Apr. 08, 2020 The impact of the crisis on health staff has been highlighted by public services trade unions as the evidence from the CFDT shows.Trade unions are pushing hard for more personal protective equipment and the CGT has given a formal notice of potential strike action across the public services to allow its members to take action where they feel that there is a real threat to workers and citizens. Action has already been taken in the care sector, for example, by workers at a care home in Le Havre who have been overwhelmed by the catastrophic situation there. Meanwhile, the FO trade union has launched a general legal action challenging the failure to take adequate action to address the emergency and calling on those responsible to face up to the deaths and infections that have resulted. For UNSA, its calls for increased protection, particularly for health workers, has been echoed by the independent and influential Académie Nationale de Médecine.
Apr. 08, 2020 The CCOO-Sanidad health service union has repeated its call on the government to change the protocol on discharging health workers from treatment for COVID-19 and returning to work. The union argues that the procedure should be no different to that applying to other workers and that it is essential to ensure that health workers have completely recovered from infection. It warns that pressure to get health staff back to work has contributed to the 19400 health worker infections and 13 deaths. The federation has called for medical students in the final year of their studies to be called up to provide support if there are urgent staff shortages. The union estimates that this could provide an additional 6500 doctors and 12500 nursing and other professional staff. The FeSP-UGT federation has also raised concerns about infection of health staff and continuing problems with the supply of personal protective equipment and testing.
Apr. 08, 2020 On 3 April, the main trade union confederations - Cgil, Csil and Uil - signed an agreement with the public service ministry covering the health and safety and working time of civil servants. This follows the 25 March agreement covering the safety of healthcare workers and the 19 March agreement in the waste sector. The agreement covers the role of trade unions, smart working, rules for workers who have to attend workplaces and the health and safety procedures to be followed to protect both workers and members of the public, such as closure of facilities for cleaning where there have been COVID-19 infected workers or members of the public. It also includes rules on using up annual leave and parental leave for those who cannot work, along with extra time off for those already entitled to leave to look after dependants.
Apr. 08, 2020 A short-time working agreement has been negotiated by public services union ver.di and the VKA municipal employers' organisation. While the threats of job and/or hours cuts are not affecting many public services, such as health, care, employment services and social security, others, such as sports and culture and local transport have been hit hard by closures and reduced activity. The agreement is effective from 1 April and runs until the end of the year. Most workers - those on pay grades 1-10, will get 95% of their take-home pay while those on the highest pay grade (11) will get 90%. Employers covered by the agreement will not be able to make any compulsory redundancies for the period short-time work and the following three months.
Apr. 08, 2020 The public service union ver.di and care sector employers' organisation BVAP have agreed on a EUR 1500 payment for all care workers in recognitiion of the work they have been doing during the COVID-19 crisis. The payment will be made in July and part-time workers will get a proportional amount while trainees will get EUR 900. The payment will go to all nurses, carers and assistants working in long-term and home care and the aim is to make it generally binding and so covering also any commercial and other providers who are not members of BVAP. Ver.di and the employers are in the process of negotiating a collective agreement for the sector for the first time.
Mar. 05, 2020 Trade unions have reacted angrily to the decision by the government to curtail debate over pension reforms by using a constitutional mechanism to pass legislation by ordonnance rather than the normal parliamentary process. Some unions organised demonstrations across the country at short notice to underline their continuing opposition to the reforms. Others were concerned about the method used to close down debate when there are still major issues still to be resolved, particularly in relation to pension for workers in arduous occupations.
Mar. 05, 2020 Co-ordinated international solidarity and a delegation of European and international trade union leaders have helped push the government towards revising its labour law reforms. The changes announced by the government at the end of last year would have seriously undermined trade union and employee rights and Ukrainian trade unions have been campaigning solidly against the proposals. The international delegation met a number of ministers and secured a commitment that the reforms would be revised to ensure that they are in line with International Labour Organisation conventions.
Mar. 05, 2020 The ETUC used an event in Brussels on 25 February to underline the need for legislation to end pay secrecy clauses, deliver compulsory annual pay audits and the right for workers to request gender pay information from their employers. While information helps, the ETUC also stresses that it is not enough to end inequality in pay and that a directive is needed to empower women workers and their unions to negotiate the changes needed to ensure equal pay in the workplace. Representatives of EPSU joined the action.
Mar. 05, 2020 The vpod public service union is calling on the Zürich city council to take the lead in properly regulating childcare facilities. The union is particularly concerned that for-profit providers are failing to protect children's welfare or comply with labour legislation. The Trotzphase campaigning group within the union has been campaigning for a collective agreement for the sector and a range of other measures to improve pay and conditions. Vpod says that city, regional and federal authorities have been passing the buck between them and it is now time for action.
Mar. 05, 2020 The FOA trade union highlights figures from the VIVE research organisation that show massive variations in staffing levels in eldercare establishments across the country. The staff to resident ratio at night ranges from 1:8 to 1:41, while the evening shift ratio varies from 1:2.7 to 1:11. The variation of ratios on day shifts is less dramatic but still ranges from 1:1.4 to 1:4.2. FOA argues that the varying needs of residents can't account for such variations and that in many cases homes have failed to increase staffing to cope with the higher demands of older residents with health problems. The union is calling for national standards to tackle the problem.
Mar. 05, 2020 The ETUC has revealed the latest data showing the decline in collective bargaining coverage across Europe. The ETUC has been pressing the case for action on wages and collective bargaining and set out a range of key demands and red lines in its submission to the European Commission's consultation on fair minimum wages. Figures from the University of Amsterdam show that 3.3 million fewer workers are covered by collective bargaining compared to 2000. The biggest percentage declines have been seen in Romania, Greece and Bulgaria.
Mar. 05, 2020 The UNISON, Unite and RCN health trade unions have voted to approve a new agreement on pay and staffing in Northern Ireland. The three unions were involved in various forms of industrial action at the end of last year, including the first full strike action in the RCN's history. The unions now have agreement that pay rates in Northern Ireland will be increased to be in line with those in England and measures will be discussed to increase staffing. A fourth union NIPSA did not support the pay deal but recognises that there was a majority vote in favour. In the meantime it is continuing its campaign around staffing levels, particularly in social services.
Mar. 05, 2020 The FESAP and Frente Comum federations of public sector trade unions are planning strike action on 20 March in protest at the pay increase implemented by the government which is worth only 0.3% for most workers. The FESAP federation is also planning a number of other initiatives including testimonies of individual workers about the difficulties they face as a result of the long-term pay freeze and low increases that they have suffered. These will be sent to the government. A national action is also planned for 19 March and conference on the future of the public service on 30 March.
Mar. 05, 2020 The SIPTU and Forsa trade unions organised strike action across publicly-funded (Section 39) health and social services organisations on 21 February as part of a long-running campaign to get workers' pay restored following the cuts that were implemented as part of austerity measures. Many of these workers do the same or similar jobs as directly employed public servants who have seen their pay restored. The threat of strike action lead to a deal for around 500 home care workers who suspended their action, but many other workers are continuing their campaign to try to secure an agreement.
Mar. 05, 2020 With many collective agreements now finalised in the private sector with a going rate of 3.3% over 25 months, attention is shifting to the public sector where unions are looking for higher pay deals for the lower paid and for health and care workers. TEHY and Super, the main unions representing health and social service workers are aiming for an additional 1.8% and a 10-year programme of increases above the average for the technology sector, which is seen as a key benchmark. The unions recognise that additional government funding will be needed to cover the pay increases. They also want a separate agreement to cover the 170000 health and social care workers that are currently part of the general municipal agreement.