862 items found

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  • Government to set limits on public debt

    The national debt crisis, which has been affecting the Spanish economy since 2009, worsened in August last. On 5 August, the Spanish risk premium (the spread between the interest offered on 10-year Spanish bonds and 10-year German bonds over the same period) reached its highest level in history, at 421 points. That is, the annual interest on the country’s 10-year bond was 6.47%, 4.21% higher than German bonds. The European Central Bank bought Spanish sovereign bonds in an attempt to lower the risk premium. Furthermore, on 19 August, the government enacted a Royal Decree, containing more measures to decrease the public deficit. These included greater use of cheaper generic drugs by the health service, and arranging for advance taxation of enterprises with a turnover of more than €20 million. The Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, fearing a new national debt crisis in the autumn has also proposed that a constitutional limit should be set on the public deficit. His view is that this would be the least painful measure in order to ease the tension in the financial markets.
  • Major reform of civil service to affect status and pay

    Luxembourg’s government programme for 2009–2014 [1] referred to the need for reform and the modernisation of the state, which includes making changes to the way the civil service works and how civil servants are paid. [1]
  • Crisis pushes workers to accept pay cuts

    Members of the Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU [1]) at the Dublin operation of Spring Grove Services voted in May 2011, by a majority of over six to one, to accept a major wage restructuring agreement. The result means that the basic pay [2] rate for the existing main staff category (that is, ‘production’ workers) is to drop from €10.56 per hour to a new rate of €8.71 per hour. Existing ‘distribution staff’ (drivers) will see their hourly rate fall from €14.40 to €10.30. [1] [2]
  • Youth unemployment low compared to EU average

    On 11 August 2011, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis [1]) released new youth unemployment figures (in German) [2]. They showed that in June 2011 the youth unemployment rate in Germany was 9.1%, with 430,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 out of work. This is higher than the average German unemployment rate of 6.1% for those aged 15 to 74 years. The young are also more likely to have flexible employment relationships when they do find work, with 27.3% holding a fixed-term contract in 2010 compared with 7.9% of the total employed population aged 15 to 64 years. These figures exclude those still at school or in (vocational) training. [1] [2],templateId=renderPrint.psml
  • Regional railway workers go on strike over pay

    Regional Railways (PR [1]) company was established in 2001, initially as PKP PR, to indicate its origins in the former monopoly Polish State Railways (PKP [2]). PR assumed responsibility for local and regional passenger transport but also launched a special type of national, inter-regional train service. Consequently, PR has become the largest passenger railway operator in Poland, with roughly 300,000 customers daily using approximately 2,700 trains. As of 2011, PR has nearly 13,000 employees. [1] [2]
  • Eni signs agreements on industrial relations and green economy

    Eni [1] (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) was created as a public body in 1953 and later transformed into a joint-stock company in 1992. Since then, a considerable quantity of its nationally owned shares have been sold by various Italian governments. However, the state still maintains control of the company: it holds more than 30% of shares and is entitled to use a golden share option which gives it voting rights and privileges beyond those of normal shareholders. [1]
  • Government to reform collective bargaining rules

    The disagreement between social partners over collective bargaining reform has obliged Spain’s government to unilaterally introduce reform of the collective bargaining [1] regulations, believed to be necessary in order to preserve jobs against a backdrop of economic crisis and rising unemployment. The new decree aimed to tackle two particular problems of the current collective bargaining regulations. [1]
  • Transport and travel unions discuss merger

    The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT [1]) has some 77,000 members, working in the railway sector, the shipping and offshore industries, and bus and road-freight transport. The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA [2]) represents around 28,000 administrative, managerial, professional and technical workers in the railway sector, travel trade, ports and ferries. [1] [2]
  • Massive teacher layoffs in education sector

    At the end of the school year in Poland, usually around the beginning of June, local governments determine how many teachers will be needed in their schools for the next school year. From a survey of nearly 100 districts (in Polish) [1] carried out by /Dziennik Gazeta Prawna/ during June 2011, it appears that local governments intend to reduce the number of teachers for the first time in three years. The data suggest that in some districts the layoffs would be as high as 20%–30%. The figure shows the number of teachers employed since 2008. [1],gminy_zwalniaja_nauczycieli_redukcje_wyniosa_nawet_30_procent.html
  • New collective agreement signed in banking sector

    Before negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement in the banking sector began in autumn 2010, the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL [1]) announced its intention to introduce profound changes to the philosophy that has governed the sector’s industrial relations for years. One of the ABBL’s key aims was to question automatic salary increases based on seniority and to replace the system with a merit-based policy. [1]