2018 April epsucob@NEWS 08
Issue 8, April 2018
- Germany: Best negotiating result for many years for federal and municipal workers
- France: Public sector unions plan further action on 22 May
- Romania: Health union steps up campaign over pay and bonuses
- Portugal: Water workers mobilise for 24 April strike
- Spain: Prison unions warn of strike action if key demands not addressed
- Europe: Conference to focus on pay trends, digitalisation and quality employment
- Denmark: Mediation continues in public sector dispute
- Netherlands: Union demands 3.5% increase for civil servants - nothing less
- UK: Union attacks health employers' outsourcing initiative
- Italy: Union raises concerns over digital monitoring of waste workers
- Austria: Unions call on employers to address key issues in care sector
- Ireland: Union will keep working time on bargaining agenda
- Europe: ETUC exposes wage and productivity gap
- Sweden: Union launches collective agreement service for members
Apr. 19, 2018 Services union ver.di is celebrating the best negotiating result in many years for federal and municipal workers who will see pay rise by 7.5% in a new 30-month agreement. There will be increases of 3.19% on 1 March 2018, 3.09% on 1 April 2019 and 1.06% on 1 March 2020. The increases will be implemented through a fundamental revision of the pay structure, including particular changes to lower pay levels. The aim was to ensure faster pay developments in early stages of a career to make the sector more attractive and also to close the gap where there are big differences with the private sector. There will also be a EUR 250 lump sum payment for employees in the bottom six pay groups and for social and childcare workers in S2-S4 pay groups. Apprentices will get an extra EURO 50 in March 2018, with holidays rising to 30 a year. The agreement includes many other provisions such as the continuation of part-time rules for older workers and increase in night shift allowance in hospitals.
Apr. 19, 2018 The three main trade unions in the prisons sector - FSC-CCOO, FeSP-UGT and ACAIP - organised a 12-hour protest outside the head office of the prison service on 11 April. Over 200 trade unionists joined the demonstration, chaining themselves together. The unions are calling for proper negotiations to resolve some major problems in the sector including: massive staff shortages with 3200 vacant posts; the ageing workforce; privatisation; increasing violence and discrepancies in pay between the same jobs in different institutions.
Apr. 19, 2018 Workers in the Aguas de Portugal water company have been meeting across the country to ensure strong support for the strike action planned for 24 April. The action is over a number of major issues including low pay, career development, working time and reasserting the right to collective bargaining. Local government union STAL says that pay levels for some workers are intolerable with some on rates as low as EUR 586 a month and about 700 workers on less than EUR 750 a month. The union wants to see an end to precarious contracts, an equalisation of rights to various allowances etc. across the company and implementation of a standard seven-hour day and 35-hour week.
Apr. 19, 2018 The FNV trade union has started a series of actions in support of its pay claim for 110000 civil servants. The union is demanding an increase of 3.5% with a minimum guarantee of EUR 1000. The FNV argues that prime minster Mark Rutte has already called for a wage rise across the economy but Minister of the Interior, Kasja Ollongren, denies that there is any money for a pay rise for civil servants despite the long-term pay freeze they suffered. In the first of a number of initiatives the FNV organised a demonstration of prison workers in Utrecht and handed over their collective bargaining demands to the prison director who was then asked to communicate this to the government. The collective agreement covering civil servants ran until 31 December 2017 and trade unions broke off negotiations in February following the failure of the government to come up with any pay offer.
Apr. 19, 2018 The GPA-djp and vida private service unions have welcomed the fact that employers in the social care sector have finally acknowledged how staffing shortages can be addressed and that the home care system, in particular, will only be able to function if pay and conditions are improved. The unions regret that the opportunity to deal with important issues like roster-planning and split shifts was missed in recent negotiations covering the sector and that implementation of additional payments for social care assistants, specialist care assistants and graduates was far from problem-free. The unions have called on the employers to discuss whay can be done to improve pay and conditions outside the normal collective bargaining process.
Apr. 20, 2018 The mediator in the public sector pay dispute has extended the official period of mediation. Unless she decides to end the mediation early then this means that the unions cannot take any strike action until 6 May and employers cannot impose their threatened lockout until 12 May. In the meantime unions are still mobilising their activists and public services union FOA organised a meeting of 2000 worker representatives which reaffirmed their determination to push for a real wage increase as well as special measures to address low pay and pay in occupations dominated by women.
Apr. 20, 2018 The Fórsa public services union is committed to negotiate a reduction in working time across the public sector to return workers to the hours they worked before austerity measures were implemented. This will be a priority for the negotiations for the next agreement. The current agreement, negotiated last year and running until 2020, does include provisions for workers to opt for shorter hours but only with commensurate cuts in pay. There is also scope to convert leave into flexitime. However, at the time the government refused to budge on restoration of pre-crisis working time.
Apr. 20, 2018 Public services union Unison has criticised NHS Trusts - the local bodies that run health services - for creating a two-tier workforce by setting up wholly-owned subsidiaries to which they transfer staff and which are then used to reduce pay and pensions and other working conditions. Not only is the union strongly opposed to this initiative - which mainly affects lower paid workers such as porters and cleaners - but it has also exposed how some NHS Trusts have spent millions on consultants to advise them on the process.
Apr. 20, 2018 Figures produced by the ETUC and the European Trade Union Institute show that wages across Europe would have been four times higher than they are now if they had kept pace with productivity. Tracking wage increases against productivity developments the figures for some countries even show productivity rising while real wages have fallen. This was the case in Hungary, Portugal, Romania and Greece.
Apr. 20, 2018 EPSU is organising a conference on 6-7 June in Brussels that will explore a number of collective bargaining issues. Part of the conference will focus on quality employment and will discuss in particular research on quality employment in two sectors - prisons and childcare. Other sessions will debate new research commissioned by EPSU. This includes an updated analysis comparing pay trends in the public and private sectors; union action to tackle low pay in sectors dominated by women and the impact of digitalisation in home care and public employment services. There will also be a panel debating the prospects for quality employment for young workers.
Apr. 20, 2018 Eight public sector trade union organisations are planning another day of protest and strike action on 22 May in opposition to government plans for public service reform and proposals to cut 120000 civil service jobs. The unions criticise the spread of contract employment across the public sector and the undermining of the statutory basis of their pay and conditions. The unions will also use the day of action to highlight the need for a real increase in pay in advance of the meeting with the government on pay planned for June.
Apr. 20, 2018 Following its initial protests in March, the Sanitas health union is planning further action to put pressure on the government over pay and bonuses. A national rally is planned for 26 April and a two-hour warning strike will take place on 7 May followed by a full national strike across the health and social service sectors on 11 May. The union is protesting over the new pay system that hasn't delivered pay increases for all workers. The union also wants a general pay rise, an end to the cap on bonuses, compensation for pay lost to increase social contributions and the right to negotiate collective agreements covering the two sectors.
Apr. 20, 2018 The Kommunal municipal workers' union has launched a new service for members to make it easy for them to check if they are covered by a collective agreement. The system covers around 18000 employers who operate in Kommunal's sectors and it will provide an easy way for workers, particularly those moving to a new job, to check if their new employer signs up to a collective agreement.
Apr. 20, 2018 The FP-CGIL public service union has raised serious concerns about the introduction of Amazon-style electronic bracelets for waste collection workers by a private company in Livorno. The bracelets communicate with waste containers to check they are empty. Union says that this degree of surveillance is excessive considering that there are already supervisors who monitor the work along with GPS systems in trucks. FP-CGIL says that employers should be concentrating more on dealing with the serious health and safety issues in the sector.