Infolettres « Collective Bargaining » d’octobre et novembre 2022, ETUI, Bruxelles

(Je reproduis ci-dessous les sommaires des deux dernières infolettres, octobre et novembre 2022, de l’ETUI, l’Institut Syndical Européen. Pour accèder aux autres infolettres, cliquer ici)

European sources

Report on minimum wage and pay for the self-employed 30 November 2022

Eurofound published a new report on minimum wages and other forms of pay for the self-employed. The main objective of the report is to understand how minimum wages, wage rates, fees and other forms of pay could be fixed for specific jobs or professions in sectors with a high level of ‘vulnerable’ workers, as well as ‘concealed’ self-employed. While the majority of Member States allow trade union representation of self-employed, the right to collective bargaining for the self-employed is much more limited.

Global Wage Report on the impact of inflation and COVID-19 30 November 2022

The International Labour Organization (ILO) published its Global Wage Report on the impact of inflation and COVID-19 on wages and purchasing power. The 2022-23 edition also includes evidence on how wages have evolved through the COVID-19 crisis as well as how the current inflationary context is biting into real wage growth in most regions in the world. The report analysises the evolution of the real total wage bill from 2019 to 2022 to show how its different components – employment, nominal wages and inflation – have changed during the COVID-19 crisis and, more recently, during the cost-of-living crisis.

Report on Just Transition in the energy sector 24 November 2022

The Just Transition initiative of ITUC, IndustriALL and LO Norway in the energy sector has released its report after a first year of activities. The conclusions and recommendations aim to better prepare unions and to take concrete steps to ensure a Just Transition for workers in the sector. The report highlights the conclusions and recommendations after months of organizing workshops on new technologies and how they will affect workers in the energy sector.

Rise in EU population working from home  8 November 2022

According to a new Eurostat analysis, during the COVID-19 crisis, a large proportion of employees was faced with changing patterns of work – including working from home. In 2019, 5.5% of employees aged 20–64 in the EU usually worked from home. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis was apparent as this share more than doubled in 2020 to 12.3%. To a lesser extent, there was a further increase of 1.2 percentage points in the share of people usually working from home in 2021, as it reached 13.5%.

Comparisons in decentralised bargaining: towards new relations between trade unions  1 November 2022

A consortium led by the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies–Hugo Sinzheimer Institute (AIAS-HSI) of the University of Amsterdam has published its final report on comparisons in decentralised bargaining (CODEBAR). The report concludes that already since the 1980s, collective bargaining institutions have been decentralised in European countries. Especially trade unions play a crucial role in coordinating, organising and shaping decentralisation processes in multi-layered collective bargaining structures.

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Austria

New collective agreements for public service and health workers  16 November 2022

The trade unions younion and GÖD union have negotiated a 7.15% pay rise from 1 January 2023 with a 7.32% increase on allowances for public service workers. However, the minimum guaranteed increase of € 170 a month will mean that the lowest paid workers will see pay rise by 9.41%. Meanwhile, the services unions Vida and GPA have concluded a new collective agreement covering 130,000 employees in the private health, social and care sector. The two unions welcomed the 8% wage increase from 1 January 2023 along with the guaranteed minimum rise of €175 a month that means an increase of 10.2% for the lowest paid workers.

Union organises workplace meetings in hospitals to plan action 4 November 2022

The trade union Vida has been organising workplace meetings in hospitals that employ around 10,000 workers across the country. The key question for employees will be their view on potential strike action to support the union’s demand for higher pay in response to soaring inflation. In one of the first workplace meetings the initial soundings produced 95% support for industrial action. Vida is calling for an increase of € 500 a month and a minimum monthly salary of € 2000.

Belgium

New provisions on sick leave 18 November 2022

New legislation is set to introduce several changes to the rules regarding incapacity for work due to illness or workplace accidents. The new law abolishes the employee requirement to present a medical certificate for a single day’s absence and it also modifies the procedure for terminating the employment contract on grounds of medical force majeure. These changes will come into force on 28 November 2022.

General strike 9 November 2022

With a seemingly never-ending energy crisis leading to rampant inflation and resulting in a cost of living crisis looming over households’ wallets, trade unions FGTB and CGSP decided to go on strike on 9 November, which has affected public transport and flights departing the country. Rallies have been organised in the capital to demand a freeze on soaring energy prices and indexed wages.

Bulgaria

Unionists protest for higher wages 30 November 2022

Unionists from CITUB (Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria) protested before the National Assembly demanding higher wages. First among their requests is an increase in the minimum wage and the introduction of a tax-free minimum. A representative of the Institute for Social and Trade Union Studies, said that the trade union have prepared  legislative proposals to make it easier for the deputies to fulfil their demands.

Croatia

Wages up 7,2% compared to 2022 22 November 2022

The average net salary paid for September to employees of legal entities amounted to HRK 7,623 (€ 1,010). Compared to the previous month, this is nominally 0.7% less, and if inflation is considered, the real drop is 2.2%. On an annual basis, wages in September 2022 were on average nominally 7.2% higher than in the same month last year, but the purchasing power is 5% lower.

Amendments to collective agreements for the public sector 1 November 2022

Amendments to two collective agreements (for public servants and employees in public services) were signed according to which wages will be increased by 6% from October 2022 and a further 2% from April 2023. Additionally, Christmas and holiday bonuses will be increased. The president of the Croatian Police Union and representative of the state services, pointed out that with this one part of the negotiations was completed, but that the talks with the Government are continuing.

