Sep. 24, 2020 Public service union UNISON has won a major legal victory for 10 home care workers who are set to share £100000 (EUR 109000) in compensation for underpayment of wages. The case involves the failure of private contractors to pay to cover travelling time between jobs. It could have major implications for other home care workers and UNISON is calling on the government to act to outlaw the practice. Effectively, some of the workers were being paid less than half the minimum wage by being denied payment for travel time - an essential part of their work as home care staff - with some working as long as 14 hours a day.
Sep. 24, 2020 The FNV trade union has called for compensation for employees in health and social care who have been infected with Covid-19 due to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and criticises the government for failing to take appropriate action to protect workers and citizens. From 1 April Covid-19 was recognised as an occupational disease and the FNV argues that the government should have acted immediately to ensure provision of PPE. The union is considering legal action over the issue, noting that it has repeatedly raised problems with PPE in several meetings with various ministries. The FNV also wants the government to set up a fund to provide financial compensation to all those who have become infected at work because they have been deprived of PPE and have suffered as a result.
Sep. 10, 2020 Negotiations are underway in local government and while unions are aiming for a real pay increase they are also setting their sights on improvements in other working conditions. They want more investment in competence development and training during working time. However, a key demand is for more full-time work. Around two thirds of health and social care workers and 40% of those in childcare and education work part-time. Unions argue that this does not make the sector attractive and that full-time hours are needed to deliver decent pay. They also point to the benefits to the quality of services and health and safety and particularly in the current situation the increase in infection control that would come from fewer shift changes.
Sep. 09, 2020 In anticipation of annual pay negotiations, the GÖD public service union has written to the government calling for sustained, real increases in pay and allowances for all public sector workers. The union argues that public employees have faced increasingly difficult working conditions as they have responded to the pandemic and its knock-on effects on employment and the economy by maintaining quality public services. The union points out the importance of public services to support Austria as a successful international economy and that a pay rise for the public sector would make an important contribution to domestic demand and economic recovery. The current pay agreement runs until the end of December this year and the GÖD wants a prompt start to the negotiations to ensure that pay increases apply from 1 January 2021.
Sep. 09, 2020 A survey of 1600 care workers by the FNV trade union has revealed disturbing levels of concern about safety, overwork and low pay. Some 70% of workers feel unsafe because government measures to tackle the pandemic are not properly enforced and only 25% say they have adequate personal protective equipment for a second wave. Three in four say they have a high or very high workload and 90% feel they are not appreciated by government or politicians. Seven in 10 want a structural pay increase and not a corona bonus payment. They say this is essential to make the sector more protective and address the 80000 vacancies that have occurred over the last two years. This situation is set to worsen as one in four health workers are thinking of quitting. The survey was published as part of the FNV's week of campaigning on health and social care and the impact of the pandemic.
Sep. 09, 2020 Public services union ver.di reports that the first exchange with employers in the negotiations covering 2.3 million federal and municipal workers was a disappointment. The union has set out a series of key demands with the main one being a 4.8% pay rise with a minimum increase of EUR 150 a month. While the employers responded with some positive words about the efforts of public service workers during the pandemic they didn't come up with a pay offer. In fact, they underlined the challenges facing public finances and called for a long-term deal rather than the 12-month agreement demanded by ver.di. The union has launched a photo petition to support the negotiations, the next round of which takes place on 19-20 September.
Aug. 27, 2020 Trade unions coordinated by the LO confederation have secured a NOK 975 (EUR 93) increase on monthly pay for all workers covered by the negotiations with the Spekter employers' organisation. Spekter covers major companies providing public services, particularly in health, culture and transport/infrastructure. On top of this general rise local negotiations should deliver further increases. LO Stat, the coordinating body, emphasises that the local negotiations should take account of the low pay, gender equality and the situation of skilled workers and graduates. Low pay in this context is anyone getting 90% of the average industrial wage or less. The negotiations also include initiatives focusing on sustainability and proposals to collect examples of how unions and employers are dealing with digitalisation and artificial intelligence.
Aug. 27, 2020 The FNV trade union is involved in two major campaigns. The first, running from 1-5 September, is a nationwide action across health and social care in response to COVID-19. The union wants to see proper recognition of the role played by health and social care workers and is calling for better pay and working conditions, reduced workloads and more autonomy for workers. The FNV is underlining the importance of preparing for a second wave of the pandemic and argues that action is needed to make the health and care sectors more attractive to increase recruitment. Meanwhile, the union is running a campaign and petition across local government to establish a EUR 14 an hour minimum wage. Six local authorities have already signed up and the plan is to develop the campaign over the next six months in the lead up to the general election in March next year.
Aug. 27, 2020 The collective bargaining committee of the ver.di public services union has agreed on a claim for a 4.8% pay increase (minimum EUR 150 a month) for the upcoming negotiations covering 2.3 million workers employed by the federal government and municipalities. The union is calling for appropriate recognition of the key role that many public service workers have played in response to COVID-19. Ver.di wants a 12-month agreement and demands also include a EUR 100 increase for apprentices/trainees. There are several other elements to the claim covering extension and improvement in the part-time work scheme for older workers, equalisation of working time between East and West, additional holidays and some specific issues related to the health sector, including shift work and Sunday work allowances. The first negotiations take place on 1 September.
Aug. 26, 2020 The FeSP-UGT public service federations and two federations from the CCOO confederation have joined with the Aeste and Asade employer organisations to draft an emergency plan for residential and home care services. The objective is to prevent any recurrence of the massive impact of COVID-19 on the sector both in terms of service users and workers. The unions and employers underline the role of government and the importance of increased funding, noting that the sector has seen EUR 5.9 billion worth of cuts since 2012. The joint plan emphasises the importance of applying collective agreements and securing better pay and working conditions for the 500000+ mainly women workers in the sector.
Aug. 26, 2020 In response to a new government development strategy, the OPZZ trade union confederation has emphasised the need to ensure decent pay in the public services and has expressed concern about government proposals to freeze public sector pay in 2021. OPZZ argues that current levels of pay fail to make the public sector attractive to new recruits and there are problems with fluctuating employment levels while workers face increasing responsibilities and workloads. The confederation underlines the link between quality services and quality employment and the important of effective tax, legal, health and other services as a basis for an innovative and competitive economy. It is calling for a new approach to determining public sector pay with a possible link to economic growth.
Aug. 26, 2020 Public service unions SIPTU, Forsa and INMO have been involved in protests and are calling for action to support 200 workers who have lost their jobs following the closure of three care facilities run by the Dublin Sisters of Charity. Although independent the charity received significant public funding by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the unions want the HSE to be involved in negotiations over a fair redundancy package for the workers.
Jul. 28, 2020 A new report on employment security commissioned by the Kommunal municipal services union reveals the extent of temporary and part-time work in health, social care and education. The survey found just under 240,000 workers in these sectors were on fixed-term contracts with 58% of these on the most precarious terms and conditions. Most of these workers want a permanent job. Workers in companies with fewer than 10 employees have weaker employment security and there are 10550 companies in this category operating in health and social care. While 18% of workers in public health and social care are on temporary contracts this rises to 24% in private companies. Overall part-time and fixed-term work are twice as common in health, social care and education as in the economy as a whole.