European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)
Press Communication – 13 May 2013
(13 May 2013) A new study for EPSU finds that after 15 years of experimenting with the EU internal market for electricity and gas its inherent flaws are not addressed. The study comes as the European Parliament will be voting on the Jerzy Buzek (Polish conservative MEP) report later in May. His draft report is uncritically in favour of the internal market for electricity and gas as is the European (...)
Press communication - Brussels, May 6 The first up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) – Water is a Human Right – has collected over 1.5 million signatures across Europe, and continues counting. 8 countries have passed the minimum number of signatures required. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Slovenia. (...)
(6 May 2013) EPSU condemns the one-sided measures announced by the Portuguese government this weekend. The measures hit public service workers and working families hard. 30.000 public service jobs will be cut.
Civil servants will have to work 40 hours a week instead of 35, thus seeing a sharp fall in pay and worsening of working conditions. Workers will only get a full pension at the age of 66. The measures do nothing to address the recession in Portugal which sees its economy shrinking (...)
(26 April 2013) The ETUC Executive Committee adopted a position on the social dimension of the European Union 23 April. It is the contribution of the ETUC to the discussions between the Parliament, Commission and Council (Member States) on the future of the European Union.
Our priorities are therefore to:
Stop cuts in public spending, social protection and wages. They are unfair, they increase unemployment, inequalities and poverty and they worsen recession.
Stop competition on wage (...)
(24 April 2013) In the lead up to the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, 28 April – also the International Day of Commemoration of Dead and Injured Workers – the International Labour Organization has published a new report emphasizing the importance of the prevention of occupational diseases at work.
"Well-known occupational diseases, such as pneumoconiosis, remain widespread, while relatively new occupational diseases, such as mental and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are on the (...)
(19 April 2013) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) firmly condemns and is utterly shocked that 30 migrant workers have been injured in a shooting on a strawberry farm in Greece after requesting salaries that had not been paid. Around 200 workers had gathered to request their unpaid salaries when at least one farm supervisor opened fire.
EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan declares: “This worrying incident shows how far we have come in Europe by ignoring (...)
(17 April 2013) The Depression is now 5 years old with no clear signs of recovery as yet another Euro-zone country – this time Cyprus – has been forced to implement austerity measures, while Slovenia is also under threat. These will have a massive impact on Cypriot society with the now familiar pattern of cuts in public spending, in public service workers’ wages and jobs as well as attacks on its system of industrial relations, indexation and minimum wage system.
These are the kinds of (...)
(11 April 2013) The outcome of the trial hearing on the detained trade union colleagues of KESK was positive: those in jail were all released. There will be no restrictions on their travel. Individual trade unionists, EPSU affiliates, EPSU, PSI and the global union movement have been pressing for their release. The prosecutor decided there was no reason for the continued detention.
KESK Press release: http://www.kesk.org.tr
For a previous article please see: (...)
(9 April 2013) Former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher died yesterday, 8 April 2013. She was a very controversial figure, known in particular for promoting privatization of public services.
The water industry was one of her many targets . In 1984, there were no precedents anywhere in the world to transfer water company assets to the private sector but this turned out to be one of her first defeats. A massive outcry of people, trade unions, environmental groups and members of her own (...)
As new investigation reveal how the rich dodge taxes– EPSU says: ban secrecy, invest in tax administrations and cross-border cooperation
EPSU statement (Brussels, 5 April 2013) - A group of investigative journalists revealed yesterday how 1000s of rich individuals are using tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/03/offshore-secrets-offshore-tax-haven. With an estimated 32 Trillion dollars (...)
(25 March 2013 - Press Communication) New research released today by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), as part of its closing the European tax gap campaign, shows impact of austerity on tax collection services.
The research seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate in the EU institutions on a new action plan against tax fraud and avoidance.
It reveals that since the start of the crisis, instead of investing in tax services that collect much needed revenues to (...)
(22 March 2013) Hundreds of activists will be collecting signatures for the right to water European Citizens Initiative in many countries in the EU on the occasion of World Water Day. More than 1 million citizens have already signed. The right2water initiative demands that water and sanitation are declared a human right in the EU.
Campaigners across the world will also be participating in the “International Year of Water Cooperation”, demanding that the human right to water and sanitation (...)
(15 March 2013) Employers and trade unions in the electricity sector adopted three positions in the electricity social dialogue committee which took place on 15 March 2013, Brussels. Jan Ruden, the EPSU chair of the Standing Committee Utilities and EPSU vice-chair of the social dialogue committee signed the three statements on behalf of EPSU.
A joint framework of actions on competencies and training – addressing youth unemployment and climate change
The European electricity sector is at an (...)
13 March 2013, EPSU Statement -
Promoting national social dialogue practices in social care and services
Today, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) organises an important meeting on social dialogue in social care and social services with the participation of more than 60 participants from 20 European countries. This meeting is intended to start off a more intensive and comprehensive cooperation at European level by the most representative organisation in this field (...)
EPSU Statement on International Women’s Day – 8 March 2013
Across Europe, governments have cut pay and jobs in the public sector in response to the financial crisis. These cuts are damaging the living standards and future prospects of millions of workers in the public sector, and impact disproportionally more on women.
A new EPSU report shows that austerity measures have been particularly harmful to women, who in most countries make up the majority of those employed in the public sector. (...)
(7 March 2013) With almost 100 colleagues in jail, trade unionists of the public sector trade union confederation KESK are amongst the most prosecuted and harassed trade union colleagues in Europe. Many of these union colleagues are still awaiting their first hearing in Court. 22 colleagues jailed on 25 June 2012 out of over 70 arrested on that day have yet to see their first judge. There is no indictment even after 8 months. A delegation of KESK spoke with EPSU Deputy General Secretary to (...)
(27 February 2013) In an open letter sent to Members of the European Parliament and Member States of the EU, 20 organisations such as EPSU request that the €10 billion budget cut foreseen to the EU’ 2014-2020 Research budget (called Horizon 2020) only affect industry subsidies that will mainly go to large multinational companies, not public interest research which is vital for Europe’s future.
(Press release - Brussels 22 February 2013)
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is disappointed that the concessions Directive will go to trialogue in which small delegations of Parliament, Council and Commission will hammer out compromises. EPSU had argued for a plenary debate given that the Directive is new, complex and several parts are contested and transparency is required.
We welcome the statements of several political groups and politicians promising to fight (...)
(22 February 2013)
"Your campaign has put the dangers of water privatization front and center on public and political agendas in Europe. That one million people agree that access to water and sanitation is a human right is a tremendous accomplishment and is a giant step forward in our common struggle to stop privatization", says Paul Moist, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Please find below his letter in English and French: support letter EN (...)
(19 February 2013) EPSU has been informed that almost 100 people have been arrested in raids including on trade union offices in Turkey. Trade unionists have been detained. The arrests are made in an attempt to find people linked to the suicide bomber that killed a security guard at the US embassy and which has been linked by the police to the organisation DHKP-C. EPSU rejects such acts of violence.
We condemn the massive attack by the Turkish state ruled by the AKP on trade unionists of (...)
What is next ? Water services? Healthcare ?
(19 February 2013) EPSU, Europe’s Public Service Workers Trade Union Federation is alarmed that the European Commission with its 4th railway package continues its ideological push to liberalise public services in the European Union. EPSU is concerned that the same arguments will be applied to other public services such as healthcare and water and sanitation.
The Commission is proposing a template for all Member States independent of their (...)
EPSU Press Release – 14 February 2013
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the European Commission’s draft directive for a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT), released on 14 February 2013.
EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach Pyttel says: “The Commission’s financial transactions tax proposal is better than the initial plan; the impact on growth and jobs will be more positive and risks of tax avoidance more limited. It is welcome that the increased scope of the (...)
(Press release - Brussels 11 February) Yesterday, the first up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) ‘Water is a Human Right’ made history as also being the first ECI in the history of the European Union to have collected over 1 million signatures.
Anne-Marie Perret, President of the Citizens Committee says “Reaching this important milestone, with one Million EU citizens agreeing that water and sanitation are human rights, is a great success. We appreciate the support of so many and (...)
(4 February 2013) The first up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) - Water is a Human Right – is more than 4/5ths of the way towards the target of a million online signatures. And many workers and citizens are collecting paper signatures as well. This ECI was the first to start the paper and on-line collection of signatures. It is the first initiative that has passed the ¾ threshold and likely to be the first to reach the 1 million mark.
Clearly many hundred thousands of citizens (...)
Parliament’s position weakens public services
(30 January 2013) On 23 January, the internal market committee of the European Parliament (IMCO) voted on the amendments to the Commission Proposal on the so-called concessions directive. The European Commission has argued that the directive would make it easier for private companies to run public services. It would encourage public-private partnerships operating public services for profit. EPSU together with other unions and organisations (...)
(28 January 2013) Welcoming migrants in the Euromed region: perspective of public sector employees . This new survey was carried out as part of an EU-funded project Public services meeting migrants submitted by EPSU’s French affiliate CFDT-Interco (2012).
It looks at working conditions in migration public services (charged with work/residency permits) and health services in direct contact with migrant/ users.
(EPSU statement - 23 January 2013 - Press Release) On 22 January 2013 EU finance ministers agreed to proceed with proposals for a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) under enhanced co-operation procedure. Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary, said: “The €zone countries are right to go ahead with a Financial Transaction Tax as it will spread the cost of the crisis on to those that actually caused it, benefit jobs and growth, provide much needed public resources for socially useful (...)
We are heading towards the end of 2012. This year, especially in the second half, we have witnessed a huge movement of workers, trade unions and other social society groups against the austerity dictate across Europe with a highlight on 14 November. This European Day of Action and Solidarity marked a milestone for Europe’s trade union movement. It was a success in terms of mobilization and visibility.
We have covered a very heavy agenda during 2012. We have now fully (...)
Press release - Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)
Amsterdam, December 20th, 2012
There are systematic, widespread and significant discrepancies between what electricity companies claim they are reporting on and the information they actually provide in their sustainability reports. These discrepancies diminish the accuracy and credibility of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and lead to whitewashing of business conduct. In a report published today, the Centre (...)
TUNED / EUPAE Press Communication – 19 December 2012
(French version below)
The European social partners[*], meeting in Brussels on Wednesday 12 December 2012 and represented by EUPAE for the employers and TUNED for the trade unions, have signed their first European framework agreement for a Quality Service in Central Government Administrations. The public services work in the general interest, a role whose necessity has been brought home to everyone by the economic crisis in which we (...)