Cyprus

Agreement ends dockers strike 14 November 2022

Dockers at Larnaca port agreed to end their strike action after a deal was reached through the mediation of the ministers of labour and transport. The two ministers met with union representatives for the port workers and with representatives of the private operators at Larnaca port. Following the talks, the Labour Minister said that an interim agreement was reached, where work at the Larnaca pier will be shared on a 50/50 basis between the dockers and the operators. This stopgap solution will last until March 2023. The two sides undertook to continue talks with one another in the intervening period, with the aim of coming to a definitive arrangement.

Czechia

Union confederation calls on Government to open negotiations 16 November 2022

The trade union confederation CMKOS has sent an open letter to the Prime Minister to respond to calls to open negotiations on pay rises for public sector workers in 2023 and reminding him that the confederation’s request from 19 October remains unanswered. The minister of labour and social affairs was also approached in an attempt to get bargaining underway. The Confederation warned the government of increasing discontent among public service workers if no progress is made on this. 

Denmark

Favourable evaluation of four-day working week  22 November 2022

A mid-term evaluation of a working time experiment in the Esbjerg municipality reveals high levels of satisfaction among those compressing their hours into a four-day week according to the trade 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.

Estonia

Real wages drop 28 November 2022

According to the statistics agency, in the third quarter of 2022, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were € 1,679, which is 8.1% more than in the third quarter last year; however, real wages, corrected for inflation, decreased by 12.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Real wages reflect purchasing power, i.e. the amount of goods and services that can be purchased.

Finland

Cabin crew on strike 21 November 2022

Finnair has announced cancellations of around 100 flights following a staff walkout. The cancellations came as a result of a 24 hour cabin crew strike. The Finnish Cabin Crew Association (SLSY) said the strike was in response to Finnair’s personnel policies. The airline reportedly has plans to subcontract inflight service staff on its routes to and from Thailand and the US in an effort to cut costs. The move would mean the company scrapping 450 cabin crew jobs.

France

Collective agreement for energy distributor submitted to employees 9 November 2022

The management and the unions of energy distributing company Enedis reached an agreement on wages which must still be submitted to the employees and formally signed by the trade unions. The management proposed 4.6% wage increase for all, which is added to the 2.3% of the industry, as well as individual measures and a bonus. The trade union CGT demanded, to compensate for inflation, a minimum increase of € 200 gross per month for all employees, including the revaluation of the basic national salary provided for by the industry agreement and the increase within the company.

New collective agreement in energy sector 2 November 2022

In the main electricity and gas sector negotiations the trade unions CGT, CFDT and FO have agreed a 2.3% increase of the basic national salary for 2023 with a minimum guaranteed increase of € 1,040 for a year, along with individualised increases worth another 1%. The union CFE-CGC refused to sign the agreement arguing that the increase was inadequate. The negotiations followed mobilisations by the unions earlier in the autumn demanding pay negotiations to address the cost of living crisis and the increases come in addition to the extra bonuses paid this year in response to higher inflation. The payments ranged between € 600 and € 1,000 depending on the company. 

Germany

Wage deal at automobile manufacturer 23 November 2022

The approximately 125,000 employees at Volkswagen will get a structural wage increase of 8.5% in two steps: first 5.2% on 1 June 2023, and then 3.3% on 1 May 2024, plus a one-off € 3,000 inflation compensation premium, also in two steps. This was agreed after 12 hours of negotiations between the trade union IG Metall and Volkswagen management. The conversion option « days off instead of more money » for the additional remuneration will be fully open to all employees.

Agreement in the metal industry 18 November 2022

The trade union IG Metall and employers have agreed on a result for the metal and electrical industry in Baden-Württemberg: a package of permanent pay increases by a total of 8.5% and an inflation compensation premium of € 3,000 in two stages. Wages will rise by 5.2% in June 2023 and a further 3.3% in May 2024. The first part of the inflation compensation premium of € 1,500 will be paid in February 2023 and a further € 1,500 in February 2024. More than 900,000 employees have gone on warning strikes to exert pressure on the negotiations. The collective agreement will run until 30 September 2024.

Pay rise at energy company 18 November 2022

After two rounds of negotiations, the trade union ver.di and energy producer RWE reached a collective agreement for the approximately 18,000 employees. The package includes a 6% salary increase on 1 February 2023. In December 2022, employees will receive a one-off tax-free payment of € 1,500 ahead of schedule. A second one-off payment of €1,500, will be made during the term of the agreement. The collective agreement runs from 1 February 2023 until 29 February 2024.

Agreement for paper industry 19 November 2022

In the third round of negotiations, the trade union IGBCE and employers agreed on a collective agreement for the paper manufacturing industry that permanently increases the wages of the 40,000 employees in the industry, immediately relieves them of high inflation and makes shift-work more attractive. Wages will be increased in two stages by a fixed amount totalling € 200. The travel allowance and the shift allowance increases to 7.5%. In addition, the employees receive the collectively agreed inflation allowance in three one-off payments, totalling € 3,000 net.

New collective agreement in health sector 11 November 2022

The trade union ver.di has concluded a new collective agreement covering the 10,000 employees at private health group Sana. The agreement runs to 30 April 2024 and includes a 7% pay increase from 1 June 2023, with a guaranteed minimum monthly increase of € 200. A lump sum of € 2,000 will be paid by the end of 2022 and a further € 500 in 2024. Allowances will also be increased. A new allowance for workers with long service has been introduced beginning at € 50 a month after 20 years. 

Greece

Health workers protest  30 November 2022

Doctors and other staff at public hospitals have intensified protests against a bill proposed to abolish full-time exclusive employment of doctors in public hospitals and promotes casualized employment relationships. Unions, including the Federation of Hospital Doctors of Greece (OENGE) and the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Workers (POEDIN), went on strikes and organized a demonstration in front of the Parliament and the Ministry of Health.

