Is it time for stronger unions in the UK public sector? According to this it may be; ‘The French government has agreed to give pay rises worth €8bn (£7.2bn; $9bn) to health workers, as it hailed their role in fighting coronavirus. The deal was signed with trade unions on Monday after seven weeks of fraught negotiations. Health workers have been revered as heroes during the pandemic with regular displays of public appreciation. But they wanted more than recognition and have held protests to demand pay rises and better funding for hospitals. Some demonstrators were fined for breaking social-distancing rules. More than 200,000 infections and 30,000 deaths have been recorded in France, one of Europe's worst-hit countries. French health workers fined at Paris hospital protest Now the government has reached an agreement on pay that will see the wages of health workers rise by €183 a month on average. The agreement, which most trade unions have signed up to, was hailed by the new French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, as a "historic moment for our health system". "This is first of all recognition of those who have been on the front line in the fight against this epidemic," Mr Castex said at a signing ceremony. "It's also a way of catching up the delay for each and every one - including perhaps myself - has their share of responsibility."