(EPSU Press Communication, 14 December 2012) On 12 December 2012, the European Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of enhanced cooperation on a financial transaction tax (FTT).
EPSU welcomes the vote that gives the green light to at least 11 countries to implement a FTT - Germany, France, Italy, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Belgium, Austria, Portugal and Slovenia.
Amongst them, the FTT is expected to raise €37 billion annually. The revenue should contribute to (...)
(13 December 2012) Today in Ankara the court released the 15 female KESK (Public Service trade union confederation) members that had been jailed in February . We welcome the release of our colleagues and we would like to send them a warm message of solidarity after this victory. These trade unionists have been fighting for workers rights and trade unions in Turkey and this decision makes justice.
We want to greet them for having fought all the way under a lot of difficulties to have (...)
(Press Communication, 13 December 2012) The week before an important vote in the European Parliament on public procurement, EPSU’s study (*) provides timely insight into the importance of pay and other social clauses in public contracts. In 2010 EU Member States spent more than 2,400 billion Euros on buying works, goods and services through public procurement. As Eurobaromoter surveys show, most Europeans want that this money to be spent ‘socially’ and over half of EU Member States (...)
(Press Communication, 10 December 2012) Today, 10 December, is Human Rights Day. On this occasion mayors from 10 major European cities in 8 different countries are launching an appeal to their citizens to support the first ever up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) calling for the implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation into European law. www.right2water.eu.
The ECI is a new direct democracy tool introduced by Lisbon Treaty. It requires the collection of one (...)
Public service unions’ campaign to crack down on tax dodgers not public sector workers
(6 December, Cyprus) A delegation of EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, in cooperation with its Cypriot affiliate, PASYDY, met yesterday on 5 December in Nicosia to implement the EPSU campaign against tax fraud and avoidance.
The meeting coincides with the European Commission’s new plan to tackle tax fraud including tax heavens expected to be published today. Amid recent scandals (...)
(28 November 2012) At the PSI World congress taking place in Durban (South Africa) Rosa Pavanelli was elected as new General Secretary of Public Services International (PSI). Rosa Pavanelli is currently one of the EPSU Vice-President. From Italy, she is a member of FP-CGIL. She won with just over 70% of the votes of the congress replacing Peter Waldorf. Peter was General Secretary from 2007 to 2012. Peter was a former President of the EPSU National and European Administration Committee (...)
(28 November 2012) Since yesterday, November 27, Public Services International (EPSU’s international organisation) is holding its 29th world congress in Durban (South Africa).The congress will last until November 30. This congress will be an excellent opportunity for PSI and EPSU affiliates to take stock and evaluate the effects of the financial and economic crisis on public sectors and to give a push to the Quality Public Services Campaign.
An estimated 1,200 union leaders representing 20 (...)
(Brussels 21 November) Yesterday European Union staff in Brussels decided to down their tools and assemble outside the heart of the European Union quarter, in the Schuman roundabout, to protest again for the cuts imposed on them.
All the trade unions within European institutions have decided to go on strike as a follow up of their successful action on November 16. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) fully supports European Union institutions employees and their trade (...)
EPSU sends solidarity greetings to the hundreds of thousands of workers who will be supporting the ETUC’s European day of action on 14 November. Public service unions will be playing their part in the demonstrations and other activities and joining the general strikes in Spain and Portugal that are calling for an end to austerity.
The latest figures from the European Commission show the European economy shrinking in 2012. EPSU and the ETUC have argued for some time that the policy of (...)
We will move into our new office premises from 12 to 16 November. Our services will not be operational and the office will be closed during this period. We ask for your understanding for any inconvenience caused.
Please note our new address, valid from 12 November 2012 :
European Federation of Public Service Unions
Rue Joseph II, 40 - Box 5
EPSU Press communication – embargoed for 5 November
(Brussels 31 October) On 22 and 23 November the European Council is due to decide on the EU budget, the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework. The EU Commission proposes to make savings of 1 billion €, but some Member States have tabled extreme proposals foreseeing reductions of up to 15 billion €.
For that matter the trade unions within European institutions have decided to go on strike in the month of November. The European (...)
(23 October 2012) The European Trade Union Confederation Executive Committee on 17 October called for a day of action and solidarity for a Social Compact for Europe. The ETUC in that sense follows the congress resolution asking for a European mobilization to rally behind the principles and programme of the Athens Congress.
EPSU supports this call. Below you can find all the information in several languages of this important call.
Declaration- EN Declaration - (...)
(22 October 2012) An Energy Strategy was adopted by the Energy ministers on 18 October. The energy strategy seeks to create a common understanding of the challenges and of the need for investment in common projects both in infrastructure and production. The countries hope this will attract necessary investment. The unions have been critical as the strategy does not have a social dimension. Further integration and market opening of the electricity and gas markets will have a negative impact (...)
(16 October 2012) The debt crisis and how to get out of it is being discussed everywhere. And so it should. But there is a social debt which is just as central to save Europe as the monetary debt.
Programmes imposed on countries in difficulty, but also on other countries wanting to fit in the criteria, concentrate on cuts affecting the most vulnerable, on diminishing social protection and on weakening of industrial relations. It is a systematic enterprise to dismantle the social model (...)
Joint press release – 15 October 2012
Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)
(15 October 2012) In today’s European social, economic and political crisis-ridden context, local and regional authorities as employers and trade unions have committed to strengthening the European sectoral social dialogue in the local and regional government sector.
This commitment has been translated into a series of 12 recommendations that are (...)
(Brussels, 17 October 2012) The European Commission is deliberately promoting privatization of water services as one of the conditions being imposed as part of bailouts, it acknowledged in a letter to civil society groups on 26 September 2012 (see below).
EU Commissioner Olli Rehn’s directorate was responding to questions posed in an open letter concerning the European Commission’s role in imposing privatisation through the Troika in Greece, Portugal and other countries.
The civil society (...)
It was with great sorrow that we learned about the sudden and unexpected departure of Victor Duarte, the General Secretary of the Portuguese energy union Sindel. EPSU has sent its condolences to the union. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues. We wish them strength and courage.
(Press communication, 11 October 2012) At the 9 October ECOFIN Council, 11 governments agreed to launch a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). This is two more countries than required to kick off the enhanced cooperation procedure that allows groups of countries to move forward without the agreement of all 27 members.
The 11 pro-FTT Eurozone countries are France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia. The European Federation of Public (...)
(10 October 2012) The UK prime minister, the conservative party leader David Cameron, has announced that he will call for a referendum on the future relationship with the UK. Opposed as he is to leaving the EU, he wants a different settlement. He knows the European market is important for UK exports. He seeks to have the Single Market, and not much more. EPSU, Europe’s public service federation, is concerned about an approach to the EU which would undermine protection for workers in the (...)
(9 October 2012) The new handbook for shopstewards and workplace trade unionists addresses how unions are tackling energy and resource efficiency. It offers practical examples and including in public services. Examples covered include:
Use food-waste in prisons to produce electricity and solid waste to fertilise gardens
Colleagues in a hospital on a joint union-management committee conduct energy audits in the hospital
Residential care – union representatives worked to audit waste and (...)
(5 October 2012) Amid massive support from trade union members, the first trial was held of the women of KESK and KESK affiliated unions like EPSU members Tum-Bel-Sen (All Municipality Workers Trade Union) and SES (Health and Social Services Workers Union), 4 October 2012 in Ankara.
Hundreds of workers came from across Turkey to express their solidarity. They were joined by known media figures from music, arts and theatre and film as well as an international delegation including (...)
(3 October 2012 - Press Communication) On October 4, 15 female members of the confederation of Public Employees trade unions (KESK) will be in court accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation, while simply trying to organise women workers and fight for better jobs and conditions.
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is mobilizing its members in solidarity with KEKS members in court. The international trade union movement has been observing the alarming situation (...)
(1 October 2012) The pervasiveness of the EU austerity programmes was a theme that came back in many discussions of the EPSU utility unions, on 27 September. In water, waste, energy unions noted the lack of investment in forward looking and in progressive solutions that improve the quality of public services. Governments are reducing public spending in programmes that promote renewables, protect the environment or improve networks amongst others. An important driver for growth is (...)
(27 September 2012) The final conference of the Euromed project Informing and Training Public Sector Union Representatives on welcoming migrants took place on 18 and 19 September 2012 with the support of the European Commission. It was organised by Interco-CFDT, France, in cooperation with EPSU affiliates in Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Romania.
The conference brought together more than 50 union delegates, along with representatives of the migrant support group CIMADE, European (...)
(Brussels 26 September 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a warm message of solidarity to the Greece unions on strike today September 26 against the policies of the Greek Government and the austerity measures imposed by the troika.
As we have said before many times, public sector workers in Greece have been targeted by this ’catastroika’ that is ruining the country, plunging it into an even deeper and sharper crisis. This mobilization takes place in the (...)
(Brussels, 24 September 2012) A major new research paper on the activities of the water companies in Europe reveals a series of trends:
The ownership of private water companies in Europe in 2010 has become even more concentrated than before. It is now more than ever overwhelmingly dominated by the French multinational Suez Environment (part of GdFSuez) and Veolia.
Both Suez and Veolia, and other smaller companies such as SAUR (French) and FCC (Spanish), are increasingly dependent on (...)
(17 September 2012) The European Commission announced it is withdrawing its proposal for the Monti II regulation, 12 September 2012. The parliaments of 12 countries adopted reasoned opinions arguing the regulation violates the subsidiarity principle of the Treaty. In a letter to the President of the European Parliament the Commissioners responsible argued that while they disagree with the arguments raised against the regulation, they have understood that there is no political support in the (...)
(Press Communication - 4 September 2012) The first ever fully up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) is launched. "Water is a Human Right!" will be the first ECI in the history of the European Union to be collecting online and paper signatures. The website of the ECI is www.right2water.eu
This ECI is backed by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and a broad coalition of European civil society organisations (European Environmental Bureau, European Anti Poverty (...)
(Brussels, 7 September 2012 - Press Release) A new report from the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), University of Greenwich explores ongoing developments in the European energy market since the opening of the electricity and gas markets The report shows the challenges for workers, unions and European Works Council of dealing with reduction of emissions, problems with nuclear developments and continued merger and takeover activities including of networks and by private (...)