General strike 8 November 2022

On 9 November a 24-hour strike was announced by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), the Civil Servants’ Confederation (ADEDY), and the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME). The unions have called a nationwide strike due to the ever-increasing prices. They demand that the Government implements support measures to deal with the rapid rise in the cost of living. They are demanding lower taxes and an increase of the minimum wage, which currently stands at just over € 700 per month.

Hungary

Gross wages up 17.5% compared to 2022 24 November 2022

According to the Central Statistics Office (KSH), gross average wages rose by an annual 17.5% in September 2022. KSH stated that wage growth was fuelled by a rise of the minimum wage, as well as previously scheduled wage hikes and supplementary wage increases.

Iceland

Union optimistic about acceptance of new collective agreement 29 November 2022

The trade union Efling is optimistic that Business Iceland (SA) will accept the terms of a short-term collective agreement proposed by the union. The contract stipulates a flat-rate monthly wage increase of 56,700 ISK (€ 381), as well as a special 15,000 ISK (€ 101) monthly subsistence allowance. This would only be in effect until the end of January 2024. The negotiations are proving to be challenging and the final terms of the negotiations will likely be agreed on over the coming weeks.

Ireland

Companies to start reporting on gender pay gaps 30 November 2022

Companies will start to publish information on their gender pay gaps. Firms of all sizes are being mandated to produce a report outlining the differential in pay and bonuses between their male and female employees. Companies with 250 or more employees were asked to select a date in June this year as their ‘relevant date’ on which to base their reports. They were then given six months to publish their findings with the first of the companies expected to start reporting on 1 December. The obligation will extend to employers with 150 or more staff in June 2024 and to those that employ 50 or more in June 2025.

Wages increased by 4.7% 9 November 2022

According to figures released by the Central Bank of Ireland, wages have increased by an average of 4.7% in the year to October. The figures are based on millions of job postings on Indeed, to create a new monthly wage growth tracker. The figures were analysed by the Central Bank and Indeed. They found that the wages of job adverts posted online “accelerated sharply” in the first half of 2022 before easing slightly in the third quarter.

Italy

New collective agreement in insurance sector  21 November 2022

The new collective agreement in the insurance sector includes an average pay rise of € 205 over three years and a € 2,000 lump sum payment to account for the lack of recent wage increases, as well as a sharper focus on technological innovation and digitalisation. The social partners want to make the agreement the benchmark in the sector, at a time when many subcontracted workers benefit from less favourable conditions. The text, which covers around 47,000 workers, must now be approved by the employees’ assemblies. The new collective agreement comes into force immediately and will be valid until 31 December 2024.

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European sources

Joint letter on improving conditions in platform work 25 October 2022

In a joint letter ETUC, CECOP, European Youth Forum and Solidar appeal to the European institutions foran effective Directive on improving working conditions in platform work. Whereas some digital labour platforms operate with genuine self-employed workers, many digital labour platforms nevertheless exert the
prerogatives of employers and still present themselves as digital marketplaces which only facilitate the offer and demand between an undertaking and a client. Competitiveness should not come from downward pressure on labour rights.

COVID-19 crisis deepened gender divides at work and home 17 October 2022
According to Eurofound research, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis has deepened the traditional gender divides across many areas including the labour market, working conditions, work-life balance and overall working time. The report highlights in particular the impact on women with young children working from home and points to the critical role of care services in supporting women’s labour market participation, financial security and overall well-being.

Demonstration for action on cost-of-living crisis 5 October 2022
The ETUC coordinated a demonstration in Strasbourg on 5 October followed by a meeting with MEPs to highlight the consequences of huge price increases on working people and their families. The ETUC is calling for decisive action from the EU and national governments including increased wages and income
support, a tax on profits and a cap on prices. The ETUC wants to see support for collective bargaining, increases to minimum wages and targeted emergency payments for low-paid people struggling to afford their energy bills, along with a ban on disconnections.

Council adopts EU directive on adequate minimum wages 4 October 2022
The Council of the EU gave its final green light to a directive that will promote the adequacy of statutory minimum wages and thus help to achieve decent working and living conditions for employees in Europe. The directive establishes procedures for the adequacy of statutory minimum wages, promotes collective bargaining on wage setting and enhances the effective access to minimum wage protection for those workers who are entitled to a minimum wage under national law. In order to increase collective bargaining coverage, the Directive obliges Member States with a coverage of less than 80 per cent to take measures to increase it. This includes national action plans that contain a clear timetable and concrete measures to gradually increase bargaining coverage.

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Austria
Union confederation gives permission for strike in metal industry
28 October 2022
The trade union confederation ÖGB gave the workers in the metal industry permission to strike. The employers’ offer remains well below the union demand. The autumn collective bargaining round has been running since mid-September. Traditionally, the metal workers set the direction for all other wage
negotiations. The PRO-GE and GPA unions are demanding a wage and salary increase of 10.6% for the approximately 200,000 employees in the metal industry. Even after the third round of negotiations, the employers do not offer more than an increase of 4.1%. Therefore, the ÖGB gave the metal workers permission to go on strike.

Hospital workers prepare for strike 27 October 2022
Trade union vida is demanding €500 more per month or a minimum wage of €2,000 for the 10,000 employees of the religious order hospitals. Collective bargaining takes place under difficult conditions due to the high inflation. In a conference, the works councils of the religious order hospitals voted on the vida demands. In view of the high inflation, it was decided that the trade union’s bargaining team should stick to the demand of a monthly gross minimum wage of €2,000 and that trade union measures should be initiated. From 4-10 November the employees will be surveyed. The works councils have asked the vida executive committee to immediately obtain a precautionary strike approval from the trade union confederation ÖGB.

