Dear colleagues, friends and people in solidarity!
In the first newsletter of 2023 we want to give you an overview of our activities in the last six months and tell you about our plans for the coming months.
News from our ongoing projects
Our work, our rights!
The project “Our Work, Our Rights!” is entering the next phase where we are expanding and optimising our counselling activities: We have a new colleague who works as a 24h care worker and brings a lot of experience in counselling her colleagues. Within the framework of this new part-time position, she will continue her counselling work on a paid basis and support the project management in the further development of the project. We are happy to be able to support our colleagues in 24-hour care with this position!
At the same time, the programming team was commissioned to create an internal database and an online platform for the counselling activities of 24-hour counsellors. The entire IG24-online counselling team is looking forward to it!
Care4Care: From precarious to safe working conditions
In the framework of the “Care4Care” project we present our first study “Promising Practices for the Employment of Live-In Care Workers in Europe”. The study contains an international comparison of the working conditions of domestic workers based on five selected examples. We hope you enjoy reading the study and look forward to its further dissemination! In April, the project started a second research phase, in which a concept for the employment of care workers will be elaborated and experts will be consulted.
Migracare: Integration of 24-hour caregivers in care networks in Austria
In February, IG24 launched the new project “Migracare“. The aim is to integrate caregivers into existing care networks in Austria. The aim is to facilitate an exchange between caregivers and community nurses, which should lead to further cooperation. The project also focuses on the further development of caregiver cafés, which serve as places for exchange and networking among caregivers and activists. Two carers work as experts in the project. The project is carried out in cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute.
Making the invisible visible
The project “Making the Invisible Visible” is the second project funded by the Chamber of Labour through the Digitisation Fund. Together with FORBA, we will develop a digital survey tool to collect a comprehensive picture of the experiences, working conditions and difficulties of 24-hour carers.
Beyond online data collection, the project also serves to encourage 24-hour carers to reflect on their work situation and actively shape the narratives about their sector. In this way, the project also promotes empowerment and self-determination for the 24-hour care community and thus supports the broader self-organisation of 24-hour care workers.
Future dates & plans
Invitation to the General Assembly for Domestic Workers in Brussels
EFFAT (European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions) has invited IG24 to the General Assembly for domestic workers in Brussels! In this meeting in May this year we will raise the issue of 24-hour care at European level and network with other unions.
Ute Bock Award
We are extremely pleased to receive the prestigious Ute Bock Award for Civil Courage on 22 May. It is awarded as a human rights prize by SOS Mitmensch and is probably the most prestigious award in Austria in this field. After winning the SozialMarie Award 2021, this means for us another confirmation of the importance of our work. You will find more detailed information about the award ceremony on our social media channels soon.
We have reached our fundraising goal!
We would like to thank all our donors and supporters for their great support of our crowdfunding campaign. Thanks to your support, we can take the fight against bogus self-employment and for socially secure working conditions in 24-hour care all the way to the Supreme Court (OGH).
While the care allowance for care families has been increased from 550€ to at least 640€ per month and a bonus for the controversial quality certification programme has been promised for the placement agencies, no improvement has been implemented for the 24h care workers. The announcement that dependent employment of 24-hour care workers should become more attractive through an improvement of labour law conditions, or the elaboration of a concrete working model, still only exists on paper.
In this context, IG24 demands the development of alternatives to the self-employed model, the consideration of the working conditions of caregivers in any certification measures as well as a corresponding increase in fees in line with the increased cost of living.
Platform Work Day
IG24 was invited to participate in the “Platform Work Day – Perspectives from Research and Interest Policy” organised by the City of Vienna and AK Vienna. The event on 25 May is about networking activists and researchers who deal with the issue of platform work in Austria. Together with colleagues from different fields, they will work on the trade union and political improvement of platform work.
Dialogue event with representatives of the ministries
On 24 May, the fourth dialogue event organised by Amnesty International will take place with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs and Section III for Women and Gender Equality of the Federal Chancellery. Together with other invited stakeholders – the Vienna Chamber of Labour, Vidaflex and CuraFAIR, the contact point for personal care workers – IG24 will discuss measures to protect personal care workers from exploitation, threats and violence. The measures refer to six concrete areas that will be further addressed: Improved legal framework, regular monitoring and control, awareness raising, education campaigns, work with relatives, strengthened networking. We will inform you separately about the results of the dialogue event!
Dignified Work – Dignified Care: International Conference in Spain
IG24 had the opportunity to participate in the international conference on domestic workers in Errenteria (Spain) in November 2022 and to report on the situation of caregivers in Austria. The aim of the conference was to gain insights into the situation of domestic workers in Spain, Italy and Austria and to discuss policies at national and European level (European Care Strategy).
Carers’ Café in Timisoara
IG24 organised another carers’ café for Romanian colleagues on 10 February in Timisoara, Romania. A group of about 15 people attended; we were very happy to get to know the colleagues better, to exchange ideas and to talk about the problems in this sector. The IG24 information material was of course made available to all participants!
In March, the volume “Wirtschaft neu ausrichten” (Reorienting the Economy) was published, which presents care initiatives in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. IG24 is represented in it with an interview. In addition, a conference for networking the initiatives presented in the book will take place in June, in which IG24 will participate.
Lecture at the JKU
IG24 gave a lecture at the JKU (Institute of Sociology, Department of Social Theory and Social Analysis) on 10 January as part of the lecture “Introduction to the Sociology of Migration”. We thank you for the invitation and for the exciting discussions with the students!
Thank you for your interest and support ♥