After the second round of collective agreement negotiations for 130,000 employees in the private care, health and social sectors failed last Wednesday, employee representatives decided on “combat measures” on Monday. At the works council conference on Monday, it was decided that if the talks were not concluded in the next round of negotiations on 27 November, “there would be a risk of further measures, including strikes”.
At the Austrian-wide works council conference of the GPA and screw unions in VHS Floridsdorf, a decision was adopted on Monday to hold business meetings “for the purpose of informing colleagues”. Precautionary strike decisions were also taken. An agreement was reached on “additional measures, including a strike”, in case of no results in the next round of negotiations to be held on 27 November.
The decision states that the works councils of companies member of the Austrian social economy expect “fair wage and salary increases and improvements in working conditions” from the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations. There was no improvement in the employers’ offer in the last round of negotiations.
Work “appreciation” is also required through “a fair and sustainable wage and salary agreement.” “We will know how to use all available measures” to achieve this. Employees also expressed that they were confident that they would receive support from all sectors: “While we address our concerns, we are confident of the broad solidarity support of the union movement that transcends sector boundaries.”
In the last round of negotiations, GPA and screw unions stuck to their demands for an increase of 15 percent, but at least 400 euros. But employers stuck to their offer of 8.8 percent.
GPA chief negotiator Eva Scherz said in a written statement to APA on Monday that employees have had “difficult years” behind them. “We now need significantly more money to reduce the high pay gap compared to other sectors.”
They want to reach a conclusion next week. “If this doesn’t work, we’ll be prepared.” Employers are now being asked to “come forward” in the next round of negotiations.