Union insists on further pay talks 24 October 2022
The collective bargaining team of the railway department of the trade union vida regrets that the railway association in the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) has not yet been prepared for an immediate further round of special negotiations. vida calls on employers to return to the negotiating table in October and to refrain from further delaying the negotiations. The union demands €500 extra for everyone and €250 for apprentices.

Bargaining demands of public service unions 20 October 2022
Public sector trade unions Younion and GÖD have written to the Government calling for the annual pay negotiations to start. The unions want the Government to recognise the 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.

Belgium
Platform workers demonstrate
24 October 2022
Trade union ACV, together with United Freelancers, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the platform workers’ organisations, demonstrated before the European Parliament on 25 October. This took place on the occasion of the ‘Uber hearings’ that Parliament held in the aftermath of the Uber files
(unveiling an aggressive lobby by the multinational at all government levels, including the European level). The organisations demonstrate against the trivialization of a ‘third work status’, which combines the subordination of the employee and the vulnerability of the self-employed (without the rights of the employee) into an employee without rights. If the platforms treat them as employees, they must be recognized and receive the same benefits as other employees.

Railway unions on strike 5 October 2022

Railway transport was disrupted as trade unions protest for more funding for the sector. The railway unions held a 24-hour strike to pressure the Government to adapt their budget to the rising living costs and to ease the shortage of personnel. 3,500 scheduled trains are cancelled every month and 15% of these decisions are taken because there are not enough staff members to run the service.

Bulgaria
More than €1 billion spent on employment support during COVID-19 crisis
11 October 2022
According to recent data from the National Statistical Institute, close to two billion leva (about €1.02 billion) was paid out over 28 months for the “60:40” measure by the Government to keep people in employment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 60:40 measure involved the state in picking up 60% of payroll costs, with employers obliged to pay the remaining 40%. According to these data, a total of 13,700 employers received support for 342,000 employees.

Croatia
Agreement on pay rise for public and state services 31 October 2022
Nine of the eleven unions participating in the collective bargaining in public and civil services have signed addenda to the collective agreements according to which the base salary will increase by 6% in October and another 2% in April 2023. In addition, the Christmas bonus and holiday allowance were increased to HRK 1,750 (€232), as well as a gift for children that will amount to €100. Among the two unions that rejected the Government’s offer and the signing of the supplement is the Preporod Union, which asked for the opinion of its members, of which 65% rejected it.

Trade unions protest against new labour act 23 October 2022
Trade unions and civil society organizations oppose the Government’s proposal of a new labour act that they say will undermine workers’ rights and trade unionizing. A new version of the labour act discussed in the Parliament has led to protests by trade unions and civil society organizations. Protesters gathered in front of the Governments’ headquarters. They warned against the negative effects of the new law, which would open the doors to more precarious forms of employment, uncontrolled overtime work, and weaken the position of some trade unions.

Cyprus
Trade union mobilises for safety at work
24 October 2022
Trade union Peo held a march to demand the right for every employee to return home able-bodied and healthy. The demonstration took place in Nicosia and was followed by a march to the Ministry of Labour where a memorandum outlining the union’s positions and claims were presented. The impetus for the event was the 2022 European Week for Safety and Health at Work.

Czechia
National protests over cost-of-living crisis
8 October 2022
The Czech and Slovak trade union confederations CMKOS and KOZ have called national demonstrations to call for action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. They argue that their respective governments need to take urgent measures to support households in the face of soaring inflation and particularly high energy costs.
They want to see increases in wages in general and particularly minimum wages and assurance that government budgets will include provisions to cover pay rises in public services.

Denmark
Labour and employment bills presented to Parliament
4 October 2022
The government presented its legislative program for the new parliamentary year which includes the draft transposition into national law of the European directive on transparent and predictable working conditions. Among the texts that will be discussed during the new parliamentary session is furthermore an
amendment to the law on equal treatment, which will clarify the legislative framework relating to sexual harassment at work and grant higher compensation to victims, be they employees or apprentices. Another
bill will set out the requirements for employers who provide employees accommodation, including foreign workers.

Estonia
Healthcare sector wages rose by up to 10%
18 October 2022
According to a recent survey healthcare workers saw an average wage increase year-on-year in all major occupational groups in the first quarter of 2022. The survey, conducted by the National Institute for Health Development (TAI), found that the median monthly salary of doctors, including all bonuses, stood at €3,681 in March 2022, for nurses and midwives the figure was €2,048 and for caregivers it was €1,346. These figures represented a growth year-on-year of between 6% and 10%, though the annual growth of the median
monthly salary slowed down, especially for nurses and midwives and care workers.

Finland
Unions agree with municipal employers over nurses’ pay
9 October 2022
Trade unions Tehy and SuPer have agreed to a settlement with municipal employers that includes pay developments over five years, COVID-19 compensation payments and other improvements to working conditions. The average salary in the health and social services sector will increase by at least 17.3% over five years, with an increase of 15.3% in the first three years. There will be a separate one-off payment of €600 for those who were involved in treating COVID-19 patients. The unions say that a practical nurse will see their
salary rise from the current €2,255 to over €2,600 and that of a nurse from €2,625 to over €3,000.

France
Union extends fuel depot strikes
22 October 2022
According to the trade union CGT, strikes at two fuel depots in the southern Rhône region and Normandy have been extended. Between 120 and 130 employees are on strike, which represents 90% of the services responsible for fuel deliveries. Employees at the Feyzin site in the Rhône region will be invited to vote on the continuation of the movement.

