Trade Council ‘Health services’ sees signing of two transnational cooperation agreements on fair labour mobility

28 Apr 2016

Today, CESI's Trade council 'Health services' - the members’ forum to discuss EU level health service policies - convened for its annual meeting in Brussels. Next to discussions on a variety of topics related to the needs of employees in the healthcare sector, two new transnational collaboration agreements on fair labour mobility were signed between three of CESI's member organisations: The German dbb, the Dutch CNV-Connectief and the Spanish SAE trade union organisations.

Trade Council ‘Health services’ sees signing of two transnational cooperation agreements on fair labour mobility

The agreement foresees mutual collaboration between the SAE and CNV-Connectief and the dbb respectively when it comes to support measures for mobile workers in the healthcare sector in Spain and the Netherlands / Germany.

CESI’s third and fourth deal on fair labour mobility in the healthcare sector

The agreements respond to increasing levels of social and occupation-related abuses of mobile workers by employers. CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “One of the particular complexities that many mobile workers face is a lack of information about the social and labour right conditions they enjoy in their host country. Employers often exploit this unawareness.”

The agreements follow two previous deals struck by CESI between its Spanish member organisation SATSE and the dbb. Klaus Heeger added: “I am more than happy that we managed to conclude two further collaboration agreements for a fair mobility of healthcare workers. We now have to implement the new agreements together with our partners.”

Discussions on m-health, access to healthcare and working time for carers

At the Trade council meeting, further deliberations and presentations were held on a variety of subjects related to the needs of employees in the healthcare sector.

Pēteris Zilgalvis, Head of Unit ‘Health and Well Being’ in the European Commission’s DG CNECT, updated the Trade council members on the most recent developments regarding the Commission’s Green paper on m-health.

Claire Mock-Muñoz de Luna from the Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health (MESU) spoke about the training that the Migrant and Ethnic Minorities Training Packages project delivered between 2014 and 2016 for health professionals with the aim to improve access and the quality of health services for migrants and ethnic minorities. She brought to the attention of the Trade council the gap that often exists between legal entitlements to health services on paper and access to them in practice.

Trade council President Esther Reyes Diez informed about the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) judgment of September 2016 in case C-266/14 in which it was ruled that where workers do not have a fixed or habitual place of work, the time spent travelling each day between home and the first and last customers constitutes working time within the meaning of the EU working time directive. Ms Reyes Diez stressed that this judgment may have positive consequences for many healthcare professionals that need to travel to patients over longer distances but are not paid during this time.

Finally, Francisco Toquero from CESI’s Spanish member organisation CSI-F gave a presentation on the consequences the recent economic crisis has had on the health and safety of health professionals in Spain. He reported that work intensity and job precariousness has increased markedly for many employees as a result of the crisis.

Picture: CESI Trade council ‘Health’ © CESI 2016