1291 items found

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  • Trade unions accept small pay increase in public sector

    The State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (Ministerstvo práce, sociálnych vecí a rodiny Slovenskej republiky, MPSVR SR [1]), Emília Kršíková, and the Vice-President of the Confederation of Trade Unions (Konfederácia odborových zväzov Slovenskej republiky, KOZ SR [2]), Ján Gašperan, issued a press release on 5 October 2009. After four months of negotiations, the social partners had concluded a multi-employer Collective Agreement for Civil Servants and a multi-employer Collective Agreement for Public Servants for 2010. The participants in the collective bargaining [3] round included representatives of the government and regional self-governments, led by the main negotiator Ms Kršíková, and representatives of KOZ SR, the Independent Christian Trade Unions of Slovakia (Nezávislé kresťanské odbory Slovenska, NKOS [4]) and the General Free Trade Union Association (Všeobecný slobodný odborový zväz, VSOZ), led by the main negotiator Mr Gašperan. [1] [2] [3] [4]
  • Cautious welcome for slight dip in unemployment

    At the end of October 2009, the Spanish National Statistical Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadística, INE [1]) presented the results of the Spanish Labour Force Survey (/Encuesta de Población Activa/, EPA) corresponding to the third quarter of 2009. The results are somewhat significant as, for the first time in two years, they show a decrease in the number of unemployed people. Unemployment has declined by 14,100 persons in comparison to the previous quarter, with the number of unemployed people now standing at 4,123,300 persons. [1]
  • Positive outcome for non-EU workers’ voluntary return programme

    Under Royal Decree 4/2008 of 19 September (in Spanish, 40Kb PDF) [1], the Non-EU Foreign Workers’ Voluntary Return Programme allows for the early lump-sum payment of unemployment contributory benefits to non-EU foreign workers who are voluntarily returning to their home country. The benefits are granted in two payments: 40% of the total amount is paid in Spain, and the remaining 60% is granted to the individual when they return to their home country after a period of 30 days. The programme, which was approved a year ago, is voluntary and, according to the government, aims to alleviate the situation of one of the groups most negatively affected by the economic crisis. In addition, individuals receiving the benefit may be offered the possibility of returning home together with their family, through a travel-finance assistance programme. [1]
  • Social partners look at impact of climate change on employment

    On 20 and 21 October 2009, the Executive Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC [1]) adopted a ‘Resolution on climate change’. The resolution was developed in the context of a major document debated at a meeting earlier that month and in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate conference due to take place in December. The document – entitled Climate change, new industrial policies and ways out of the crisis [2] – provides a detailed account of the trade union position on climate change policies. It affirms that the trade unions at EU level support policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions and at developing greener jobs. However, it also argues that these objectives can only be achieved in the context of social partner involvement, with ‘the information/consultation/negotiation procedures and processes at both company and sector level in need[ing] to be as rich as possible’, while recognising the need to enable workers to adapt to new jobs. [1] [2]
  • Heated debate among social partners on reform of labour market model

    The current debate about reforming the Swedish labour market model should be considered within the context of recent debates and developments, such as the Laval case [1] (*SE0905029I* [2], SE0706029I [3], SE0801019I [4], SE0804029I [5], SE0811029I [6], SE0901029I [7]) and the breakdown in negotiations between the peak national social partner organisations to reach a new central agreement earlier this year (SE0903029I [8], *SE0908029I* [9]). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
  • KPN sets example by appointing women to key executive positions

    The problem in the Netherlands is the dominance of small-scale part-time jobs among women: three quarters of all women who work hold such a position and most of them are happy with this arrangement.
  • Employers and trade unions disagree over age of retirement

    In the spring of 2009, the government appointed a tripartite working group to examine the issue of extending working life. Both trade unions and employers groups are represented. Before the induction of the working group, the trade union side rejected the government’s proposal to raise the retirement age from 63 to 65 years (*FI0903019I* [1]). [1]
  • National agreement to combat economic downturn finally signed

    After several months of negotiations, the government of the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybė, LRV [1]) and the social partners – the national peak trade union and employer organisations – finally signed a national agreement providing for measures to combat the recession on 28 October 2009. [1]
  • Citizens vote against change in legal status of La Poste

    Under a bill (in French) [1] transposing the European directive opening up the postal market to competition by 1 January 2011 (Directive 2002/39/EC [2]), the French postal operator La Poste [3] is to become a limited liability company (/Société anonyme/, SA) on 1 January 2010. This is to enable La Poste, currently a public establishment, to make the necessary preparations for a liberalised postal services market. Such a change in its legal status would make it possible to increase its capital by €2.7 billion, which includes €1.5 billion from the Deposit and Securities Fund (/Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations/, CDC [4]). The French postal operator has major debts, amounting to €6 billion, which is twice the amount of its own funds. Moreover, mail distributed by La Poste has diminished significantly – more specifically, by 6.3% during the first six months of 2009 – especially because of the drop in direct marketing by mail order companies. It is estimated that the volume of mail will fall by another 30% between now and 2015 due to competition from the internet. [1] [2] [3] [4]
  • Divergent social partner positions prior to 2010 bargaining round

    The recent report from the National Institute of Economic Research (Konjunkturinstitutet, KI [1]) entitled ‘/Wage formation in Sweden 2009/’ focuses on next year’s wage bargaining and the relations between wages and economic development. KI highlights the importance of a responsible wage formation in order to ease the effects of reduced employment levels and to avoid deepening the economic crisis. In 2010, about 500 out of 600 collective agreements will be renegotiated, covering 90% of the country’s total workforce. The majority of the national agreements have to be renegotiated before the end of March 2010. The bargaining round will be a huge challenge for the social partners in light of the ongoing recession and large tensions between the parties (*SE0910019I* [2]). [1] [2]