Nationwide demonstration for higher wages 18 October 2022
Between 100,000 and 300,000 people demonstrated across France to demand a rise in wages, in a highly inflationary context. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets on 18 October for the day of interprofessional « mobilization and strike » for a rise in wages and against the requisitions of strikers in
refineries. In total, 107,000 people demonstrated according to the Government, « nearly 300,000 » according to union CGT. The demonstration was organized by the unions CGT, FO, Solidaires, the FSU and the youth organizations Fidl, MNL, Unef and High School Life.

Strikes at oil refineries continue 17 October 2022
France braced for nationwide transport strike actions as the government and unions remained in deadlock over stoppages at oil depots that have sparked fuel shortages. It will come after workers at several refineries and depots operated by energy company TotalEnergies voted to extend their strike action, defying the government which has begun to force staff back on the job. The fuel strike, which has lasted for nearly three weeks, crippled supplies at over 30% of the service stations. The government, increasingly impatient with
striking workers, said it was forcing key staff back to work. Fuel workers voted to continue stoppages at several refineries run by TotalEnergies.

Germany
Industry workers to strike
October 28, 2022
The trade union IG Metall called on workers in the metal and electronics industry to strike as pay talks stalled amid high inflation. « Warning strikes » in the vast sector, numbering some 3.8 million employees, will begin on 29 October. Management and unions have for weeks been engaged in talks over a new collective agreement but failed to come to an agreement before the end of an obligatory negotiation period. IG Metall has demanded an 8% increase f for the next 12 months or workers in the key sector, which includes around 26,000 businesses in the auto, electronics and manufacturing industries. Employers have countered with an offer of a €3,000 bonus, valid for the next 30 months. The bonus could « help » but would be quickly used up as prices for energy and food have soared, said IG Metall.

Agreement on double wage hike and bonus in chemical sector 18 October 2022
The employers of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry agreed with the trade union IG BCE on two wage hikes of 3.25%, one for the beginning of 2023 and the other a year later. The employers’ organisation BAVC said in a statement that the agreement for 580,000 employees, which runs for 20 months until June 2024, struck a balance between the need to stay competitive and workers’ interests. The deal, which also includes one-off tax-free payments worth a combined €3,000, allows companies to postpone the hikes by up
to three months in economic hardship. In total, special payments and regular pay increases result in a net increase of an average of 12.94%, and in the lowest pay group it is even 15.64%.

Digitization agreement at fashion chain 14 October 2022
The first key points for a digitization collective agreement at the Swedish fashion chain H&M already existed, but 14 rounds of negotiations were necessary to conclude the first digitization collective agreement
ever in retail. It applies to the 14,300 employees of H&M nationwide. The central element of the agreement is the participation of employees in shaping digitization. The collective agreement expands the participation rights of the general works council and establishes a digitization advisory board, which consists of representatives from the union ver.di and H&M and can submit its own suggestions and suggestions from the workforce for the design of the future concept. In addition, from the beginning of 2023, employees will
be particularly involved in selected digitization test branches in order to assess the humane design of the new working methods and to make requirements for further development.

Preparation of bargaining round in federal and local government 11 October 2022
The DGB public service unions are demanding a 10.5% pay increase for the approximately 1.5 million federal and local government employees, but at least €500 per month, and €200 per month for trainees. The duration of the agreement is to be 12 months. On 11 October, the ver.di federal bargaining commission, together with GEW, GdP and IG BAU, passed the resolution for the upcoming collective bargaining round which will start on 24 January 2023.

Survey shows increased workload for emergency medical services 4 October 2022
A survey by the trade union Ver.di has revealed that the already high workload on employees in the emergency medical service has increased significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 7,000 workers replied to the questionnaire with 39% saying they would change professions immediately if they had the opportunity. There are serious problems with working hours, work intensity, physical and psychological stress and risk of physical assaults. Almost all respondents reported problems
balancing work and private life. Staff shortages mean that 61% of employees are (very) often unable to take their legally prescribed breaks or cannot take them at all.

Greece
Strike at biggest port
24 October 2022
Five seamen’s unions announced a 24-hour strike on October 25 at the Piraeus Port, the country’s largest port. The strike concerns the seamen of the ships that will be located in the entire geographical area of the port of Piraeus. Due to the strike, all ships in Piraeus will not sail out of the port. The seamen are striking to protest against Government plans to abolish collective agreements in the sector, saying this will eliminate their chief line of defence in protecting their rights and salaries.

Hungary
Demonstration in support of teachers
6 October 2022
Tens of thousands have demonstrated in Budapest against low pay and poor working conditions for teachers. Teachers’ unions have launched an « I want to teach » campaign and called for civil disobedience to demand higher wages. The demonstration was organized by civilians in solidarity with teachers who were
fired due to civil disobedience actions.

Minimum wage earners pay highest taxes 3 October 2022
The annual report of the International Labor Organization (ILO) contains information about taxation in Hungary. They examined the taxation of the minimum wage in 42 countries. According to this analysis, the
tax burden on minimum wage earners is the highest in Hungary. Those Hungarian taxpayers who live alone and have no children pay a particularly high amount of taxes. There is no other developed country where a childless worker earning half the average wage would have to pay such a high tax burden as in Hungary.

Iceland
No more gender pay gap at municipality
24 October 2022
For the first time in the municipality’s history, Árborg has reported no wage gap for the municipality’s employees. There are around 1,000 employees in Árborg municipality, with a larger share of female employees. Now, the basic wage for all is the same.

