Denmark: new collective agreement for private sector approved

A new collective bargaining agreement was approved by trade union members, securing employment conditions for around 600,000 private sector workers for the coming years. Around 79% of the union members who voted did so in favour of the agreement, which was reached by union representatives and employer confederations during negotiations earlier this year. Turnout in the vote was around 60%, according to mediation institution Forligsinstitutionen, which released the result of the voting in a press statement. Employer organisations all voted for the agreement, giving it 100% backing on the employers’ side.

Germany: wage deal for public sector workers

The government, local authorities and trade unions reached a deal on higher pay scales for the country’s 2.5 million public-sector workers, staving off the possibility of indefinite strikes. Trade union Ver.di had called for significant raises as the country grapples with high inflation. Among other things, the deal entails tax-free one-time payments totalling €3,000 in several stages, with the first €1,240 to be handed out in June, followed by €220 each month from July to February 2024. In March 2024, monthly pay for all public workers will increase by €200, followed by a 5.5% salary increase, with a minimum increase of €340. The agreement runs for 24 months. The compromise is largely based on a proposal by arbitrators who were called in after talks broke down last month. Ver.di had initially asked for a 10.5% raise and at least €500 more pay over a twelve-month period.

Netherlands: new agreement for hospital staff

More than 75% of the FNV members in hospitals and rehabilitation centres voted for the new collective bargaining agreement for hospitals. The collective agreement takes effect on 1 February 2023 and has a term of two years. Wages will increase by an average of 15% during the term of the collective agreement. In addition, agreements have been made about reducing the workload, improving the work-life balance and giving priority to permanent staff when filling in shifts and rosters. The FNV expects that this will make it more attractive for staff to continue working in the sector and to attract new staff, including young people. The collective agreement for hospitals applies to more than 200,000 healthcare workers in hospitals and rehabilitation centres.

Sweden: pay agreement in industry

Industry unions and employers agreed on new collective agreements for two years. They include salary increases of 4.1% in the first year and 3.3% in the second year. In addition, there is an investment in minimum wages in the first year and for LO unions an investment in low-wage areas in the second year. The board of the union confederation LO recommended the industry's confederation to stand behind the demands. It is the highest rate of wage increase per year trade unions have passed in modern times. LO agrees to join hands to push through these levels in all sector agreements.

UK: Royal Mail and union reach pay deal

Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have reached a proposed agreement over pay and employment terms, which will be considered by the union's executive before being voted on by members, the two sides said in a joint statement. More than 110,000 postal staff at Royal Mail, owned by International Distributions Services held several nationwide strikes in 2022, joining workers in a series of sectors — from teachers to nurses and rail workers — demanding higher pay to cope with rising inflation and pressure on living standards.

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