(Brussels 6 September - Press Release) The European Federation of Public Service Unions has come to know a leaked document prepared by the Troika imposing and overseeing the implementation of austerity policies in Greece and composed of representatives of the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF demanding further labour market reforms from the Greek government. This is totally unacceptable.
The proposals include the dismantling of the labour inspectorate as well as increasing the (...)
(3 September 2012) This is a message from Sincan Prison [ C-4 Ward Room: 77 ] by the General Secretary of EPSU’s affiliated health union SES (member of the KESK confederation).
In the letter, the General Secretary of SES, the health union of KESK, explains the reasons behind the recent wave of detentions of trade union members from KESK, the public sector trade union confederation in Turkey. It is a message sent from jail. Please send solidarity messages to Mehmet Siddik AKIN Secretary (...)
“THE CHALLENGE OF DISCUSSING TRADE UNION AND EUROPEAN ISSUES IN A COMMON LANGUAGE AND IN AN ENGLISH-SPEAKING ENVIRONMENT”
THIS COURSE IS DESIGNED TO HELP YOU DO JUST THAT!
Dear Colleagues, Please find below a reminder for the ETUI communication course in English that will be held from 17-21 September. We still have free places and the deadline for enrolment was extended to 27th August. We would be very glad to recruit some more participants but can already confirm that the course (...)
(Brussels 18 July 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a message of solidarity to their Spanish affiliates UGT, CCOO & USO in this moment of struggle against the unjust measures imposed by the Popular Party Government against the majority of the population and with special focus on public sector workers and the unemployed.
The Spanish government is again attacking the civil servants: they have now lost their extra pay for Christmas, which adds to the cuts (...)
(EPSU Press communication, Brussels 5 July) In the last few months we have seen an unprecedented clampdown on Turkish trade unionists. Today at least 73 members of the public sector union KESK are in prison, some of them without charges. Some others, as KESK President, have been released on bail.
The European Federation of Public Sector Unions (EPSU) has sent letters to the Turkish Government without reply, these joint letters with Public Services International (PSI) and the International (...)
(3 July 2012) In the last few weeks we have seen an unprecedented clampdown on Turkish trade unionists. Today at least 73 members of the public sector union KESK are in prison, some of them without charges. Some others, as KESK President, have been released on bail.
The bogus accusations and the general clampdown on journalists, civil rights defenders and students pushes us to organise a picket of solidarity on Friday 6th July at noon outside of the Turkish delegation to the European Union (...)
(Brussels 28 June - EPSU Press communication) The European Council may today agree a growth compact. This would be a very much needed step in the right direction but still it would fail to address the damage inflicted by austerity measures on public services. Public services are crucial to the growth agenda but evidence compiled by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) shows how safety and environmental services are among those under serious threat from cutbacks.
Over 100 trade union and employer representatives, researchers and government officials met in Brussels on 21-22 June to debate a major new study that exposes the impact of austerity measures on workers, public services and social dialogue in the public sector.
The study commissioned by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the European Commission provides detailed evidence on 15 countries. The damage inflicted is not just on the pay and conditions of public service workers but (...)
(Brussels 27 June, Press Communication) Today, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), ahead of the European Council on 28-29 June, has sent a letter to the Danish and Cypriot Finance ministers urging them to support enhanced cooperation for a Financial Transactions Tax ( FTT). Despite the fact that unanimity of the EU 27 governments was not reached on the last ECOFIN meeting of 22 June, Europe has still a chance to implement an FTT and the European Union Presidency has (...)
no progress made to stop killing of unionists
The Congress of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) voted a resolution deploring the fact that Colombia was the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist in 2009. 3 years later and despite a change of the Columbian Government it remains the most dangerous country for trade unionists.
Statement on International Public Services Day by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)
Public services urgently need an alternative to austerity!
(23 June 2012) The continuing focus on austerity by the European institutions and national governments has already taken a heavy toll on public services. EPSU has been monitoring the immediate impact in a series of research reports but these can only give an indication of the serious, long-term damage that is likely to be the (...)
(21 June 2012) On April 1st the first European Citizens Initiative (ECI) on water was registered at the European Commission (EC). This ECI is sponsored by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and it enjoys broad support from civil society at European level as well as in all 27 European Union (EU) Member States.
On May 10th we officially started to collect signatures and today June 21st we give the starting signal for the paper collection. In tens of European cities (...)
(EPSU Press communication - 7 June 2012) A new transnational company agreement was signed between representatives of the European trade union federations and management of GdfSuez, the French multi-utility company, 5 June 2012, Paris. The agreement aims to define unjustified differences between men and women and remove these to achieve pay equality between men and women and taking account of all salary elements and achieving a better balance between professional and family life. The (...)
(6 June 2012) FP CGIL has launched the subscription to support a project to organize schools for children from 0 to 6 in the tent camps in the area of the earthquake in Emilia Romagna.
Letter from FP-CGIL
(30 May 2012) EPSU sends solidarity greetings to all the trade unions involved in the strike action in the Norwegian public sector.
The public sector wide strike began on Thursday 24 May after attempts at mediation over pay negotiations ended without a result. The unions involved now in the strike are coordinating their action and gradually increasing the number of workers coming out on strike.
At the centre of the dispute are the trade unions’ efforts to ensure that pay increases in the (...)
(24 May 2012) Bernadette Segol brought a clear message to Council President Herman Van Rompuy: ETUC does not support the continued strategy of austerity. It does not work as the situation in Greece, other countries and the EU indicates. Unemployment and in particular youth unemployment as well as precarious work and the number of working poor increase. A strategy focused on growth, investment and job creation will bring Europe forward and that is what we expect of the Informal Council. A (...)
(15 May 2012) EPSU has joined the Global Campaign to end immigration detention of children, launched by the International Detention Coalition on 21 March 2012 condemning the use of detention as a common migration management tool.
This campaign focuses on child detention by promoting stories of children and parents from all over the world who have experienced or been impacted by immigration detention.
Key aims of the campaign are both to spread the stories of those children who have (...)
(7 May 2012) The European Commission is proposing to regulate the right to strike. The need for this arises out of the decisions of the European Court of Justice that ruled in the Laval and Viking cases that the economic free movements are primary EU law and hence have a higher status as the right to industrial action. Strikes and other actions could be curtailed if they would hinder the free movement of establishment, goods and services. In its proposals to promote the internal market and (...)
EPSU Press Release - 7 May 2012
EPSU trade union representatives from more than 20 European countries will discuss at the EPSU Annual Conference Local and Regional Government in Riga on the 8th of May about the advantages and challenges of remunicipalization.
Local and Regional authorities across Europe are responsible for the delivery of a wide range of services to citizens, which include: public passenger transport, public utility services (water supply and waste water treatment, waste (...)
European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard addressed the EPSU Executive Committee on 24 April 2012. EPSU had invited the Commissioner to discuss the impact of climate change on public services following the EPSU study which explored the effects for a broad range of services. Public services play a key role in mitigation and especially in adaptation measures. The Commissioner is also responsible for adaptation. EPSU is concerned that the austerity crisis will affect the (...)
(Press Communication, 27 April 2012) EPSU welcomes the vote in European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee on 25 April in favour of a Financial Transactions Tax in Europe, as a first and essential step towards a global FTT. The vote in plenary is scheduled for 21-24 May 2012.
(20 April 2012) Press communication – Media Advisory
On April 1st the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sponsored a European Citizens Initiative calling for water to be recognized as a Human Right www.right2water.eu.
The European Citizens Initiative is a new direct democracy tool introduced by the European Commission. It requires the collection of 1 million signatures in more than 7 European Members States.
The ’Water is a Human Right’ Campaign is a initiative of EPSU (...)
(19 April 2012) On Saturday 21 April a mass demonstration against anti-social reforms will take place. Organisers demand the government’s resignation as well as the call for early elections. Led by trade unions and together with more than 20 civil initiatives, NGOs, including organizations representing patients, pensioners, unemployed, as well as university students, demonstrators will protest against the current living and working conditions in the Czech Republic.
The main demands are (...)
EPSU Press communication
(18 April 2012) Argentine President Kirchner stated that she will propose to the Argentine Parliament the partial nationalisation of the oil company YPF.
YPF is a subsidiary of Spanish oil company Repsol, which owns 57% of the shares. Repsol is shouting out loud how unjust this is and seeks international arbitration. The Spanish government is threatening revenge. It is followed by most commentators in the media in supporting the interests of the company.
But most (...)
(11 April 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a warm message of solidarity to the 11 members of the Executive of the Federation of Correctional Personnel Unions in Greece , OSYE, (member of ADEDY confederation) who have started a hunger strike last Saturday 7 April until Friday 13th.
This is the first time that the union resorts to a hunger strike. It is a protest at the dire overpopulation in all correctional facilities in Greece, the chronic (...)
(10 April 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) wishes to express its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the bus inspector brutally killed this Easter in Brussels while doing his job. It extends its solidarity to all the public sector workers working for Brussels transport.
EPSU also sends a solidarity message to the workers of the Andenne prison (in the region of Namur) that have been injured, during an attempt by inmates to escape the prison. (...)
(3 April 2012) On Sunday April 1st , the first possible day, the Citizens Committee of the European Citizen Initiative (ECI) on Water as a Human Right submitted to the European Commission its demand for an ECI.
After having launched the website www.right2water.eu for the European Citizen Initiative “Water is a Human Right not a commodity” , the organisers are awaiting for the EC response. This ECI is sponsored by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU).
The European (...)
ETUI and EPSU present a brochure on working conditions for firefighters in Europe.
(3 April 2012) The firefighters network of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) met on 3 April to discuss around themes arising from a recent publication focused on firefighters’ working conditions in Europe.
The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) 50 pages brochure has been put together in cooperation with the EPSU. It addresses the ‘classic’ risks involved in this profession (risks from (...)
(26 March 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) expresses its support to its affiliates taking part in the General Strike organised by all the Spanish trade union confederations.
The General Strike is to express opposition against the Spanish government’s labour market reform constituting a severe attack on working people, on the union movement and on the existing Spanish labour law. It significantly weakens the collective bargaining process and enables the (...)
Press release, 22 March, World Water Day – Launch of the website www.right2water.eu for European Citizen Initiative “Water is a Human Right not a commodity” sponsored by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). This website will be one of the tools for the collection of signatures.
