Jul. 27, 2020 Around 900000 out of the total of 4.4 million public sector workers will see pay increases this year of between 2% and 3.1%. This is ahead of the current inflation rate of 0.8%. While unions have welcomed the increases they have highlighted the fact that many workers have lost out after 10 years of pay freezes or below-inflation rises. The latest pay increases cover the armed forces, judiciary and senior civil servants (2%), police and prison staff in England and Wales (2.5%), doctors and dentists (2.8%) and teachers in England (3.1%). Health unions have called for early negotiations for the next pay increase which is due in 2021 while most social care workers are excluded as they are employed by private companies. Workers in local government are currently voting on whether to accept a 2.75% increase. Unions fear that the government is already looking for more pay restraint in future negotiations.
Jul. 27, 2020 The FeSP-UGT and FSC-CCOO public service federations continue to push the government to honour key agreements and commitments some of which date back to 2016. Above all the unions want to see the main agreement (IV) covering state administration workers fully implemented, including a new pay structure. The delay since March 2019 means that workers are already owed anything from €670 to over €2100, depending on their grade. The unions are concerned about the government stalling on this and also saying that any pay increase this year is dependent on the budget for 2021. There are other outstanding issues including the drafting and implementing of equality plans and action on recruitment and promotion. The FSC-CCOO has been organising social media campaigns and protests with a demonstration outside the public service ministry set for 30 July.
Jul. 10, 2020 Workers in public libraries are set to get a 5% pay increase in a new collective agreement running from 1 July 2020 to 1 July 2021. A 3% pay rise will be backdated to 1 January and a further 2% increase will follow in January 2021. There will also be an overtime bonus for part-time workers, abolition of youth pay rates and limits on use of temporary contracts. However, the additional payment for Sunday work will be reduced and unions are unhappy about limited notice of rosters. Meanwhile unions have rejected a pay offer for central government workers arguing that a 0.7% pay increase and € 225 lump sum payment are inadequate recognition of the services provided by workers, particularly in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
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. 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 Unions organising in state administration in both Spain and Portugal have raised serious concerns about the approach to telework and particularly governments taking the opportunity to regularise arrangements that were only adopted on an emergency basis. While there is recognition of the potential benefits to work-life balance, unions argue that fundamental issues need to be addressed through collective bargaining in relation to working time, the right to disconnect, provision of equipment, health and safety, training, contact with the workplace and the voluntary nature of the decision to telework.
Jul. 01, 2020 FP-CGIL, CISL-FP and other unions that organise workers in the INPS social security service are mobilising members in protest at the Institute's failure to abide by a return-to-work agreement signed on 3 June. The unions argue that management pushed for reopening all offices on 1 July without taking the agreed health and safety precautions to protect both workers and service users. The unions also say that the Institute has failed to recognise the efforts put in by workers to maintain services while offices were closed to the public. Unions are organising workplace meetings across the service.
Jun. 30, 2020 The FNV trade union reports that all care staff will get a bonus of EUR 1000 net in recognition of their work in coping with the COVID-19 virus. The payment will go to a very broad range of those involved in care across nursing homes, hospitals, ambulance services, disability and rehabilitation services, community and youth care and mental health. Nurses, care workers, cleaners and support staff will all get the payment. The union says that it hopes this will set the scene for negotiations in the autumn to deliver better terms and conditions for care workers and help address staff shortages. Meanwhile, there has been no progress yet with negotiations in central government where the collective agreement expires on 1 July. The next round of bargaining takes place on 6 July.
Jun. 26, 2020 The ver.di services union has given notice of the end of the current agreement covering 2.3 million workers in federal and municipal government on 31 August. This confirms that negotiations will get underway and the union is looking for an appropriate pay increase to recognise the hard work done by its members particularly during the current crisis. At a meeting with employers earlier this month there had been a discussion about the possibility of postponing bargaining until next year and giving all workers a lump sum payment this year as an interim measure. However, the union says the employers are taking a tough line. From 6 July there will be discussions across workplaces about the main bargaining aims which will be finalised at a meeting of the collective bargaining committee on 25 August.
Jun. 17, 2020 The FeSP-UGT public service federation has sent a number of key demands to the public service ministry for a new agreement covering public sector workers. The union wants action on improving employment conditions and reducing precarious employment but also has a number of specific proposals on telework, noting that the estimated impact of COVID-19 has been an increase from 26,000 to more than 450,000 public employees doing telework. Among the key demands are action to balance security and flexibility with increased productivity; voluntary nature of telework; equality of rights with other workers; privacy, confidentiality, risk prevention, training and information; health and safety; working time and consultation. Meanwhile, the FSC-CCOO federation has denounced the fact that, more than a year after the entry into force of agreement covering 40000 workers in state administration, the government is refusing to increase salaries and the payment of accumulated pay arrears amounting to some 35 million euros. There is also a failure to establish new professional classification system. The union has called for an immediate confirmation of funding for the pay increase and says it will consider protests and mobilisation after crisis if this is not addressed.
Jun. 15, 2020 Trade unions in the public sector have written to the government, parliament and public sector employers to call for more staff, better pay and conditions and support for quality services - a new direction for the public sector rather than the austerity measures that are already being hinted at. Meanwhile, as hospitals gradually return to normal, the FNV has underlined the importance of ensuring that the collective agreement is properly applied in terms of working time, on-call, rest time and annual leave. The union has also a negotiated a pay deal in social employment services where workers will get 3.2% over two years.
Jun. 05, 2020 Trade unions, including FNV and NU'91, have agreed a set of guidelines on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in nursing homes and those providing home care. This comes after union concern that existing guidance was unclear and created to confusion at the workplace. The unions and employers are also working together to ensure that there is sufficient PPE available not just to ensure that the guidance is applied in practice but also to provide for those workers who ask for PPE in other circumstances. Meanwhile in the central government sector negotiations on a new collective agreement are due to start on 11 June having been postponed from March. The current agreement will continue to apply even beyond its 1 July expiry date.
Jun. 05, 2020 After four rounds of negotiations it was agreed that two pay rises of 2% foreseen for this year would be postponed and paid in January 2021. The existing collective agreement provided for the pay increases along with increases in other allowances and the Christmas bonus and the government had initially wanted to freeze all pay and allowances. However, the postponement was agreed and other allowances will be increased while the Christmas bonus will be negotiated later in the year.
Jun. 04, 2020 The public service federations of the CCOO and UGT confederations have called on the government to negotiate a new agreement for public employees that will include provisions that allow for the recovery of rights, wages and employment that were cut as a result of austerity measures after the last crisis. The current agreement was signed in March 2018 and expires this year. The federations have three main priorities: the defence of public services; an increase in public employment, including a reduction of the rate of temporary employment and ending the restrictions on replacement of staff who leave; and continued steps to recover purchasing power and labour rights.