2016 December epsucob@NEWS 16
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) Planned strike action by workers in the private healthcare sector, members of the Kommunal union, helped produce an improved offer from the employers' organisation with a new collective agreement keeping pay and conditions in line with the public sector. Following mediation Kommunal was successful in securing an 18-month agreement with a pay increase in line with general trends (SEK 700, EUR 72) and a higher payment (SEK 1200, EUR 123) to nursing assistants to address the undervaluation of the salary of this group of workers. The union and employers also agreed that full-time work would be seen as the norm in future.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) Prison staff, members of the FP-CGIL and UIL-PA federations, took part in a national demonstration on 29 November in protest at serious understaffing and assaults on staff. The unions argue that urgent action is needed to deal with dilapidated prisons and the long working hours and stress that are leading to sickness absence and additional pressures of work. They say that problems have been building up for years with cutbacks and lack of investment.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) Health unions, including the FNV, NU'91, CNV and FBZ have negotiated a new separate collective agreement for midwives that runs from April 2016 to December 2017. The agreement has been declared generally binding which means it will cover all 10000 workers in the sector. Some terms and conditions have been inherited from the nursing and care agreement which previously covered midwives. Employers and unions hope to address some of the specific demands of the sector including working time and excessive workloads. Wages will rise by 3% and there will be a higher year-end bonus and an increased allowance for irregular hours.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) A report published by the CCOO confederation details the extent to which the use of temporary contracts has increased in the public health service. With temporary jobs making up 31.6% of all jobs in the sector, this is higher than the national average and higher then the private health sector or other parts of the public sector. The report also highlights two further problems. Many temporary workers are on repeat contracts, with some 12000 on 12 contracts a year. The other problem is the length of time on temporary contracts with some workers having spent 10 years on fixed-term contracts.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) Trade unions, employers and the government are in debate over the pattern of collective bargaining in the country. The EK employers' organisation is looking to sector bargaining while the government favours sector bargaining with a cap set by the pay increase negotiated in the export sector. Trade unions prefer sector bargaining in a national framework and are discussing the implications of possible new arrangements - particularly what the export sector gap would mean for the services sector and scope for negotiating higher increases for sectors dominated by women workers.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) The public service unions GMB and Unison have welcomed a new deal that will see paramedics move up the National Health Service pay scale. The unions argue that the level of skills and responsibilities of the job justify the change. The paramedics are currently on a scale GBP 21000-28000 (EUR 24900-33200) and will move up to GBP 26000-35000 (EUR 30900-416000).
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) The FPU trade union confederation organised a national demonstration on 8 December to keep the pressure on the government as it drafts its budget for 2017. The unions have a number of demands including urgent action to tackle low pay and wage arrears. Better pensions and protection of the health service against commercialisation are also important priorities (see resolution for further details). EPSU sent a soldarity message.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) To coincide with a meeting of the EU-Georgia Association Council, trade unions have raised a wide range of concerns on social issues. In particular, unions want to see a much higher minimum wage set by law and with proper enforcement mechanisms. The current minimum wage is extremely low with no real labour inspectorate to ensure implementation.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) Services union ver.di has set out its key demands in the upcoming negotiations covering employees of regional government. The union is looking for a 6% increase but with a minimum guaranteed increase. It will also seek some changes to the pay structure to ensure that workers in social, educational and care roles keep up with their colleagues covered by the public sector agreement for federal and local government workers. The union is also seeking improvements for apprentices and a commitment to provide them with jobs once qualified.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) Public service unions are calling for improved pay and conditions and career development for nursery school workers. The unions argue that this group of workers has been neglected for too long and urgent action is need to properly recognise their skills and the pressure of work. Unions put their case to a meeting of the Higher Public Service Council for local and regional government on 14 December with some unions taking strike action and joining demonstrations.
Dec. 19, 2016 (December 2016) The public sector federations of CGIL, CSIL and UIL have welcomed the first steps towards re-establishing collective bargaining in the public sector after a seven-year freeze. The federations are looking to negotiate on more issues and ensure proper recognition of the skills and professionalism of public sector workers. Job security will also be an issue with action to deal with the spread of temporary contracts. Catching up with lost purchasing power will also be a priority with an EUR 80 increase set for the first three-year period 2016-2018.
Dec. 20, 2016 (December 2016) After the third round of negotations, public sector unions have agreed a 1.3% pay increase for 2017, implemented from 1 January. With inflation at 0.75% this means an real increase of 0.55%. The main public sector unions, GÖD and younion, are please with the outcome which they say provides a share of economic growth, estimated at 1.7%, for workers.
Dec. 20, 2016 (December 2016) The FOA public services union has launched a campaign to highlight a 100 years of unfair pay, focusing on undervalued jobs which are dominated by women. The union cites a new report, 'Gender segregation and wage differentials between women and men in the private and public sectors', which shows the extent of the pay gap between traditionally "male" jobs and traditionally "female" jobs. The union wants to see radical change and appreciation of the skills, commitment and effort required to do many jobs in the care sector.
Dec. 20, 2016 (December 2016) Public services union Fagforbundet reports that from 1 January 2017 Oslo City Council will take over the running of care homes previously run by the Norlandia company. Since the contract for the homes was outsourced workers' pay has fallen behind comparable rates in the public sector. The return to municipal control means care workers will see pay rises of 40000-50000 NOK per year (EUR 4430-5530).
Dec. 20, 2016 (December 2016) The minimum wage for childcare assistants in private sector institutions will increase by 2.3% from 1 January 2017, reports the vida services union. This will take the minimum monthly wage to EUR 1469, a further step towards the union target of EUR 1500. The rate was negotiated with the federal administration and will apply to around 5300 workers across the country.