The next step will be to submit the initiative to the European Commission on 2 April. The European Commission then has up to two months to validate the European Citizens Initiative (ECI). After the (...)
Statement for World Water Day 22 March 2012
On World Water Day EPSU is launching its campaign “water and sanitation are a human right”, “water is a public good, not a commodity” and the final steps to submit the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) are underway. Information on this campaign can be found at: www.right2water.eu.
Trade unionists from the European Public Services Unions and EPSU, environmental groups, anti-poverty campaigners and many citizens will campaign for the European (...)
EPSU Press communication, (Marseille 18 March) During both the World Water Forum and the Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille this week, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) announced the first European Citizens’ Initiative that will be lodged with the European Commission (EC) on April 1. EPSU is sponsoring this citizen campaign to achieve the implementation of Water as a Human Right, per the United Nations Declaration passed on 28 July 2010. The ECI petition also (...)
(8 March 2012) Please send your support for a FTT in Europe, as a first and essential step for a global FTT, to all EU finance and economic affairs ministers www.financialtransactiontax.eu before Monday 13 March 2012.
It takes 3 minutes to do it, thank you !
Public Services International and EPSU celebrates International Women’s Day - 8 March
On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2012, Public Services International recognises and applauds the work of women trade unionists, who are always at the very heart of our struggle for human and labour rights and equality.
We express our solidarity with our sisters who place themselves on the front line, delivering vital public services to the most vulnerable in our communities. We call on governments to (...)
Brussels, 29 February 2012 - On the eve of the European Council on 1-2 March 2012, the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) and the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) call on European governments and EU institutions to focus on addressing inequality and promoting inclusive growth rather than slashing public services, social security systems and commit to the delivery of Europe 2020 targets.
While the EU formally ratified the Europe 2020 Strategy with concrete targets in (...)
Joint EPSU – ETUCE – ETF Solidarity Statement
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), The European Transport Federation (ETF) and European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) support the mobilisation of all the Spanish trade union confederations against the reform of the labour code that the Spanish Government has done by decree.
(28 February 2012) The reform under the direction of the European Union and the international Monetary Fund (IMF) like in other countries, (...)
(27 February 2012) Activists of the Italian Forum of the Water Movement occupied the premises of the Italian Minister of the Environment, 24 February 2012, Rome.
The Italian Water Movement wants that the government confirms the results of the referendum in which 26 million Italians expressed themselves against the privatisation and liberalisation of water services.
The Monti government has not expressed itself clearly. The occupiers and including representatives of EPSU affiliate CGIL-FP (...)
(15 February 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) supports the call by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) to mobilise across Europe against the European Treaty on February 29th on the eve of the European tri-partite summit.
EPSU has been since September 2010 at the forefront of the mobilisations against unfair austerity measures imposed in the bulk majority of European countries and it will continue to do so as long as the workers will be (...)
(15 February 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) mobilized for solidarity on Friday 10th February in Brussels following a call by one of its Belgian affiliates to demonstrate outside the Greek Permanent representation to the European Union (EU). At that time, Greece was living a 48 hours General strike against the austerity measures imposed by the troika (International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and EU).
EPSU also sent a message to all its affiliates (...)
another tale of the missing links (EPSU Statement, 14 February 2012) EPSU notes that the European Commission (EC) focuses in the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) on the need to modernise public administrations. This can give the impression that public administrations have been static sectors of the economy and resistent to change, whereas in fact public administrations have been undergoing many reforms in the past decade. However, as the OECD’s “Government at a glance 2011” points out, “despite a plethora of reforms implemented by countries over the past decade, little empirical evidence currently exists about which public administration reforms bring about efficiency and productivitiy gains”.
Press release, 9 February 2012
(Greek & French versions below)
“The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) stands in solidarity with the Greek trade union movement”, says Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, General Secretary of EPSU, on the eve of another 48h General Strike coming Friday and Saturday.
This strike is to demonstrate opposition against the proposal to reduce the minimum wage to 520€ and to abolish collective agreements. “This is punishing those workers who have problems (...)
(Greek version below) - 9 February 2012 - The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends, yet again, a message of solidarity to the Greek unions that were on strike the day before yesterday against the proposed « solutions » that the troika is negotiating with the Greek Government.
The new austerity package being discussed (...)
With many actions and including civil disobedience, the Italian organizations that form the Italian Water Movement forced the Italian government of former European Commissioner Mario Monti to withdraw a proposal to liberalise water services 19 January 2012. The Italian people spoke out in large majority (>90%) against the liberalization and privatisation of the water services in June 2011.
However the European Central Bank demanded that Italy do exactly that and have a “comprehensive, (...)
(25 January 2012) The ETUC has considerable concerns about the new Austerity Treaty that is being negotiated in haste and without much participation of Europe’s citizens, social partners and others. The European Council of 9 December 2011 agreed to conclude a Fiscal Compact, the main measure of which is the balanced budget rule that all countries have to approve in legislation or constitutions. Together with the set of measures already adopted (the six pack) and further measures for the (...)
EPSU Press communication
(24 January 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is supporting and participating in the press conference that the European Trade Union Confederation is organizing on 25 January. EPSU has been at the forefront of the mobilisation against austerity and for public services, like our European mobilisitation of November 30th shows.
We call to put an end to the social damage and to stop austerity measures that eat away at the purchasing power of (...)
(18 January 2012) The Italian water movement achieved a great victory in June 2011 when millions of Italians said no to the liberalization and privatisation of water services. The European Central Bank however has sought to reverse this decisions in a secret letter to the Italian government in July 2011. In this letter the then President Trichet advised: “A comprehensive, far-reaching and credible reform strategy, including the full liberalisation of local public services and of professional (...)
(18 January 2012) The Brussels region of the Mouvement Ouvrier Chrétien (MOC) addressed the Belgian government austerity measures and their implications. Speakers of ACV-CSC (the union confederation), the women’s and the youth movement, the mutualités (sicknessfunds) and the Belgian tax justice network underlined different aspects. The trade unions announced the general strike for 30 January 2012. All Belgian confederations will participate and mobilize. The perception of the participants was (...)
(17 January 2012) The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) along with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Education International (EI), the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), Public Services International (PSI), and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), have jointly written to the Turkish Prime Minister, the President, Labour minister and so on with a copy to the European Commissioner responsible for relations with Turkey (see (...)
2011 draws to a close. We have seen persistent attacks on public services and workers’ rights across the continent amidst growing uncertainty over the future of the Euro and indeed the ‘European project’ as a whole.
A number of immense challenges lie before us, but in facing these we can build on the not insignificant successes of this year and take inspiration from the EPSU coordinated action around 30 November. This was made up of major trade union actions, strikes, (...)
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends its solidarity to all its Belgian affiliates on strike on December 22, about the consequences of the Government agreement. The lack of consultation and information of the government has infuriated the trade unions that get to know the government plans on public pensions through the media. This unacceptable situation has pushed them to call for a 24h public sector general strike. This behavior is a copy and paste of the arrogant (...)
(19 December 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends its solidarity greetings to all Italian public sector workers who will be striking today to protest against the austerity measures of the Monti Government. This joint action by EPSU Italian affiliates FP-CGIL and CISL-FP to amend the budget is the second after a three-hour general strike on Monday 12th December.
The measures proposed to adjust the budget put most of the economic burden on working people and (...)
(30 November 2011) Thousands of public sector workers from Portugal to Russia and from Norway to Cyprus have participated in the strikes, demonstrations, pickets, rallies up and down Europe to protest against austerity to reclaim justice and Social Europe. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) wants to thanks all those that have helped us to make this day a success. The fight goes on!
(7 December) On 22 and 23 November 2011, European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) affiliates from Western Balkan (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia) and Norway, met in Belgrade, Serbia, to discuss corruption in public services, notably public administration, judiciary and health sectors.
This was the first meeting of EPSU affiliates on this topic with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung - Regional Office for project labour relations (...)
(7 December 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends its warmest solidarity greetings to the demonstrators and strikers that are taking action today in defense of the Arcelor-Mittal site in Liège (Belgium). The announced closure of this workplace will cause the loss of 10000 jobs and has started a movement of solidarity and support that expresses itself in the first European strike at all sites of the same company as well as a mass demonstration in Liege and an (...)
For immediate release – 29 November 2011
On Wednesday 30 November, public sector workers will protest against austerity measures in more than 25 European countries, following a call for action by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). Actions will include strikes, demonstrations and public marches.
In Britain, unions are planning the largest strike since 1926 - to oppose changes to public sector workers’ pensions. In Portugal, following the most successful general strike (...)
(24 November 2011) The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) discussed the grave economic and social situation in Europe at its meeting 9 November 2011. Public service and public service workers are under pressure (read more)
Press Communication, 23 November 2011
The European Commission has published today its second Annual Growth Survey. According to the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), the Commission continues with the known litany of recommendations to Member States: fiscal austerity, completing the internal market and more flexibility of the labour market and of wages. With other words the European Commission asks people in Europe to tighten their belts, forsake good quality public (...)
(22 November 2011) Dear Commission President Barroso,
The Commission will adopt its 2nd Annual Growth Survey this Wednesday 23 November. EPSU expects a focus on investment and growth to address high unemployment and rising poverty in the European Union. A change of direction is needed away from austerity, precarious jobs and inequality towards sustainable development, fair taxation, investment in public services, more equality and less poverty.
A clear position is needed against the (...)
(Brussels 15 November) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a message of solidarity and congratulates its Portuguese affiliates for the successful demonstration that took place in Lisbon last Saturday (November 12).
The demonstration was called to defend of Public services and against the austerity measures of the Portuguese Government. It was organised by all EPSU Portuguese affiliates and it had more than 180.000 participants according to the police figures. (...)
(Press Communication, 14 November 2011) The Government must fulfill its commitments towards wages for health professionals in the Czech Republic. Several health trade unions in the Czech Republic demand to the Government to keep the promises made to trade unions after the doctors mobilization of last year. The Government promised a 10% raise, for all medical staff, now they are back tracking. The raise promised by the Minister of Health should be part of the annual budget decree. Health (...)
(Press release, 10 November 2011) The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Services (EPSU) decided to coordinate on November 30th across Europe a day of joint action against austerity and for Social Europe. This coincides with the meeting of the Council of Finance Ministers in Brussels and with the Employment Council the day after.
Angry about the inability of European leaders to define a positive solution to the crisis and following many national actions by public (...)
