A survey of workers in energy, waste and water, carried out by services union ver.di, reveals widespread discontent, with many employees feeling they are insufficiently trained, overworked, health-impaired or have financial worries. Over 14,500 workers responded to the survey, highlighting a range of urgent needs that the union will aim to address. Staff shortages are creating a lot of pressure on workers and many complain about the failure of employers to offer professional training and development opportunities. With work intensity increasing there has been a dramatic rise in stress for many
Fighting for the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers
Migration has major implications for public services not least because of the significant contribution of migrant workers to the provision of public services in many European countries. Thousands of public service employees across Europe work in areas related to migrations and asylum-seeking. Unfortunately, the European and national response to asylum-seekers has often fallen pitifully short of what should be expected from one of the wealthiest regions in the world and EPSU has been arguing hard for a change of approach, criticising the European Union’s policies which continue to focus on tightening borders, pushing back refugees and outsourcing asylum duties to third countries. EPSU, along with PSI, has also been calling for an end to privatisation and increased public investment in the public services that are vital to ensure the safe and effective integration of migrants and asylum-seekers into society. This briefing, prepared for EPSU's 2019 Congress provides some background on EPSU's activities in this area.
In contrast to the continuing challenge to get the central government to award a general pay rise to public service workers and sign a collective agreement, the SSM confederation reports that unions are having considerable success at local level. The UPOZ and SUTKOZ trade unions are negotiating collective agreements with municipalities and local utilities companies, securing the targeted pay increase of 2806 denari (€45) and even setting up new trade union organisations. Recent deals have been negotiated in Stip, Prilep and Struga.
Health workers across Portugal took strike action on 1 July over a range of issues, not least pay increases to protect purchasing power. The SINTAP trade union highlights some of the key demands that include major issues relating to careers and career development, subsistence allowances, ensuring that all workers are on the single employment contract and strengthening the National Health Service in terms of both finance and staffing. Meanwhile, members of the STAL union joined the national strike in the ADP water company that is part of a long-running campaign to win improvements to pay
The STAL local services and FIEQUIMETAL industrial trade unions are continuing their collaboration in a campaign to assert their collective bargaining rights in the Águas de Portugal water company. The latest action was in Portalegre, north east of Lisbon where the two unions protested outside the company’s local offices. The unions are demanding that the national collective agreement be properly implemented across all the company’s subsidiaries and for negotiations on wage increases in response to the recent surge in inflation.
EPSU’s Pan-European Conference on Public Utilities is back! Join us online on Tuesday, 10 May 2022 for the opening proceedings and a panel discussion on an issue that is only becoming more important: rising energy prices, and how unions can take action.
The STAL public service union and FIEQUEMETAL industrial union targeted the government in the latest stage of their long running campaign to win improvements to pay and conditions at the AdP water company. The unions were responding to the company’s claim that the government wouldn’t allow it to increase salaries by more than the 0.9% that it had already offered to the unions. The unions are pushing for a range of improvements on top of pay, including a 35-hour week, implementation of an allowance for arduous work, increased recruitment and a better career structure.
January will see further action by the STAL municipal services union and the Fiquemetal industrial union as they continue to campaign to the get the AdP water company to abide by and properly implement the collective agreement negotiated in 2018. The unions are also calling for pay increases for AdP workers and application of an allowance for arduous work. The two unions have been coordinating action and organised a joint national strike in June with a range of demands including a €90 pay increase, measures on career development and cuts to working time.
EC event on the concessions directive – first public information on the implementation of the Directive since 2014!
On 15 November the European Commission organised a stakeholder event on the functioning of the Concessions Directive adopted in 2014 and the assessment of the water exclusion.