After a 10-year freeze, Italian public service unions win new collective agreement for local and regional government workers

21 February 2018
After almost ten years of a negotiation freeze unilaterally imposed by Italian public sector employers, in the night between 20 and 21 February, public sector trade unions signed the preliminary agreement towards the renewal of the national-level contract for local and regional government workers.

"This new collective agreement delivers real value and concrete improvements for workers," commented Serena Sorrentino, General Secretary of PSI affiliate FP-CGIL.

"The areas where the new agreement improves local and regional government workers’ rights and conditions are many," added Federico Bozzanca, FP-CGIL National Secretary in charge of the LRG sector. “We obtained additional pay scales for each professional area; special provisions for municipal police; the recognition of the specific professional sub-sector of education and culture workers, as well as a delay for to the review of personnel reclassification. We also obtained the principle of the most favourable option for the worker in case of mid-week holiday shifts," he said.

As for the municipal police, added Sorrentino, "more value and recognition are given to workers thanks to the introduction of specific professional categories linked to the rank of police officers."

Among the 2018 objectives unions achieved for this negotiation, added Bozzanca, “are a salary increases of 85€ per month and additional resources allocated on top for decentralised collective bargaining and for the forthcoming re-evaluation of the local and regional government pay scale system. Overall, we have won concrete, tangible advancements in the rights and conditions in the industrial relations of the Italian local and regional government sector, with clearer acceptance and provisions for facilities, paid holidays, sick leave, work/life balance, etc. The holidays can be placed on hold in case of bereavement and, experimentally, they can be taken on an hourly basis".

Bozzanca concluded, "more subjects and specific provisions will be negotiated in detail in decentralized collective bargaining at a local and workplace level, devolving more power to workplace trade union representatives[1].

FP-CGIL acknowledges that such results could only be possible thanks to the members and trade union representative mobilization in every workplace. “Together we have achieved an important result that addresses wages, rights and bargaining at the same time, marking concrete advances in all three. The new collective agreement puts an end to this 10-year freeze chapter once for all and pushes us forward, recognizing the value of all those workers who deliver public services to everyone, every day,” concluded the FP-CGIL General Secretary.

The signature of the pre-agreement for the Italian local and regional government sector closes a trail of signature of collective agreements concluded in the national administration, prisons and firefighter sectors. The agreement is now up for workers’ approval by democratic vote.

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[1] So-called “Rappresentanti Sindacali Unitari – RSU”, elected workplace trade union representatives representing all unions at a single workplace.

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