(Press communication – 7 November 2011) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), the Austrian Trade Union Federation (OGB) office in Brussels and the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (AK) organise a meeting to launch a major study that questions the objectives, motivation and rationale behind proposed changes to the current definition of public services and trade agreements.
In the current context of crisis and indebted local and regional governments, the CETA (...)
(25 October 2011) The European Federation of Public Services (EPSU) is moved by the images of the earthquake that shook the Eastern part of Turkey. The eastern city of Van was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Sunday, 23 October. At this moment more than 270 people have been reported dead and more than a thousand people are injured in the quake.
The search and rescue operations are going on and there is a concern about death toll rise, in this moment we send a warm solidarity message (...)
(24 October 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) notes the overwhelming support the actions of the Greek trade unions had on 19 and 20 October. It sends a strong message by the Greek people to the European Troika and their government about the Greek people’s struggle to stop the blind austerity that is taking a huge toll on Greek society. The Troika’s interventions have led to a drop in the living and working conditions affecting a population already squeezed by 18 (...)
(19 October 2011- Press Communication) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) held the biggest gathering in 2011 of health workers in Europe to discuss the effects of the crisis on health and Social Services workers. EPSU is the biggest organization of workers in Europe in the health sector. About 100 people from more than 27 European countries attended the event.
The conference discussed the challenges that the crisis is putting on the different health systems of Europe. (...)
(18 October 2011, press communication) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), representing a majority of unionised prison staff in Europe, seeks changes to the Council of Europe’s draft Code of ethics for prison staff.
More than 300.000 men and women work in prisons in Europe. They carry out a demanding dangerous job in a context of an ever-increasing prison population. The ongoing austerity measures mean fewer resources for prison and probation services as well as (...)
(17 October 2011) The European Works Council of GdfSuez reached a groundbreaking opinion regarding the participation of the Chinese Sovereign wealth fund in the company. The opinion can be seen as a rebuff to the efforts of the Chinese government to win international respect. This remains difficult if transparency and labour rights are not respected.
The French company GdfSuez is working on a deal to open the capital of its Gas exploration business (EPI) and oversees-LNG to the Chinese (...)
(13 October 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) salutes the global movement of citizens organizing actions on 15th October.
This movement was launched by millions of young, unemployed and working people in the streets of Spain to protest government austerity policies that affect working men and women, unemployed and other citizens responsible for the crisis. The Spanish movement was inspired by the Arab Spring and has since spread to Israel, the United States, (...)
(Brussels 7 October) Today, we are celebrating the 4th World Day for Decent Work with unprecedented unrest due to the attacks on working conditions and workers, specially public sector workers in Europe. There is mounting pressure on banks, financial institutions and speculators to take their responsibility for the economic crisis.
More than 400 actions across 70 countries coordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and supported by EPSU affiliates in many European (...)
(Brussels 7 October) On October 6th three health workers have been injured during a demonstration in Lyon organized by the personnel of the non-profit health and social sector. Two of them are seriously injured. The convener of the CGT union of the Clinic of Saint-Etienne, the third injured, is critically ill in hospital.
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) expresses its support with these three workers. Together with other protesters they have been attacked with (...)
(29 September 2011) Press communication
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the draft directive for a financial transactions tax for Europe adopted by the Commission on 28 September 2011.
This is a victory for the coalition of trade unions, NGOs and political parties, that battled hard for a FTT in the EU as a first step towards a global tax.
EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach Pyttel said “We have won on 2 principles, the need to crack down on financial (...)
(29 September 2011 - Press Communication) The European Parliament approved legislative measures which put a straight jacket on the countries of the European Union, 28 September. The measures aim to address excessive public deficits, reduce public debt and correct macro-economic imbalances but do nothing to enhance growth and create jobs. The package does not stimulate investment in public services and infrastructure nor in the green economy.
These measures do not address the causes of the (...)
(September 25) On September 17th more than 50,000 workers and trade unionists from across Europe (Belgium, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Czech Republic, SLovakia, Germany, Austria) and, of course Poland, marched through the streets of Wroclaw as the Council of Economy and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) was meeting to decide about the measures to be taken in the current stage of the financial and economic crisis.
Call by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) this demonstration was to (...)
(16 September 2011) Representatives of both EPSU and the ETUC took part in yesterday’s conference on wage trends in Europe organized by DG Employment. There were wide-ranging discussions around wage-setting and the link to productivity and competitiveness, levels and trends in collective bargaining, the impact of indexation systems and the causes and results of growing wage inequality.
Both EPSU and the ETUC were keen to alert participants to the fact that, despite commitments from the (...)
(13 September 2011) At its 3rd working group meeting on 09 September 2011 in Brussels, the social dialogue committee for central government administrations stated that the gender pay gap is unacceptable in modern central government administrations. The discussion took place in view of the European Commission’s pending consultation of the trade unions and employers on the revision of the EU equal pay directive scheduled for November this year.
Following presentations of the Commission’s (...)
The rising trend of third party violence must be reversed Following the third and final regional workshop of the European social partner project on Implementing the Multisectoral Guidelines on Third Party Violence, EPSU calls on all relevant actors to do more to halt the trend of increasing violence in the workplace and to put an end this intolerable phenomenon.
EPSU and our affiliates reiterate that violence in the workplace, whatever its provenance or form, is unacceptable. All (...)
(Press Release, 17 August 2011) The German chancellor and French President have announced a series of proposals following their meeting 16 August 2011. These proposals include:
The idea of a Euro-zone economic council to police the austerity measures of governments to be headed by EU President Herman van Rompuy. The focus would be on promoting competitiveness of the Eurozone.
The suggestion to introduce a brake or ceiling on debts in national constitutions already known from the (...)
28 July is a memorable day. Today is the first anniversary of the recognition by the UN of water and sanitation as a human right. However, 1 billion people still do not have access to clean drinking water and 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation. The UN resolution is a first step towards solving this problem.
The recognition of water and sanitation as a human right does not automatically increase the number of people with access to safe, clean and affordable water and sanitation. (...)
(EPSU press release, Brussels 28 July 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has sent an open letter to European Commissioner Viviane Reding (read below) demanding that it takes action to ensure that the work done to date to close the gender pay gap is not rolled back as a result of the cuts implemented across Europe as governments seek to reduce their deficits in the wake of the banking bailouts. Speaking on behalf of the more than 5 million women affiliated to EPSU, (...)
(25 July 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) expresses its solidarity with the Norwegian people in this moment of shock, after the horrible bombings in central Oslo and the shootings at the island Utøya outside Oslo. We also want to send our condolences to our affiliated members that have perished in this criminal act inspired by hate and racism.
The actions have caused at least 93 dead, amongst them affiliated members of the public service unions of Norway and (...)
(July 12) Godfrey Perera, Secretary General of HOSPEEM (European hospital and healthcare employers’ association) and Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, General Secretary (European Federation of Public Service Unions) met yesterday Commissioner John Dalli to discuss cooperation between DG SANCO and the recognised European Social Partners in the hospital and healthcare sector.
The meeting built the foundation for co-operation with the social partners in the hospital and health care sector. Commissioner (...)
The ITUC global trade union confederation is calling on affiliates to support its campaign to highlight the abuse of trade union rights in Georgia. The circular issued on 29 June asks affiliates to:
raise awareness about workers’ rights in Georgia by sending out information produced by the ITUC and the Georgian Trade Union Confederation (GTUC) information about the situation in the country; and
communicate the ITUC position to national governments and members of the EU Parliament and (...)
(6 July 2011) The Council of European Municipalities and Regions’ Employers’ Platform (CEMR-EP) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcome the European Commission Guide on socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) as a tool to better explain how social criteria could be applied to public procurement and to help socially responsible purchasing.
However, in the context of the current revision of public procurement rules, the CEMR-EP and EPSU recall that benefits (...)
Joint press release on the occasion of the European Commission’s Conference “Modernising public procurement” 30 June 2011
KEY DEMANDS AND MESSAGES FROM THE NETWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT
(30 June 2011) The Network for Sustainable Development in Public Procurement (EPSU, GMB, UNISON, EMF, EFFAT, EFBWW, SOLIDAR, EFTA, Fairtrade International, WFTO-Europe, FERN, EMCEF, Ver.di, TUC, ENSIE, UNI Europa, Setem, and NETWORKWEAR) on the occasion of the European (...)
(29 June 2011) EPSU sends solidarity greetings to civil servants and other public sector workers
On 30 June hundreds of thousands of civil servants and teachers in the UK will be taking part in a national strike over changes to their pension arrangements. EPSU affiliate PCS, the largest civil service union, is taking the action because of the government’s refusal to undertake proper negotiations over the core elements of the pension changes.
The union says that the changes that the (...)
(27 June 2011) EPSU sends solidarity greetings to its Greek affiliate ADEDY and the GSEE private sector confederation
On Tuesday and Wednesday 28-29 June the ADEDY civil service confederation and GSEE private sector confederation will again be mobilising their members in a general strike in protest at the austerity measures being implemented by the Greek government under pressure from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
ADEDY and GSEE have (...)
PRESS RELEASE (June 24) Yesterday, the conservative dominated European Parliament voted in favour of the compromises reached with the Council regarding the 6 legislative measures on economic governance.
For the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), this means forcing Member States into a strait-jacket that will squeeze public services, cut public spending and put pressure on the wages of nurses, teachers, police, fire-fighters, refuse collectors, tax-inspectors, child and (...)
Joint press release (Brussels 23 June 2011) On the occasion of World Public Services day, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), UNI Europa, the European Service Workers’ Union and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW), endorse the Quality Public Services—Action Now! campaign launched by the Council of Global Unions today .
They warn European (...)
Press release – 23 June 2011
(June 23) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) together with Public Services International (PSI) have been campaigning for a ‘Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) Now’ at Global level on the Global Day of Action.
A huge diversity of events, bringing together thousands of organisations, have been taking place across five continents: from Brussels to New York, Brazil to Nepal they demonstrate the global support for a FTT, popularly known in many (...)
Communication à la presse – 22 juin 2011
En ce 22 juin 2011, journée internationale pour la taxe sur les transactions financières, les maires de Bruxelles et de Nantes, Freddy Thielemans et Jean-Marc Ayrault, réaffirment leur demande pour une telle taxe, et ceci initialement dans l’Union Européenne. Dans un entretien de haut niveau avec la Secrétaire Générale de la Fédération Syndicale Européenne des Services Publics (FSESP), Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, ils se félicitent du vote favorable du Parlement (...)
