Jul. 10, 2020 Public and private sector health unions (younion, GÖD, vida and GPA-djp) have joined with the chamber of labour and chamber of doctors in a campaign - "health offensive". The aim is to achieve major change across the health and long-term care sectors and tackle some of the long-standing issues of understaffing and overwork that have been exposed by the impact of COVID-19. The unions have managed to establish a structured dialogue with the health ministry to address seven key issues - staffing, working conditions, training, career development, investment and ensuring service provision.
Jul. 10, 2020 The FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT have taken the government to task over the failure to implement a series of agreements. Around 200 FSC-CCOO activists protested outside the public services directorate on 9 July over employment, equality and, pay and other issues. The union wants action over jobs to make up some of the 43,000 that have been cut over the past 10 years. They also highlight the failure to properly implement equality plans and are calling for last year's agreement on pay to be put into effect to partially compensate for the 14% fall in purchasing power since austerity measures were in force. Staff in state museums are due to strike on 19 and 26 July over these issues. Meanwhile, the FeSP-UGT federation has highlighted the government's failure to reduce temporary employment which has risen from just under 17% to nearly 21% over the past four years but is much higher in some parts of the public services such as healthcare where it tops 46%.
Jul. 09, 2020
Statement on Covid-19 and its aftermath by EU social partners in central governments: investing in public sector staff
Social partners for central government administrations -EUPAE, on the employers’ side representing 18 EU governments and TUNED, for the trade unions led by EPSU- reached a joint statement on Covid-19 and its aftermath, following an online meeting on 26 June 2020.
Jul. 09, 2020 After a lengthy campaign of protests and industrial action, unions have secured an additional €1 billion in funding from the federal government to improve pay and conditions for health workers. €500 million will go towards the implementation of a new pay system and harmonisation of pay in the private and public sectors. Unions estimate this will mean pay increases of 5%-6%. €400 million will cover additional staff to ensure a better staff/patient ratio and 10% of this amount will contribute to improved training. €100 million is allocated to improving working conditions, including in particular more permanent contracts and more hours for part-time workers. There will also be new rights to take three consecutive weeks of annual leave, a right to training in general but also for workers' reps and other measures covering pensions and action to reduce burnout. While unions have welcomed this initiative covering services funded at federal level, campaigning continues to put pressure on the other levels of government that are responsible for other health and social services.
Jul. 07, 2020
With a public statement, 88 MEPs from 6 political groups express their support to the letter that EPSU, AGE and EDF sent on 1 July urging the European Parliament to establish in inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 in long term care facilities across Europe.
Jul. 07, 2020
The European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospitals and Healthcare sector shared its view with MEP Cristian-Silviu BUŞOI on the draft report on the proposed EU4Health programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jul. 06, 2020
ETUC Executive Committee discussed Minimum Wage, Digital Agenda and violation of information and consultation rights
The main debate in the ETUC Executive was about the response of the ETUC to the 2nd consultation of the European Commission on addressing the challenges for fair minimum wages.
Jul. 01, 2020 The FBU firefighters' union has expressed disappointment that the employers' organisation has failed to provide a response to the union's pay claim that was submitted in early June. The union is looking for an immediate and substantial increase in pay to take account of 10 years of pay freezes and below-inflation increases. Meanwhile, the main civil service union, PCS, has launched a campaign on pay with the aim also of securing a pay increase that will begin to restore pay levels after a similar period when pay has been frozen or kept inflation.
Jul. 01, 2020 The vida trade union has criticised employers in private health institutions for unilaterally postponing negotiations until September. The union argues that this leaves workers paying the price and that rather than COVID-19 being used as an excuse for suspending negotiations it should be a good reason for a quick settlement to compensate for inflation and with an increased allowance for dangerous work. There have been actions around the country on the issue and the union will be looking for workers to put more pressure on employers to resume negotiations.
Jul. 01, 2020 The Kommunal municipal services union has been successful in its call for an investigation of the Work Environment Authority (WEA) (see EPSU CB News No.9, May 2020). The union made the application to the parliamentary ombudsman on the basis that the WEA had failed to fully address issues related to the inadequate provision of personal protective equipment (PPE). The union argued that the authority had consulted more with employers than the union. Meanwhile Kommunal has also been successful in getting changes to the Public Health Agency's guidance on PPE use in social care, making clear that workers should have the right to face masks and visors rather than relying on local risk assessments to determine usage.
Jul. 01, 2020 The BDDSz childcare workers' union has launched a photo campaign to highlight the failure of many workplaces in the sector to provide appropriate workplace clothing for employees. The union points out that this is a legal duty and all the more important during the current COVID-19 pandemic. According to the union some 40% of institutions are failing to abide by the law, rising to 70% of those involved in child protection.