EPSU demands that Public Sector workers should not pay for the crisis!
(9 December 2010) Governments are attacking the wrong target. This is the message of a report published by the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU). The report (see attached), “The wrong target – how governments are making public sector workers pay for the crisis” was launched at a major conference gathering over 100 trade unionists from more than 27 European States. It looks at eight countries in the EU which have cut the pay of their public sector employees and what the effects are on workers, not just with statistics but also with human stories.
The report highlights a number of elements which are common to several states, for instance: the existence of repeated cuts, the elimination or reduction of bonuses and additional payments, reforms to pay systems and finally, the fact that the cuts are normally imposed rather than agreed with the unions. The report clearly shows that public sector workers are carrying a heavy weight of the crisis.
In presenting the report EPSU’s President Anne-Marie Perret said “we do not agree with the idea that the reduction of public services is the only way out of the crisis: more progressive taxation, investment plans and tackling tax fraud could be workable alternatives that neither the Member States nor the Commission are looking into. Moreover we need to start saying that the current growth and stability pact is not acceptable for workers in Europe”.
Alongside EPSU’s President, Cristina Iftimescu from the SANITAS health trade union in Romania pointed out that “one of the effects of the austerity plans in Romania is the elimination of the middle class, in Romania we have more and more super rich and super poor, Europe needs to think if that is the model it desires”.
Victoria Carrero, from FSP-UGT Spain, explaining the cuts imposed by the Spanish government said that “we are not just facing cuts, we are living through a campaign of criminalisation of public sector workers coming from the government, the media, etc”. EPSU calls for the current austerity plans to be stopped and all the focus to be put on growth and employment.
As part of its anti-austerity campaign EPSU will be demonstrating from 11am until noon the coming Wednesday 15 December at Rond Point Schuman Brussels.
“The wrong target – how governments are making public sector workers pay for the crisis” was commissioned by EPSU from the Labour Research Department in the UK. It was financed as part of a project supported by the European Commission.
For more information: Pablo Sanchez , psanchez epsu.org 00 32 (0) 4 74 62 66 33
Report “The wrong target – how governments are making public sector workers pay for the crisis”
Press release : "EPSU demands that Public Sector workers should not pay for the crisis!"