(20 June 2011) Tomorrow the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) will be marching in the European demonstration in Luxembourg to protest against the European Commission plans for the Economic Governance and the Europact plus.
The demo will be heald as the European Finance Ministers meet in that city. On Thursday the European Parliament will vote this policy package and on Friday the Council will have the final showdown of the process with an agreement of the Europact plus (...)
(Press release – 20 June 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) expresses its deep concern that the EU Employment and Social Affairs have failed, yet again, to make progress on the revision of the pregnant workers directive which would provide improved maternity rights for millions of women across the EU. At the meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 17 June, the EU Employment Ministers were unable, and in some (...)
(16 June 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is supporting a call made by different political families at the European Parliament for a different Economic Governance. As the trialogue is coming to an end with the Pact for the Europlus and the Economic Governance package we want to step up the calls for a different approach and a new course to European policy.
The change Europe appeal is one step more of the campaign that EPSU is doing to get Europe to change (...)
EPSU Press Communication – 16 June 2011
Service quality and well-being at work must be part of any debate about productivity
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is entering the final stages of its project about productivity in the public sector. The project report will be based on first hand experience across Europe and it has been commissioned from the Working Life Research Centre of Vienna (FORBA) and independent researcher David Tarren.
The confused debate about the (...)
EPSU Press Communication – 14 June 2011
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the magnificent result of the referendum that took place in Italy on 12 and 13 June.
More than 55% of Italians voted in the Referendum against the privatisation of water and local public services. Over 95% of those that voted said yes to public water! This means that more than 26 million people have expressed their opposition to the privatisation plans, despite the fact that (...)
(9 June 2011) Around 100,000 public sector workers in Botswana, Southern Africa, have been on strike since 18 April 2011.
After enduring a three year wage freeze, which has left salaries well below the cost of living, workers are demanding a 16% wage rise. All attempts at negotiation have ended in deadlock and the strike continues.
The Government has responded by dismissing hundreds of workers classified as providing essential services, including doctors and nurses. Leaders of public (...)
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has cause again to protest against the repeated and disproportionate intervention of Turkish police forces against peaceful demonstrators. The demonstrators arrested on 2 June in Ankara and Istanbul were protesting against the death of Metin Lokumcuin the city of Hopa in the Black Sea region. In these protests 54 people were arrested, amongst them several members of the KESK trade union confederation.
According to the reports (...)
In the 12th Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation the Athens Manifesto was approved. It gives the road map for the European trade unions in the coming four years. We would like to make this manifesto known to all unions in Europe. Here is the text. We also provide the translation in Russian.
The Athens Manifesto Athens Manifesto - EN Athens Manifesto - FR Athens Manifesto - (...)
ETUC call for action - for a fair and more equal Europe
The ETUC Congress decided to organise a European day of action on 21 June 2011. Mobilising for Social Europe at work place, national and European level (Luxembourg) to underline the fundamental disagreement with the course of European economic governance and the interference with collective bargaining. The day of action was announced with the adoption of the Congress Resolution.
ETUC press release on the day of action
(14 June 2011) - UPDATE: The Southampton city council actions of our colleagues of UNITE and UNISON is now entering its third week and has seen several strikes and other actions. For an update please find the newsletter which also gives an update on the various actions used. Several EPSU unions have sent messages of support and we have also asked the unions of the waste group to send messages of support to the striking workers.
(23 May 2011) Thousands of workers employed by Southampton (...)
(Athens 17 May 2011) Today the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Congress discussed a new economic narrative for Europe. Trade union delegates urged EU institutions to go back to the heart of Europe and stop undermining trade union rights, jobs, pay and public services. The question is not whether we say yes to Europe or not, but which direction Europe should take.
“The European Commission is perverting the spirit of the Lisbon Treaty and its foundations; social protection, decent (...)
(12 May 2011) Energy issues are high on the European Union agenda. The EU is debating its 2020 energy strategy. It considers an energy infrastructure package with investments in new technologies, generation capacity and networks, including smart and supergrid. It promotes reduction of CO2 emissions with 20% in 2020 and even 30% if there is an international agreement. The Commission has published a roadmap to a low carbon society by 2050 which foresees cuts in the CO2 emissions of the power (...)
(Press notice 10 May 2011) 140 trade union delegates organising prison staff from 17 European countries are expected at an EPSU-OSYE conference Trade unions working for better prison services in Athens on 12 May 2011.
A press conference will be held on 13 May from 10 till 12h00.
The conference will be the largest gathering of delegates representing prison guards, probation, health and educational staff working in prisons in Europe since the EPSU action day against prison overcrowding (...)
(Brussels, 30 April 2011) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) sends greetings to the millions of trade unionists around Europe gathering to celebrate international workers’ day.
This year May Day is clearly marked by the austerity plans that have been happening across Europe for over a year now at its effects on collective bargaining, the Arab spring that is changing the social and political landscape of the southern shores of the Mediterranean and last but not least, (...)
(sent on Friday 15 April 2011)
This response was drafted in cooperation with the Europeans for Financial Reforms (EFFR). However flawed the consultation may be, we make the case for a Tax on Financial Transactions in Europe, as a first but essential step towards a worldwide tax. Such a tax, also called the Tobin Tax or Robin Hood Tax, would raise in the range of €200 Billion per year to help finance social Europe and curb speculation. The public consultation is meant to feed into an (...)
Public service workers: meeting the challenge of emergencies and disasters
(26 April 2011) Emergencies and disasters are a fact of life. Climate change may increase the frequency and magnitude of some forms of natural disasters.
The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction has been in place since 2000 and encourages establishment of regional and national platforms for disaster risk reduction, comprising multi-stakeholder mechanisms. Less certain is the ability of nations and (...)
(EPSU Press release 19 April 2011) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) shows its understanding with the rage of European citizens about the ECON Governance voted today at the European Parliament. After a proposal of the Socialist and Democrats Group (S&D) to postpone the vote of the Economic Governance package was rejected by the ECON Committee a group of activists showed its anger shouting in favour of Social Europe and against the proposals. MEPs continued its (...)
(14 April 2011) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), supported by the European Trade Union Congress (ETUC) is organising a protest to mark our opposition to the far reaching economic government proposals of the Commission
EPSU and ETUC continue the “No to Austerity” campaign that started with the successful demonstrations in Brussels 29 September. The following step of the campaign was on December 15 2010.
Also, on 24 March 2011 more than 30.000 people marched in (...)
(20 april 2011) EPSU’s response focuses on public services and sustainable procurement. On public services EPSU stresses that new EU rules should not put pressure on public authorities to use public procurement to provide public services. The EU must remain neutral as regards the financing, organisation and delivery of public services and not ‘promote’ public procurement. There are good reasons why public authorities may chose to provide public services ‘in-house’ and not put them out to (...)
(April 18 2011) Meeting yesterday in Brussels the Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) confirmed its position on the Working Time Directive and in particular the need to abolish the individual opt-out and codify key European court rulings on on-call time at work.
The Federation has made it clear that it would take part in cross-sectoral negotiations if specific conditions were met. The European Commission claims that it is not realistic to talk (...)
(8 April, Budapest) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) will demonstrate tomorrow as the informal meeting of the EU ministers of finance, taking place in Budapest, will be finishing. The EU ministers of finance will discuss the scoreboard of indicators that is to be used in the new European policy process on economic governance. EPSU, as well as the European Trade Union Confederation, are very concerned about the wage indicators that are going to be created, and its (...)
(April 6) Today the Europeans for Financial Reform (EFFR), a coalition of trade unions, Socialists and Greens, and social /labour linked NGOs has launched a web tool to help citizens to respond to the European Commission’s public consultation on “Taxation of the Financial Sector” by 19 April next.
As an active member of the EFFR, EPSU fully supports the multilingual, easy to use webtool to voice support against the powerful voices of the financial lobbies that keep the upper hand in (...)
(29 March 2011, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions supported the call by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) for a week of mobilisation against the proposals of the European Commission to impose more austerity measures on European workers while failing to doing anything about those who actually caused the crisis.
We salute the hundreds of thousands workers that took to the streets in several European cities. Here is the round up of information.
(Press Release, 28 March 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) finds the final decisions of the European Council disappointing. The European austerity agenda has been adopted and all Eurozone countries are committed to introducing “debt brakes” in their legislation, with 6 non-Eurozone countries following the same road. However, public deficits and public debts did not cause the financial and economic crisis – rather it was lax regulation on the financial sector and (...)
On World Water Day, 22 March 2011, the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) calls on the European Union and Member States to implement the United Nations resolution on the Right to Water and Sanitation without delay.
The UN General Assembly voted on 28 July 2010 for this resolution which declares that access to water and sanitation services is a fundamental human right. Although this resolution has no binding authority, it expresses global consensus. Shamefully several EU (...)
(March 16, 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the fact that the European Commission and Member States have decided to apply a “stress test” for the nuclear power stations in Europe as well as to develop the criteria for it. This follows the dramatic and tragic events in Japan with the nuclear power station of Fukushima-Daiichi and its six units. Those catastrophes have been caused as a consequence of the earthquake and tsunami which resulted in the (...)
Brussels, 15 March 2011
To the President and Members of the Executive Committee of JICHIRO
Our thoughts are with the Japanese working women and men, their families and communities that have been hit by this massive natural disaster. As we write new information emerges demonstrating the enormity of the damage and human suffering that people are facing in the Sendai region and many other places.
We express our heartfelt sympathies with the members of JICHIRO who are (...)
Dear brothers and sisters,
EPSU sends its most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Petros Msiza. Comrade Msiza was a peaceful, well-respected and experienced shop steward.
Having heard of the terrible circumstances leading to the death of Petros Msiza on 3 March, the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), representing 8 million public service workers in Europe shares the outrage of trade unionists across the world..
ESPU joins SAMWU in condemning (...)
(March 8, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) welcomes today’s plenary vote for a European Financial Transaction Tax (FTT).
By a cross-majority of MEPs of 360 to 299 with 12 abstentions, Euro MEPs have supported the reintroduction of an EPSU-backed call for an EU FTT in Podimata (Greek Socialist and Democrat) Report on innovative financing.
“With the strong back up of the labour movement, social NGOs and the Austrian Chamber of Labour, Parliament has shown (...)