Ireland
New public-sector collective agreement
7 October 2022
Trade unions have formally ratified acceptance of a new collective agreement that will see public sector workers receive a 6.5% pay increase over two years. Almost 400,000 public sector workers will receive a 3% pay rise backdated to the start of February after the ICTU Public Service Committee (PSC) formally ratified the pay deal agreed between Government and union representatives. Under the terms of the agreement, public-sector workers — including civil servants, teachers and nurses — will receive a further increase of 2%
at the start of March 2023 and a 1.5% or €750 rise, whichever is larger, at the  start of October 2023.

New plan on the future of collective bargaining and industrial relations 5 October 2022
Non-union employers may face penalties for failing to negotiate with trade unions under a new plan on the future of collective bargaining and industrial relations. The government has published the final report of a high-level working group that was set up to review collective bargaining and the industrial relations landscape. The report recommends that there be ‘good faith engagement’ between employers and unions. Under the proposal, if a union represents 10% or more of a grade, group or category within a company, the employer will be obliged to engage in good faith with the union and can be ordered to do so by the Court.

Italy
Demonstration over health and care sector wage developments
29 October 2022
Trade unions in the health sector have joined for a demonstration. The protest calls on the new Government to take action to address the long-term underfunding and understaffing of the sector. The unions want to
see the resources made available to fund the next three-year collective agreement and additional improvements to pay and conditions made through decentralised bargaining. They are calling for an emergency employment plan and measures to ensure that private sector collective agreements don’t undercut those in the public sector.

Multiple unions set to strike nationwide 21 October 2022
Multiple unions in the transport sector have called for strike action on October 21. The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) has stated that air traffic controllers will strike on the same date. Other workers within the aviation sector went on strike. Various other unions
representing public transportation workers have also called for strikes on the day.

Unions seek wage increase of over 8% 10 October 2022
Trade unions demand a wage increase of 8.4% for next year to offset rising inflation as they prepare for official talks with industrial groups Stellantis, Ferrari, Iveco (IVG.MI) and CNH Industrial. The request
could pave the way for similar requests in wage bargaining in other sectors.

Latvia
Minimum wages to increase in 2023
27 October 2022
The Parliament passed in the third reading amendments to the Labour Law. These amendments increase the minimum wage by 24% from currently €500 to €620 in 2023 and the by another 13% to €700 in 2024. In the annotation to the legislative draft it is mentioned that the minimum wage in the country must not be below the minimum that is necessary to provide the workers for normal full time work. This measure is also a tool to help reduce poverty among employed people, as noted in the annotation to the legislative draft.

Lithuania
Tripartite council discusses the regulation of strikes
26 October 2022
The tripartite council discussed changes in the regulation of strikes and the competences of social partners. A representative of the Ministry of Social Security presented a draft law which aims to more efficiently
ensure the implementation of the workers’ right to strike enshrined in the Constitution. After the adoption of the draft law, a new clause would be added the Code of Civil Procedure, providing that the court would
direct the urgent execution of decisions on the legality of the strike, and the appeal of the court’s decision would not stop the strike itself, if the strike was recognized as legal.

Luxembourg
Public sector union demands 5% pay increase
28 October 2022
Ahead of the next set of talks on salaries for the civil service and state employees, the Independent Luxembourg Trade Union Confederation (OGBL) has issued demands for a pay increase, the likes of which has not taken place since 2018. OGBL has demanded a pay increase of 5% across the board, in addition to reduced working hours for government employees. The union also seeks to abolish the current evaluation and performance system.

Negotiations at steel manufacturer 3 October 2022
Before the end of the year, trade unions LCGB and OGBL will negotiate three collective agreements within the ArcelorMittal group. They will demand better recognition of the efforts made by employees since the beginning of the health crisis. Coincidentally, the three collective agreements in force within the steel group ArcelorMittal are due to expire by the end of the year. The LCGB and OGBL trade unions are already negotiating with the management of the steel giant to defend the interests of some 3,460 employees.

Malta
Platform workers to receive minimum wage
12 October 2022
The government announced that a minimum wage reform for platform-based workers could be expected to be introduced with the 2023 budget. This reform should allow the legal minimum wage to be applied to drivers and delivery workers who are working as self-employed on digital platforms. As such they will then be able to be paid at least €4.57 per hour, or €792 per month for full-time work. This decision comes after a strike by Bolt Delivery workers in July, who were complaining about the reduction in their peak hour bonuses (by almost 50%).

Netherlands
Trade union announces rally against income crisis
26 October 2022
Trade union FNV is calling workers across the country to join a rally in Amsterdam on 26 November to raise awareness for the high cost of living, which is outpacing wage increases. The union announced the “national
manifestation” on the same day that it emerged that more people are turning to debt relief organizations to get help with their financial problems. The union calls on people to take action for a just society and fair solutions to the income crisis that is currently plaguing the Netherlands. According to the FNV, wages,
benefits, and pensions must increase.

Automatic indexation means a 10.3% wage increase for 16,000 painters 20 October 2022
In the new painters’ collective agreement (SAVG) that was concluded on October 11, 2021, an automatic indexation has been agreed for the first time. The collective agreement stipulates that the wage increase for 2023, 2024 and 2025 is at least equal to the consumer price index. According to union FNV, in this way the 16,000 employees retain their purchasing power and will receive a wage increase of 10.3% as of 1 January 2023.

