Working Time, Local government
Negotiating and campaigning on working time
After pay, working time is core collective bargaining issue but is also an important area of employment regulated by national and European legislation. EPSU has been very active in defending and calling for proper implementation of the Working Time Directive and is involved in current debates on working time. The why and how of working time reduction is a guide produced for EPSU by the European Trade Union Institute and examines long-term trends in working time, the arguments for reducing it and examples of how this has been achieved.
Members of the PCS central government union have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in over 120 areas of government activity. The average majority “yes” vote of over 86% is the highest in the union’s history. The union is calling for a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security and no cuts to redundancy terms. With no response from the government on these issues PCS has agreed an initial programme of targeted action in the ministries covering ports, borders and all areas of transport among others. Meanwhile, more health workers in range of areas including blood and transplant services
After a month of strike action, the Fagforbundet, Delta and education trade unions have been able to secure an agreement with the PBL private childcare employers’ organisation on new pension arrangements. Workers will be able to build up a lifetime contractual pension from 1 January 2025 which will be comparable to that available to municipal employees. In addition, the percentage rate paid by employees for their own occupational pension will be reduced from 3% to 2.5% per cent in 2023, then down to 2% per cent when the new scheme is established. The employer's share is increased accordingly.
A mid-term evaluation of a working time experiment in the Esbjerg municipality in South West Denmark reveals high levels of satisfaction among those compressing their hours into a four-day week according to union HK Kommunal. Some 90% of job centre employees who chose the 4-day week two years ago are very satisfied with the scheme. The experiment began in January 2021 and runs for another year with those switching to four days working 35 normal hours with two hours dedicated to improving competences. Workers remaining on the five-day week work 37 normal hours. A detailed evaluation was carried
The vpod/ssp public services trade union is mobilising its members around the country in support of action to secure higher pay. The union is organising a rally in Bern on 18 November where the regional government is proposing a pay rise of only 2% leaving workers with an effective pay cut. A day of strike action has already taken place in Geneva on 12 October and further action is planned for both 3 and 24 November. Vpod/ssp members in Fribourg are demanding a 4% pay rise in the face of the 2.3% on offer. The union is collecting signatures for a petition which will be handed in on 4 December
The annual negotiations on public sector pay began on 20 October with the younion and GÖD public sector unions endorsing the key data that will form the basis of the negotiations. As with past negotiations the agreement is to apply the inflation rate for the year to September 2022 and this is 6.9%. The other key figure agreed is the 4.75% economic growth rate for 2022. The negotiations are normally concluded before the end of the year so that the pay increase can be applied from 1 January. The union side have not yet put forward a specific demand on the level of the pay increase. The next
The SINTAP public service union has signed an agreement with the government that will see pay increase by €52.11 a month in each of the years 2023 to 2026. The agreement also includes an increase in the food allowance and a range of pay improvements for selected occupations as well as commitments on career development. Meanwhile, the STAL local government union and other unions in the Frente Comum are planning a national strike on 18 November as they believe the proposed pay increases are inadequate.
The ZSVS health union reports that an agreement covering public sector pay and other benefits for 2022 and 2023 was signed by the majority of unions on 13 October. Pay rises range between 4.5% and 8.5% and there are increases to compensation for annual leave and food allowances. As part of the agreement, the government undertakes to adopt systemic changes to the wage system by 30 June 2023, addressing issues relating to the wage gap in the lower third of the pay scale and the minimum wage. The union is continuing to negotiate on pay for health and social care workers and to close the gap with
The public sector federations in the CCOO confederation and the FeSP-UGT federation have now formally signed the new three-year agreement covering five million public sector workers. The agreement will deliver increases of 3.5% in 2022, 2.5% in 2023 and 2.0% in 2024 but with the prospect of three extra increases of 0.5% depending on inflation and growth. If the conditions for the extra increases are met this would mean salaries rising by 9.8% by the end of 2024. The FeSP-UGT has also called for a government commitment that there will be no delay in ensuring workers in mutual societies, that
Public service federations, including FSC-CCOO and FeSP-UGT, have welcomed a new three-year agreement that could deliver pay increases of more than 9% by the end of 2024. Following government imposed pay rises of only 0.9% in 2021 and initially only 2% in 2022, unions pushed the government to open negotiations and respond to the cost-of-living crisis. There will now be an additional 1.5% increase in 2022 backdated to January. In 2023 there will be an increase of 2.5% but two further increases of 0.5% will follow depending on the level of inflation and economic output. There will also be a 2.0%
The SZSVS health union reports that a new agreement covering the public sector is close to being finalised with a 4.5% pay increase due from 1 October this year. There will also be increases to the lunch allowances and some starting salaries will be moved up one pay bracket from April 2023. There will also be additional compensation ranging from €100 to €300 for the lower paid. However, several matters affecting different pay categories of health workers, that prompted a strike earlier this year, remain unresolved and firefighters are also concerned to see some occupations move up the pay
The younion and GÖD public sector trade unions have written to the government calling for the annual pay negotiations to start. The unions want the government to recognise the enormous efforts made by their members during the pandemic and the continuing challenges to maintain services in the face of staffing shortages which are likely to worsen as large numbers of workers reach retirement age. The unions are calling for a sustainable pay rise that addresses the cost-of-living crisis. Meanwhile, the vida private services union has launched its pay claim covering workers in private hospital
The public service federations in the UGT and CCOO confederations welcome the fact that their demands for public sector pay negotiations have been agreed by the government. The unions want a multiannual agreement that allows for the maintenance of purchasing power and, in particular, an increase this year on top of the 2% pay increase imposed by the government. CCOO and UGT want to see action to correct the long-term decline in purchasing power across the public sector, with foreign service personnel, for example not seeing an increase for 14 years. The unions want to ensure that the new