(March 8) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) wants to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the celebration of working women. In 1911 after the call by Clara Zetkin hundreds of thousands of women, many of them trade union members, demonstrated for equality, justice and fair pay.
Today, the public sector employs more than 60 % of women in Europe. The economic crisis which governments shortsightedly resolve by unilateral austerity measures and ensuing pay cuts in the (...)
On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day EPSU publishes finalized Gender Pay Gap survey from 27 European countries
The gender pay gap remains a huge obstacle to fair gender equality. It has to be tackled and addressed with effective measures, to avoid the risk that it begins to widen under current economic circumstances and austerity measures. In particular as the gender pay gap is major indicator of inequality at the workplace.
Two resolutions were agreed at (...)
(March 2, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) is heavily campaigning to introduce a Financial Transactions Tax – FTT- at EU level, as a first, but significant, step. Amid unprecedented public spending cuts, EPSU urge citizens to contact their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to convince them we need an EU FTT to help tackle public deficits caused by the crisis and reduce speculation. On this website: citizens can contact in their native (...)
(Brussels 2 March) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) wants to send a signal of warning about the plans of privatisation announced in Denmark.
Media reports about Danish government’s plans to privatise prison services are rightly worrying EPSU’s Danish affiliate OAO.
“ Privatising parts or all operation of prison services has been on the agenda since the early 80s. In the European Union, the UK is the only country that has fully privatised the finance, design, (...)
Lobbying Parliament for an EU Financial Transactions Tax- FTT- NOW!
Podimata report plenary vote on 8 March 2011
Lobbying Parlement pour une Taxe sur les Transactions Financières (FTT) européenne MAINTENANT !
Rapport Podimata vote en plénière le 8 mars 2011
The fight for the introduction of a tax on speculators and financial transactions – FTT- is entering a critical stage in the European Parliament.
We invite you to lobby your MEPs ahead of the 8 March (...)
(2 March 2011) EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, sent a clear message to the European Commission calling for the protection provided by the Working Time Directive to be upheld and urging the Commission to take more account of the research it specifically commissioned.
EPSU general secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel said: “It is disappointing that the Commission’s Communication seems to ignore many of the findings of the report by the Deloitte consultancy. The (...)
(25 February) Letter sent by the General Secretrary of the European Federation of Public Services Unions, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel to the Governor of Wisconsin.
Governor Walker, I am writing on behalf of the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) to express our dismay over the developments regarding the collective bargaining rights for the public employees in Wisconsin. We have been informed that you will seek to have legislation passed over the coming days that will (...)
(Brussels 24 February) The first meeting of the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) Economic Policy Group has a clear message for the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Claude Trichet. He commented last weekend that ‘increasing wages would be the ultimate error to be committed’ [see the reference below]. He singled out the German public sector wages which have stayed behind the European average with 15-20% points as the model to follow.
Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU (...)
(23 February Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) held a conference on austerity, economic governance and social policies in Europe today and yesterday.
More than 200 academics, trade unionists, policy makers and other European actors met to discuss the current Economic Governance proposals.
This event was a dialogue about the alternatives. The conference was opened by Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary who said that “the term economic governance (...)
(Brussels 21 February ) Representatives of 23 EPSU affiliates from 12 countries met on Friday 18 February to discuss the second phase of the European Commission’s consultation over the Working Time Directive. The meeting was organized to assist EPSU in preparing its response to the European Commission.
The meeting was clear on a number of fundamental points. Firstly, the European Commission’s proposals to amend the Directive came at a time of unprecedented pressure on the public services (...)
(Brussels 17 February - Press Communication) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) urges G20 Finance Ministers, meeting in Paris tomorrow, to take action to avoid a jobless recovery and fulfill earlier promises to reform the international financial market in response to people’s real needs. We ask for a progressive agenda on financial regulation and fair tax, especially through the introduction of a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). European leaders at the G20 must take (...)
(Brussels 16 February) Thousands of workers are expected to participate in the national demonstration organized by the public service unions in the Netherlands, 17 February 2011, The Hague. EPSU (The European Federation of Public Services Unions) affiliates AbvaKabo and CNV Publieke Zaak together with other unions will demand that the government respects the workers in public services. The government has proposed draconian measures which will lead to tens-of thousands of job losses in (...)
(15 February 2011) Dear Prime Minister,
We are informed by our Turkish member organizations affiliated to the national centers KESK and DISK of a further example of repression of trade union rights in Turkey. In the particular case we refer to, trade union action against the new legal arrangements proposed by the AKP aiming to reduce labour and trade union rights was brutally suppressed by police intervention.
The legislation is to establish flexible and insecure working schedules and (...)
(11 February) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU)on behalf of its 8 million members, 67% of whom are women, wants to express its solidarity with women’s protest day that is taking place in Italy this Sunday 13 February .
The protest, led by women including EPSU’s vice-president Rosa Pavanelli ( FP CGIL) , calls for respect of women’s dignity.
It is also a fresh reminder that attacks against gender equality go hand in hand, most often than not, with attacks on (...)
(10 February) Trade Union of the Health Service and Social Care of the Czech Republic (TUHSSC CR) demands immediate reopening of social dialogue with the Ministry of Health, the Government of the Czech Republic and the Doctors’ Trade Union Club to solve the current “health crisis that the Czech Republic is going through”.
The present crisis situation in the healthcare threatens health and lives of citizens, tens of thousands of employees may lose their jobs, among those endangered are also (...)
(2 February 2011) Commissioner Barnier has given his first response to the joint contribution submitted to the Commission on the upcoming evaluation and possible revision of the public procurement directives. The Commissioner affirms that wider and social and sustainability objectives will be given full consideration in the evaluation and subsequent policy initiatives.
Please see the attached letter by Commissioner Barnier. The Commission has also now launched a consultation on the (...)
PRESS RELEASE (4 February 2011) The European Council will discuss Europe´s energy strategy till 2020 today. The European Federation of Public Services Unions demands that the Council develops a coherent energy policy with clear social and sustainable priorities in the line with the European Trade Union Congress (ETUC) position on Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020 () The EU strategy must lay the cornerstones for an EU policy closely linking the economy, society and environment. The current (...)
Brussels – 28 January 2011 – The European Commission has launched today the long-awaited “Buying social: a guide to take account of social considerations in public procurement”. A network of trade unions, social and sustainable development organisations considers this guide fails to reflect the true potential of public procurement as an instrument in support of social and sustainable development objectives. Much more is needed if the EU and Member States are to live up to the EU (...)
(2 February 2011, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) is highly disappointed by the decision taken by the European Parliament Economic and Financial Affairs Committee (ECON) yesterday, 1 February, rejecting the compromise amendment that the majority of political groups had agreed to start to implement a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) in Europe.
As World leaders meet in Davos (Switzerland) and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy pleads for the introduction (...)
(19 January 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and Public Services International (PSI) strongly condemn the arrest of trade union leaders and activists during a rally before the Prime Minister’s official residence in Portugal, on Tuesday 18 January 2011.
We understand that police action used physical aggression against union members and also detained two trade union leaders who were taken to the local police offices. One of those arrested is José Manuel MARQUES, (...)
(Brussels, 18 January 2011) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), that organises workers amongst others in the health sector, ahead of the vote in the European Parliament’s plenary on the draft directive on patient’s rights in cross-border health care on Wednesday, 19 January, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary qualifies the compromise achieved through the trilogue meeting of 15 December “as reasonable”.
“We are satisfied that some of our major (...)
[Brussels 13 January] Yesterday The European Federation of Public Sector Unions (EPSU) and Public Services International (PSI) sent a joint letter to the editor of The Economist answering the calamitous article that this magazine has published this week.
This is the text:
11 January 2011
Re: “The struggle with public-sector unions should be about productivity and parity, not just spending cuts” and “Public-sector unions have had a good few decades. Has their luck run out?”
(Brussels, January 12) Yesterday the European Trade Union Confederation, by the hand of John Monks, General Secretary, issued a letter (see attached) to the European Commission accusing the EC officials of “are ignoring social dialogue and collective bargaining processes and directly intervening in the labour markets of these countries. Diktats are being issued which are designed to lower living standards. Thus proposals are coming from the Commission which are designed to cut minimum wages (...)
(16 December) Yesterday Europe lived another day of action to protest against the current austerity measures proposed by the Governments and the European Commission. The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) followed actively the call by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and organised a protest outside the European Commission with the slogan "No to austerity" and invited their affiliates to send messages of solidarity to those organising actions such as French, (...)
(PR 21 December 2010) On 17 December 2010, TUNED and EUPAE established a European Social Dialogue Committee for central government administrations (Genval, Belgium).
TUNED spokesperson and co-chair of the Committee, Mr Charles Cochrane (PCS, UK) says "This is a huge achievement. At long last, state sector workers and employers have the same rights at EU level as other sectors of the economy. Central government is recognised as a sector in its own right and we will do our best to contribute (...)
(20 December 2010) Winter weather is hitting hard and very early this year. Many European countries are heavily affected. But when winter hits, it is public service workers who help our communities, dig out the ice and get society back to work. Plow drivers, traffic control services, police forces, fire-fighters, nurses and many other emergency service workers work tirelessly to keep us moving.
And many other public service workers have to do their job in very difficult, risky and (...)
(17 December) EPSU supports the statement from Public Services International on International Migrants Day (IMD) that we reproduce below:
According to the United Nations, there are around 215 million people today who live and work outside their countries of birth. About half of these international migrants are women, working to support their families and communities back home.
Despite the huge contribution that migrant workers bring to their host and home countries in terms of services, (...)
(EPSU PR 14 December 2010) On 17 December 2010, the EPSU-led trade union delegation, TUNED, and, the employers’ organisation, EUPAE, will establish a European Social Dialogue committee for central government administrations (Genval, Belgium).
“This is a huge achievement, after years of informal discussions, for the 7 million employees and civil servants working in the state sector. Central government is now recognised as a sector in its own right. In the face of unprecedented cuts in public (...)
(15 December 2010) The introduction of smart meters to measure electricity consumption for households has been discussed several times in the electricity social dialogue committee. EPSU presented a survey which indicated a number of the employment related issues around smart meters.
Following further discussion a joint position was agreed between the trade unions and EURELECTRIC. Some of the main points of the agreement are:
When a cost- benefit analysis is done to determine the added (...)
