As the world observes Human Rights Day on December 10th, EPSU launched a new report commemorating the ten-year milestone of the Right2Water European Citizens Initiative (ECI), a groundbreaking movement that placed access to water at the forefront of the European political agenda.
The FNV trade union has negotiated a new agreement covering workers in the water sector which is now out for approval by members. It provides a 4.25% increase as of 1 January 2024, along with €50 on the full-time salary. There will be a further pay increase of 2.5% in January 2025. This marks an improvement on the employers’ previous offer and follows some extra pressure from the presentation of a workers’ petition. The new salary structure now has a minimum wage of €16 an hour – a key union target. The collective agreement runs until 1 July 2025.
A major success of 12 years campaigning of Greek water workers and the broader water and social movement as it was announced that the government will take back control of Athens and Thessaloniki Water companies.
A nationwide strike on 7 June by SIPTU members in local authority water services was averted following the decision by the government to guarantee that any workers who do not want to transfer to the new public water company, Uisce Éireann, will have all their earnings protected. The key issue for the union was to secure the guarantee in relation to workers’ allowances and overtime payments they accrue currently as part of their work. Meanwhile, INMO and other health unions have called for the extension of the temporary special leave with pay scheme for workers with COVID to be extended. The
The SIPTU trade union has announced dates for industrial action by water workers and retained (part-time) firefighters in June. Water workers currently employed by local authorities face restructuring as a new national water company is established. The dispute is over the failure of local authorities to guarantee the protection of all pay and conditions if the workers choose to remain with their local authority. The firefighters’ action is over pay and the serious staff shortages in the sector which are putting extra pressure on existing staff who often forego holidays in order to ensure cover