07 epsucob@NEWS 1 April 2006
Apr. 01, 2006 After the threat of strike action employers in the electricity industry agreed a 4.5% pay increase for 2006. Although ahead of inflation (currently around 2%) the deal acknowledges high productivity growth of around 10%. The deal also includes a minimum monthly salary for the industry of 63,500 HUF (240 euros).
Apr. 01, 2006 At the beginning of March the council of ROTAL the main public administration union passed a resolution detailing a wide range of demands on pay, conditions and collective bargaining. It criticised the government for implementing decrees on the pay of state officials and workers in state institutions without taking account of any of the ROTAL's proposed revisions. The union is also unhappy that public sector pay has failed to keep up with inflation and government proposals to cut income tax will hit the funding of state organisations. The resolution contains a list of specific demands on collective bargaining, social dialogue, minimum wage rates across the state sector, protection against inflation and the right to strike for state workers.
Apr. 01, 2006 The ETUI-REHS trade union research centre has organised a conference on 2 and 3 May to discuss minimum wages. The debates will focus both on legal minimum wages and campaigns to increase minimum wage rates in collective agreements. There will be presentations on France, Germany, USA, the Scandanavian countries, Spain, UK, Austria, Central and Eastern Europe and Switzerland. The final panel of speakers will include EPSU president Anne-Marie Perret.Read more at > ETUI-REHS
Apr. 01, 2006 German unions in the Swedish-owned energy group Vattenfall have secured an agreement with the company that any employees affected by outsourcing will continue to be covered by the existing collective agreement. The unions, including public service union ver.di, organised a number of demonstrations across Germany and were supported by SEKO which organises in the parent company in Sweden.Read more at > EPSU
Apr. 01, 2006 Changes to hospital funding threaten to cut doctors' and nurses' pay by up to a half in some institutions. The Podkrepa trade union backed protests against the changes and is calling for a doubling of health care funding to take it from 4.4% of GDP to 8.8%.Read more at > Sofia Echo news agency
Apr. 01, 2006 A new two-year agreement covering the waste and environment sector has been agreed with a 1.25% pay increase in April of 2006 and April 2007. The agreement runs until 1 May 2007 and includes the provision for 50 work placements for the young unemployed.Read more at > ABVAKABO
Apr. 01, 2006 Public service unions continue their protests against government policy, opposing plans for privatisation and attacks on workers' pay and conditions. Trade union reps and leaders from STAL joined a demonstration outside the prime minister's residence on 29 March and further action is planned in the first half of May. The CGTP federation has organised a demonstration for 1 April in Lisbon calling for a defence of workers' rights and collective bargaining as well as maintenance of quality public services.Read more at > STALAnd at > CGTP
Apr. 01, 2006 Minister for Public Administration Jordi Sevilla has angered public service trade unions by stating in parliament that negotiations over the Basic Statute for public sector workers had been completed. All three trade union federations, CCOO, UGT and CSIF, reject this saying there is still much to negotiate. They have written to the minister saying that they will refuse to endorse any statute that is not the result of a proper process of negotation.Read more at > CCOOAnd at > UGT
Apr. 01, 2006 After lengthy negotiations civil servants and employees of the Vienna municipality have the right to switch to part-time work to help them looking after their children up to the age of seven. In the child's first four years, the parent can cut their hours by at least a quarter and up to three quarters. During the next three years the maximum working time reduction is half of normal hours. This entitlement applies to all employees and civil servants with at least three years' service.Read more at > GDG
Apr. 01, 2006 Workers at the FAS state employment and training authority have voted for strike action in protest at the employer's failure to follow consultation procedures. The union is angry that the Authority is trying to get more head office staff to relocate by linking relocation to future promotion. A two and a half hour stoppage on 5 April will be the first stage in the action. Read more at > SIPTU
Apr. 01, 2006 Nurses and a wide range of other healthworkers are to get a basic pay increase of 2.5% this year after the government agreed to recommendations from the nurses' pay review body. The pay review bodies are government appointed bodies which consult over pay and other conditions for around 40% of the public sector workforce, including nurses, doctors, senior civil servants, prison officers, teachers, the police and members of the armed forces. The government then decides whether to implement the review body recommendations. Senior civil servants will get 3.25% and continue to benefit from a long-term plan to increase their pay in line with the private sector. The Prison Officers' Association reacted angrily to the 1.6% pay increase its members were offered and reports widespread calls for strike action in protest.Read more at > UNISONRead more at > POA
Apr. 01, 2006 National intersectoral pay talks have been the main determinant of pay rises in the public sector since the late 1980s. A key sticking point in the current talks is the union demand for tighter employment legislation to prevent a race to the bottom. This follows the Irish Ferries case where only strike action and massive national protests stopped the company from sacking staff and employing mainly migrant workers on wage rates below the national minimum wage. Public services union IMPACT has listed some of the other key issues in the negotiations. On pay the unions are looking for increases based on the cost of living and productivity with preference given to low paid workers. They also want to see an increase in the minimum wage and action on the gender pay gap.Read more at > IMPACTAnd more at > IMPACT
Apr. 01, 2006 A 12,000-strong demonstration marked the latest stage in the dispute over working time in the public sector. The protesters included mainly workers from university and regional hospitals. Frank Bsirske, ver.di general secretary, told the rally that progress was likely with employers in the Saarland region. He added, however, that the union was prepared to continue strike action beyond Easter if necessary. Bsirske said that the union was ready to return to negotiations with the regional employers' organisation at any time but said that at the moment there appeared to be little prospect of this happening.Read more at > ver.diAnd at > EPSU
Apr. 01, 2006 The CPE law, which makes it possible for employers to sack young workers in their first two years of employment for no reason, has united the trade union federations and student movement. Another national day of demonstrations and strike action is planned for 4 April following the most demonstrations 28 March. The union and student organisations are calling on President Jacques Chirac to use his power to withdraw the CPE.Read the joint union communique at > CGT
Apr. 01, 2006 Local council unions reported a day of solid strike action across the country in protest at government plans to reduce benefits in the Local Government Pension Scheme. Many council offices, schools and libraries were closed and other services affected included refuse collection and transport. Administrative and other staff working for the police and fire services also took action. Unions are now planning further strikes with selected groups of workers taking several days of industrial action. There will be a rolling programme of regional strike action at the end of April and possibly further action in May if there is no response from the government.Read more at > UNISONAnd at > GMB