The ver.di services union is celebrating a major victory in Berlin where members in the health sector have been on strike for 31 days. Workers at the Charité university hospital, Vivantes clinics and their joint subsidiary, Labor Berlin, have now suspended the action, pending negotiations over new collective agreements. The key points in the new deal at the Charité hospital include more than 700 additional nursing staff to be hired over the next three years and there will be new benchmarks for staffing for specific wards such as intensive care units, operating theatres and central emergency
The government’s initial offer of a pay increase of 0.9% for public service workers for 2022 is well below the demands of the main trade unions. Trade unions in the Frente Comum federation are calling for a minimum EUR 90 a month increase from 1 January 2022 with a minimum wage set at EUR 850. The SINTAP trade union has claimed an increase of 2.5%. The unions have a range of other demands relating to meal allowances, the pay structure and career development, arduous work, precarious employment, changes to the performance management system and working time.
On 28 September workers at seven university medical centres took strike action with only emergency services being maintained. This is the biggest ever action in academic hospitals which employ around 80000 workers. The FNV and CNV trade unions have rejected the employers’ latest offer which would have meant only a 1% pay rise and EUR 750 lump sum in a three-year agreement. They are calling for a 3% pay increase for each year and a minimum increase of EUR 75 a month as well as urgent action on workloads. The unions argue that excessive workloads are creating problems with increasing sickness
Consultations by health unions have revealed overwhelming majorities in favour of rejecting the 3% pay offer from the government that would cover National Health Service workers across England and Wales. Over eight in 10 and even nine in 10 in some unions were opposed to the deal with several unions also indicating that a majority of their members were in favour of some form of industrial action. The 3% offer is below the current inflation rate and well below the 12%-15% pay increases being demanded by some of the unions. With a staffing shortage of 100000, the unions are calling on the
Unions representing healthcare workers have called for immediate talks with the Health Services Executive to discuss how to recognise healthcare workers’ efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. SIPTU, Fórsa, and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation raised the issue at the Labour Court, which acknowledged the extraordinary efforts of health staff and called on all parties to begin “effective engagement” to resolve the matter. In line with practice in several other European countries, the unions are looking for a bonus, pay addition or extra leave.
After 10 weeks of action, the strike coordinated by the DSR nurses’ union was brought to an end by government intervention. This means that a recommendation by the conciliation commission will be imposed even though it had been rejected by a large majority of DSR members. The union argues that the government is deaf to the long-standing demands of nurses over the unfair pay structure in the public sector. Some nurses have continued to take unofficial action despite the imposition of a settlement and the threat of fines if they continue. The union says that the focus now shifts to the work of