Aug. 26, 2020 The Fp Cgil, Cisl Fp and Uil Fpl public service federations are continuing their actions in protest at the failure of the Aiop and Aris employer organisations to ratify the agreement covering 100000 workers in private healthcare. After lengthy negotiations the agreement - the first for 14 years - was finalised in June but then the employers refused to ratify it. A national demonstration on 5 August was followed on 24 August by protests across the country in front of regional authorities that provide some of the funding for private care and on 31 August there will be demonstrations in front of the offices of the employer organisation. Strike action is likely to follow.
2020 EPSU Collective Bargaining News August no.16
Aug. 26, 2020 Public service unions SIPTU, Forsa and INMO have been involved in protests and are calling for action to support 200 workers who have lost their jobs following the closure of three care facilities run by the Dublin Sisters of Charity. Although independent the charity received significant public funding by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the unions want the HSE to be involved in negotiations over a fair redundancy package for the workers.
Aug. 26, 2020 In response to a new government development strategy, the OPZZ trade union confederation has emphasised the need to ensure decent pay in the public services and has expressed concern about government proposals to freeze public sector pay in 2021. OPZZ argues that current levels of pay fail to make the public sector attractive to new recruits and there are problems with fluctuating employment levels while workers face increasing responsibilities and workloads. The confederation underlines the link between quality services and quality employment and the important of effective tax, legal, health and other services as a basis for an innovative and competitive economy. It is calling for a new approach to determining public sector pay with a possible link to economic growth.
Aug. 26, 2020 The FeSP-UGT public service federations and two federations from the CCOO confederation have joined with the Aeste and Asade employer organisations to draft an emergency plan for residential and home care services. The objective is to prevent any recurrence of the massive impact of COVID-19 on the sector both in terms of service users and workers. The unions and employers underline the role of government and the importance of increased funding, noting that the sector has seen EUR 5.9 billion worth of cuts since 2012. The joint plan emphasises the importance of applying collective agreements and securing better pay and working conditions for the 500000+ mainly women workers in the sector.
Aug. 27, 2020 The collective bargaining committee of the ver.di public services union has agreed on a claim for a 4.8% pay increase (minimum EUR 150 a month) for the upcoming negotiations covering 2.3 million workers employed by the federal government and municipalities. The union is calling for appropriate recognition of the key role that many public service workers have played in response to COVID-19. Ver.di wants a 12-month agreement and demands also include a EUR 100 increase for apprentices/trainees. There are several other elements to the claim covering extension and improvement in the part-time work scheme for older workers, equalisation of working time between East and West, additional holidays and some specific issues related to the health sector, including shift work and Sunday work allowances. The first negotiations take place on 1 September.
Aug. 27, 2020 The FNV trade union is involved in two major campaigns. The first, running from 1-5 September, is a nationwide action across health and social care in response to COVID-19. The union wants to see proper recognition of the role played by health and social care workers and is calling for better pay and working conditions, reduced workloads and more autonomy for workers. The FNV is underlining the importance of preparing for a second wave of the pandemic and argues that action is needed to make the health and care sectors more attractive to increase recruitment. Meanwhile, the union is running a campaign and petition across local government to establish a EUR 14 an hour minimum wage. Six local authorities have already signed up and the plan is to develop the campaign over the next six months in the lead up to the general election in March next year.
Aug. 27, 2020 Trade unions, employers and the government have signed a major agreement which sets out a range of measures for the coming two years. These cover green and energy issues as well as plans to increase unemployment benefit and pensions. Health workers dealing with COVID-19 will see a 30% increase on pay for the period August-December this year, around 6000 employees will benefit. There is also additional funding for municipalities to ensure that the collective agreement covering childcare nurses is fully implemented. This will particularly affect workers in small towns guaranteeing that they receive the minimum rate. The tripartite agreement also sees moves towards ratification of ILO Convention 154 on promoting collective bargaining and initial steps to ratify Convention 151 on labour relations in public services. This could be an important development as currently civil servants don't have the right to collective bargaining.
Aug. 27, 2020 Energy unions are facing challenges on several fronts. Leading gas company Centrica has faced major criticism from unions - GMB, UNISON, Unite and Prospect - when it followed up an announcement of 5000 job cuts with a plan to sack and re-hire 20000 staff on worse terms and conditions. The GMB union has already had a consultative ballot which showed 95% support for strike action and so a formal ballot will be undertaken. Meanwhile the GMB members at Northern Gas Networks have voted 98% in favour of industrial action on pay while Unite members at the Drax energy company have been balloted over action in protest at the company's plans to make 230 workers redundant despite a no-redundancy pledge last year.
Aug. 27, 2020 Trade unions coordinated by the LO confederation have secured a NOK 975 (EUR 93) increase on monthly pay for all workers covered by the negotiations with the Spekter employers' organisation. Spekter covers major companies providing public services, particularly in health, culture and transport/infrastructure. On top of this general rise local negotiations should deliver further increases. LO Stat, the coordinating body, emphasises that the local negotiations should take account of the low pay, gender equality and the situation of skilled workers and graduates. Low pay in this context is anyone getting 90% of the average industrial wage or less. The negotiations also include initiatives focusing on sustainability and proposals to collect examples of how unions and employers are dealing with digitalisation and artificial intelligence.
Aug. 27, 2020 Earlier this month the Atomprofilska nuclear energy union began negotations with the Energoatom company. However, the industry is facing major challenges and the union is particularly concerned about the financial state of the company and the lack of support from the government. The union argues that the government has left the company effectively on the verge of bankruptcy and this is having an impact on maintaining proper health and safety. The union is looking to appeal directly to the President to take action, will organise protests in key cities, is calling for the resignation of the acting energy minister and may also appeal to the International Atomic Energy Authority.
Aug. 27, 2020 The OSZSP health workers' union and LOK doctors' union held a joint press conference on 19 August to call for a 15% pay increase for all health workers in 2021. Both unions say that they are pleased with the additional payments for staff dealing with COVID-19 but that the government had to recognise the increase demands on the health service and the need to attract new staff in order to address excessive overtime and overwork. The unions say they are ready to negotiate but made clear that the health minister's proposal for a 5% pay rise was unacceptable.