Airport agrees to raise wages for security staff by up to 40% 7 October 2022
Schiphol airport officials as well as the two largest unions FNV and CNV and security companies have reached a joint agreement to increase wages for security staff by up to 40%. Through this social package that includes improved employment at the airport, higher salary increases, better rosters, and improved areas for security staff at Schiphol, the airport aims to attract more security staff. Schiphol Airport explains that the security-specific supplement of €2.50 per hour is in addition to the Schiphol supplement of €1.40 per hour, valid until 1 September 2023. In addition, Schiphol also revealed that starting from 1 January salaries will also increase based on the inflation agreement that applies to the Private Security collective agreement.

Largest wage increase in years, but inflation is much higher 6 October 2022
The collectively agreed wages in the Netherlands saw the biggest increase in years this summer. However, workers’ purchasing power still declined as prices increased much more. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), this was the first time since it started tracking these figures in 1973 that collectively negotiated wages lagged so far behind inflation. On average, wages in the third quarter were 3.4% higher than in the same period last year. That is the largest increase since the first quarter of 2009. However, in the third quarter,
consumer prices were 12.3% higher than a year ago. So that real wages in the Netherlands dropped by almost 9%.

Collective agreement applies to Deliveroo deliverers 3 October 2022
Deliveroo riders fall under the collective agreement for professional freight transport as employees and must therefore also be paid as employees. The Amsterdam District Court ruled today in the case which the union FNV has been pursued against the meal deliverer since 2018. This ruling concerns a group of 12 deliverers who were employed by Deliveroo before 2018. They demand a supplementary wage payment on the basis of the collective agreement for professional freight transport.

Norway

Day care centre employees strike 17 October 2022
More than a thousand employees of privately-operated day care centres walked off the job. A conflict over pension plans has left parents scrambling to find alternative care for their pre-school children. Negotiations
between the national organization representing the day care centres and three trade union federations broke down, resulting in the first phase of the strike by 1,007 employees at 112 day care centres.

Poland
Minimum wage to be increased more than announced 4 October 2022
The Government has announced that it will increase the national minimum wage by almost 16% in 2023 instead of the previously proposed 12%. On 1 January 2023, the minimum wage will increase by 480 PLN (€102) from 3,010 PLN (€642) to 3,490 PLN (€744). In July 2023, the minimum monthly wage is set to
increase again to 3,600 PLN (€767).

Portugal
Teachers to strike 31 October 2022
Teachers’ unions announced a national strike for 2 November, in protest against the government’s lack of investment in education, as set out in the draft state budget for 2023. The National Teachers’ Federation (Fenprof), the National Federation of Education (FNE), the National and Democratic Teachers’ Union
(SINDEP), the Union of Graduated Teachers (ASPL) and the National Union of Graduated Teachers from Polytechnics and Universities (SPLIU), among other union platforms, are demanding upgrades to teaching careers, measures against precariousness, and action to foster the rejuvenation of the sector.

New collective agreement for public service sector 24 October 2022
The SINTAP public service trade union has signed an agreement with the Government that will see pay increase by €52.11 a month each year from 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.

Romania
New bill granting simultaneous leave to both parents 20 October 2022
A new legislative initiative introduced in the Parliament would grant both parents the possibility to benefit from parental leave simultaneously. The parental leave can be stretched to a maximum of two years after the
baby’s birth. Either of the parents can benefit from leave, and the duration is shared between them. The initiative does not change the duration of parental leave in any way. It only makes the options available to parents more flexible. The state already allows both parents to share their 24- or 36- months of leave.

Large companies raised wages by 12% 14 October 2022
According to the PayWell 2022 salary study, gross wages among employees in companies have risen by an average of 12% this year, the highest rate in 15 years, as firms try to offset record inflation, but also in the context of a very competitive labour market. For 2023, private companies anticipate an average increase in gross wages of 9.3%. The significant wage increases, exceeding 10% in many sectors, have to be put into perspective because they have not offset the erosion of purchasing power caused by inflation.

Serbia
Wages up 16.5% compared to 2021 25 October 2022
Average gross salaries and wages calculated for August 2022 amounted to 103,963 RSD (€767), while average net salaries and wages were 75,282 RSD (€642). This means that, compared to the same period in 2021, between January and August 2022 salaries and wages increased by 13.8% in nominal terms and 3% in real terms. Compared with the same month last year, average salaries and wages for August 2022 increased by 16.5% in nominal terms and by 2.9% in real terms.

Slovakia
Introduction of 14-day paid paternity leave 20 October 2022
An amendment to the Labour Code provides for two weeks of paid leave (14 calendar days) for new fathers, which can be extended in cases in which the child/children or mother are hospitalised. This leave period must be taken no later than six weeks after the birth of the child. When a father takes up maternity benefit entitlements, these two weeks of paternity leave become part of the total 28 weeks of paid leave to which he is entitled (or 31 weeks for single fathers and 37 weeks in case of twins or more). The Minister of Labour and
Social Affairs has clarified that paternity leave will not be paid by the employer but instead will be provided by the health insurance. The average daily allowance is estimated at €36.5 in 2022 and approximately €39 in 2023.

Decrease in real wages continues 13 October 2022
In August, average nominal monthly wage increased, year-on-year, in 9 out of 10 monitored sectors of the economy. Wages rose more in construction (by 13.1% to €921) and in accommodation (by 12.9% to €1,012). In industry, wages increased by 9.1% to €1,351. Wages stagnated in food and beverage service activities. High increase in consumer prices (inflation) caused a drop in real wages, which were decreasing for the second month in all sectors. The most significant decrease in real wages by more than 12% was recorded in food and beverage service activities.

