or shifts that are impossible to cover. Revelations from one worker even accuse the company of putting him under pressure to get drugs for residents.
Aug. 16, 2018 The SIPTU services union has negotiated an agreement that could provide significant improvements to the pay and conditions of around 8000 home care workers employed in the community sector. The workers will have a guarantee that travel time will be include in the calculation of their pay and working time and the new deal should see them benefit from a proper valuation of their work, with minimum qualifications to be set for new workers and an end to precarious work. This will help bring the sector more line with the pay and conditions enjoyed by workers directly employed by the Health Service Executive. The union is also keen to ensure that there is an overall increase in hours of home care provision to benefit service users.
Aug. 16, 2018 The Fagforbundet trade union has reported the Aleris Ungplan and Boi private care company to the authorities for possible breaches of labour, health and safety, tax and even criminal law. The union has taken up cases for a number of workers who have been denied their rights on pay, sick pay and pensions and forced to work excessive hours. The cases mainly involve workers who were taken on as "consultants" rather than employees so that the company could avoid paying pension, sickness and other costs. The company is a subsidiary of a major private sector health and social care provider, Aleris, and Fagforbundet says this is one of the worst cases of social dumping in the welfare sector it has seen and also wants action by regional government which is responsible for health and social care provision.
Aug. 01, 2018 The FP-CGIL trade union federation has met with public administration minister Giulia Bongiorno to set out four urgent priorities for action. These involve tackling precarious employment, increasing employment, negotiating the next collective agreement that will cover the years 2019-2021 and ensuring increased investment in staff training. The union argues that it is not enough to simply end the freeze on recruitment as more needs to be done to boost employment or run the risk of a further decline in the quality of services. FP-CGIL also wants a limit on health spending lifted to allow for extra staffing and a guarantee that the upcoming budget will include provisions to cover the costs related to any new collective agreement.
Jul. 05, 2018
Tackling gender segregation, low pay and (un)equal opportunities through collective bargaining and inclusive public services
Low pay in female dominated sectors, gender-differences in precarious employment, uneven distribution of unpaid care work, persistent pay gap
May. 03, 2018 The three main public service federations took strike action on 30 April in protest at proposals for significant reductions to civil service employment rights and benefits. In a major cost-cutting reform plan the government wants to employ more workers on contracts, including temporary contracts, and reduce the number of civil servants on statutory conditions to a minimum. It is also looking to cut holiday entitlement and reduce certain sickness and pension benefits.
May. 02, 2018 The public service federations in the CCOO and UGT confederations organised a joint demonstration on 26 April to coincide with the parliamentary debate over the government's proposed budget. The unions are calling for a flat-rate increase of EUR 200 for all workers in public administration plus a further EUR 100 linked to pay grades. The unions are aiming for a minimum wage of EUR 1200 a month and steps towards restoring purchasing power for all workers in public administration. The unions are demanding more and better jobs but recent official statistics analysed by the FSC-CCOO federation show that there is still a major problem with temporary work. In the latest quarter 68.8% of jobs created were fixed-term, leading to an increase in the overall proportion of fixed-term contracts from 23.1% to 24.5%.
Apr. 19, 2018 Workers in the Aguas de Portugal water company have been meeting across the country to ensure strong support for the strike action planned for 24 April. The action is over a number of major issues including low pay, career development, working time and reasserting the right to collective bargaining. Local government union STAL says that pay levels for some workers are intolerable with some on rates as low as EUR 586 a month and about 700 workers on less than EUR 750 a month. The union wants to see an end to precarious contracts, an equalisation of rights to various allowances etc. across the company and implementation of a standard seven-hour day and 35-hour week.