More than 2,000 doctors are threatening to resign because of low pay 5 October 2022
About a quarter of doctors working at hospitals threatened to resign if their demands for higher wages and more funding aren’t met, posing a risk to the state’s health care system. More than 2,000 doctors have submitted resignation letters that will start taking effect from 1 December if they don’t strike a deal with the government. While the ruling coalition pushed a wage increase of as much as 46% for some doctors through parliament, that meets only one of eight proposals. Doctors currently make an average €3,500 a month, including overtime pay and bonuses. Doctors are also demanding better financing of hospitals and more staff.

Slovenia
Average real gross wage down by 4.8% 24 October 2022
According to the statistics office, in August, the average monthly gross wage was €2,008. In light of the high inflation this mean a decrease in real terms by 4.8% compared to the same month in 2021,. Annual inflation in August remained at the same level as in the previous month at 11%. The net wage totalled  €1,312 in August, down by a real 3.8% year on year. However it was 0.6% higher compared to the previous month in nominal terms. In nominal terms, gross wages were higher by 5.7% year-on-year and net wages were up by
6.8% year-on-year.

Agreement on salaries in public sector 13 October 2022
The Government and public sector unions signed an agreement relating to salaries and other labour costs in the public sector for 2022 and 2023. The agreement will increase salaries and meals allowance of public sector employees. Salaries will increase by 4.5% as of 1 October. The salaries of the majority of public sector employees will increase once more on 1 April 2023 by one salary grade, which amounts to about a 4% increase.

Spain
Air carrier staff announce extension of strike 28 October 2022
Unions representing Ryanair (FR) staff announced their intention to extend an ongoing nationwide strike until January 7, 2023. The purpose of the action is to demand improvements in pay and work conditions. Unless averted, the strike will likely prompt disruptions at the 10 airports served by Ryanair.

Aircraft manufacturer staff to strike for higher wages 27 October 2022
Staff at aircraft manufacturer Airbus will begin an indefinite strike over demands for higher wages in response to soaring inflation. In a statement, the trade unions CCOO, UGT-FICA and ATP-Sae declared that
the protest will end as soon as management is prepared to guarantee that workers do not lose purchasing power. They demanded a “fair salary increase” that recognises workers’ efforts in recent years, and recalled
that the European aircraft maker posted a record profit in 2021.

New three-year agreement public sector workers 3 October 2022
Public sector trade unions 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% increase in 2024 with an extra 0.5% depending on inflation trends.

Sweden
Union demands 4.4% more pay 31 October 2022
The affiliates of the trade union confederation LO demand a wage increase of 4.4% plus a low-wage investment, which means a wage increase of SEK 1,192 (€110) for those who earn less than SEK 27,100 (€2,498). The minimum wages in collective agreements must be adjusted further, with a salary range of
SEK 1,371 (€126). LO’s representative board decided on common requirements for the collective bargaining round in 2023.

Legislative changes to the Employment Protection Act 27 October 2022
Legislative changes to the Employment Protection Act are applicable for all employers as of 1 October 2022. When assessing whether to terminate an employment contract due to personal reasons, the employer no
longer needs to consider the employee’s personal situation or interest in retaining the employment. As concerns dismissal due to redundancy, all employers are now entitled to exempt three employees when
determining the order of priority for dismissal in a redundancy situation. Furthermore, general fixed-term employment has been replaced with special fixed-term employment. The special fixed-term employment
will automatically transfer into an indefinite employment after twelve months of fixed-term employment.

Switzerland
Union campaigns across the country for higher pay 28 October 2022
Public services union VPOD is mobilising its members to call for higher pay in response to the cost-of-living crisis. The demand will be a 4% pay increase in response to the regional government’s proposed 2.3% offer. The union is also concerned to get compensation for recent years of real terms cuts and in St.Gallen this translates into a call for full compensation for inflation, plus 1% for productivity and 1%-2% to deliver a real increase. The union’s health section is calling for a general increase of 5% for 2023

Turkey

Workshop on just transition
 A joint workshop of IndustriAll Europe, IndustriALL Global Union and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation on 4-5 October in Ankara, explored the conditions for a Just Transition in Turkey, a country marked by problematic industrial relations and contradictory climate and industrial strategies. It underlined the need for strong trade union rights, worker involvement and social dialogue to achieve a Just Transition. Despite the difficult context, the Turkish trade unions were able to report about first concrete steps they are undertaking or planning to anticipate the transition in their sectors, such as studies on workers in thermal
power plants or informing members through webinars on sustainability.

Highest income inequality of all OECD countries 12 October 2022
In a survey on income inequality, Turkey ranked last among the 38 OECD member states and 74th among 161 countries in total in the 2022 Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index, which reviewed the spending, tax and labour policies and actions of 161 governments during the 2020–2022 period. Based on new research by Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI), the report is the first detailed analysis looking at governments’ policies and actions to fight inequality during the first two years of the pandemic. In terms of the labour policy indicator, which looks at what governments are doing to support labour and union rights through legislation and implementation, the country was ranked 71st among 161 countries.

United Kingdom
New collective agreement for delivery drivers at logistics company 31 October 2022
Trade union Unite secured a 12.5% pay deal for 1,000 beer delivery drivers from logistics company GXO, cancelling strikes that were planned. Unite said the workers had voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting the one-year deal, which will see them receive pay rises of between 9.5% and 12.5%.

Unions step up warnings of synchronised strikes 18 October 2022
Trade union leaders are warning of a wave of synchronised strikes by civil servants and public sector workers this winter. With unions pushing for higher pay to match inflation at 10%, the TUC released polls showing one in seven people are skipping meals and going without food.

Nurses urged to strike for first time 6 October 2022
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is balloting all of its members for strike action for the first time in its 106-year history. The union is recommending its 300,000 members walk out over pay. The RCN has been calling for a rise of 5% above the inflation rate of 12%.

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