(24 November, Brussels) At its last Executive Committee on 13/14 October 2010, the ETUC agreed to continue its campaign No to Austerity that started with the successful demonstration in Brussels 29 September. It decided on several points: a bonus watch, an austerity monitor and to organise decentralised actions before the end of the year.
The EPSU Executive Committee meeting on 8-9 November decided to support these actions proposed by the ETUC. EPSU will be organising a protest outside the (...)
(9 december 2010) 10 December is Human Rights Day. We champion human rights and draw attention to the plight of political prisoners on that day. It is also a day to focus attention on the situation of many millions without access to water and the fight of unions, environmental organizations, social groups and water activists to ensure them the fundamental right to water and sanitation. It is a dangerous struggle as the example of our colleague Carlo “Caloy” Rodriquez demonstrates.
(Brussels, 7 December) Over 100 representatives from public service trade unions from 25 European countries met in Brussels today to discuss the economic crisis and collective bargaining. Delegates debated the impact of pay cuts and pay freezes on their members across Europe and were informed about the proposals of the Czech government to cut public sector pay.
The meeting agreed to send a message of solidarity to their Czech colleagues who are taking strike action on 8th December.
EPSU statement, Brussels, 06 December 2010
At its Executive Committee meeting of 8-9/11/2010, EPSU expressed concerns over an agreement between the EU and Libya on migration cooperation that was struck on 4 October. The agreement addresses bilateral cooperation in the control of irregular migration, among other issues, including potential readmission of third-country nationals, who have transited through Libya on their way to Europe. It commits the EU to assist Tripoli in developing its (...)
(23 November 2010, Brussels) Tomorrow Portugal will witness a 24 hour General Strike against the Government policies and the impact that those policies have on the workers. The General Strike is a unitarian action of all Portuguese trade unions. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a warm message of solidarity to the workers that will be tomorrow on the picket lines from our affiliated unions (SINTAP, STAL and STE).
This General strike continues the wave of (...)
(23 November 2010) The European Federation of Public Service Union (EPSU) together with several other trade unions and civil society organisations (GMB, UNISON, EMF, EFFAT, EFBWW, Solidar, FLO, The Fair Trade Advocacy Office, EFTA, WFTO, FERN and Client Earth) sent a letter to Commissioner Barnier with its initial contribution to the evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of EU procurement legislation and policy. Read the letter below.
The initial input focuses on concerns that the (...)
Press Communication - for immediate release – 18 November 2010
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) demands to the European Commission to change its strategy towards the training of the workforce in the energy sector.
The European Commission published its new Energy Strategy 2020, 11 November and its Infrastructure Package yesterday. This Energy strategy was published following a process of consultation earlier this year. The results are disappointing. The Commission (...)
(Press Communication, 18 November) The 4th EU Equality Summit on 15-16 November, Brussels, organised by the Belgian EU Presidency, with the support of the European Commission, focused on equality and diversity at the workplace following the introduction of an EU legal ban on discrimination 10 years ago. Building upon the gender equality legislation, the 2000 EU directive bans discrimination in employment on the grounds of ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, age and religion. The (...)
(17 November 2010) A report to EPSU’s Executive Committee earlier this month summarized the latest trends in the European economy and the spread of budget cuts across Europe that include pay cuts and pay freezes for hundreds of thousands of public service workers (report attached below).
Despite the mixed evidence on the signs of an end to the economic crisis, the focus of the European Union is already on restricting public finance and its proposals to tighten the Stability and Growth Pact (...)
(16 November 2010) On 10 November EPSU participated in a conference organised by the European Parliament’s public services and social economy Intergroups on "Social services: What political options after the 3rd social services of general interest (SSGI) Forum? ".
For the conference EPSU distributed a short paper setting out ‘seven demands for SSGI’ (see below), which was drawn up following the joint LRG/HSS eldercare workshop on October 27 and served as input into the EU presidency SSGI (...)
Press Communication, 28 October 2010
(28 October 2010, Luxemburg) Yesterday a joint workshop organised by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) discussed a draft report on elder care services. The report had been commissioned by EPSU from the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) at Greenwich University. Quality eldercare services are needed to support gender equality and women’s employment as well as to meet the needs and aspirations of older people.
On 28 October, EPSU’s affiliate FP-CGIL is mounting a staged protest against prison overcrowding, echoing the EPSU European action day on the same issue in 2008.
Three overcrowded prison cells will be staged in Piazza Montecitorio in Rome, at 10: 00 a.m., whilst sit-ins will take place in front of all the country’s prefectures (state administration).
The action day denounces the state of emergency in Italian prisons both for detainees and prison staff, a situation which the (...)
(26 October 2010)
On behalf of 8 million public service employees, EPSU expresses its solidarity with its Romanian civil service affiliates that will hold a protest day on Wednesday 27 October 2010.
The rally will start at 10.00 until 11.00 a.m. in front of the Government headquarters followed by a march to the Parliament which is due to vote on a motion of censure of the government on that day.
As in many other countries in Europe, most recently France, Czech Republic, Greece, (...)
(26 October 2010) The Industry and Energy Committee of the European Parliament agreed its position on the Commission document on ’Towards a new European Energy Policy 2020’ today.
The report was prepared by Polish liberal Kolarska-Bobinska. She argued in her position for more market opening. MEPs put forward over 400 amendments ranging from the promotion of renewables, nuclear clean coal technologies to smart grids and supergrids.
EPSU has advocated a number of amendments including to (...)
(Press Release, 26 October, Malaga, Spain) There are not enough public services or qualified public service workers available to assist migrants, and, migrants are forced to wait too long to get the necessary information they need to make important life decisions, concludes a new survey of frontline public service workers in “migration gateway” Euro-Mediterranean countries. At the same time, despite the reality that the global financial and economic crises are forcing migrants into (...)
(21 October 2010) The European Federation of Public Service Unions wants to express its solidarity with the struggle of the French workers to defend their pensions as well as its affiliates in the energy sector that are playing a key role. The workers of our affiliated unions CFDT, CGT, FO, CFTC in the gas, electricity and nuclear sector are engaged in actions to make pressure to the French Government to change its current plans on pensions reforms.
The objective of these actions is to (...)
(Geneva, Switzerland, 15 October 2010) In the face of widespread cuts to public services, leaders of private and public sector trade unions, municipal governments and civil society groups have made the unprecedented joint commitment to work together to promote investment in quality public services backed by fair taxation policies as the key solution to the economic crisis, and the best way to build peaceful, equitable, democratic and ecologically-sustainable societies. It’s “our turn, our (...)
(Brussels 15 October 2010) “The expansion of private healthcare providers in Europe needs to be considered in the light of the proposed EC Directive on healthcare cross border mobility”. This is one of the main conclusions of a report published by the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) and Public Services International Research Unit of the University of Greenwich (PSIRU) published on September and titled “European healthcare services, multinational companies and a European (...)
(11 October 2010) On the 22 September around 10,000 protesters from across the country, most of them members of Fratia Confederation, gathered in Bucharest. The participants were from the health, education, police, oil and gas sectors as well as other industrial sectors affiliated to CNSLR Frăţia.
The protesters’ claims included a halt in the austerity measures pushed by the government, such as: the 25% wage cuts in the budget sector, massive layoffs, changes in the Labour Code restricting (...)
Press Communication - 11 October 2010
The European Federation of Public Services Unions has signed the International Civil Society Statement to the G-20 Leaders Summit in Seoul on 11 and 12 November, to take action on the Financial Transaction Taxes (FTT).
Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary, says “The economic crisis has been hitting workers hard across Europe. Workers are at the frontline of attacks, mostly by Governments wanting to balance their books. As representatives of (...)
Our Slovenian colleagues of SDE have called for strike action in 12 October unless the government reaches agreement with the union over the reorganization of the distribution companies and protects jobs, employment and the integrity of the companies. Our French colleagues of CGT-FNME and FO-FNEM have called for a general strike in the French electricity and gas sector 12 October to protest against the plans of the government to increase the minimum pension age to 62 and the age by which (...)
Happy World Day for Decent Work!
Today on the 7th of October, the trade union movement is mobilising to tackle the global economic and employment crisis and demand fundamental reform of the world economy! Please help us by reporting back on all your events. Make sure your event is registered online: www.wddw.org Send us pictures and/or videos, documents, links or any other relevant information, as soon as possible after the event (today!): to wddw ituc-csi.org
EPSU affiliates (...)
(6 October 2010) ADEDY will strike tomorrow 7 October to protest against the measures of the Greek Government, backed by the European Commission and the IMF, that have been included in the draft of the national Budget for 2011.
These new measures will translate in cuts in pensions, insurance rights, terms and conditions and downsizing of the public sector. The Greek trade union movement has been striking against the austerity measures of the Greek authorities for months. EPSU wishes to (...)
(30 September 2010) European organisations agree on measures to counter work-place violence.
Eight European organisations of social partners have today adopted joint Guidelines* setting out the practical steps that can be taken by employers, workers and trade unions to tackle problems of third-party violence in a range of different service sectors. The guidelines have been agreed by CEMR, CoESS, EFEE, EPSU, ETUCE, EuroCommerce, HOSPEEM and UNI Europa* , all sectors which face the (...)
Press release (23 September 2010, Brussels) European Commissioner for Energy Günther H. Oettinger emphasised that within the 2020 Strategy “Job creation in the energy sector is key for the future of employment in the European Union ”.
The Commissioner addressed the EPSU European Utilities conference. The conference brought together a large number of trade union leaders from the European Union, Balkan and neighbouring countries like Norway, Turkey and Russia.
Oettinger highlighted that next (...)
(13 September) Here you can read the letter sent to the Czech Government to protest against the attacks on public services workers and collective bargaining. Also you will find attached the letter sent by our affiliate, the Trade Union of the Health Service and Social Care of the Czech Republic asking for solidarity.
Dear Mr Jaromír Drábek,
We have been informed by our member the Trade Union of the Health Service and Social Care of the Czech Republic of the plans of the Czech Government. (...)
(6 September) Letter of solidarity by EPSU to the French trade unions that mobilise tomorrow to defend their pensions rights.
letter to french affiliates
(6 September) Below you can read the letter by the European Trade Union Confederation to the European Commission in the light of the ECOFIN meeting taking place in Brussels, tomorrow 7 September, regarding the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)
The EPSU tax justice charter, calls, amongst others, for a Tax on Financial Transactions ( FTT) as part of our demands for fair and progressive taxation for quality public services and to curb purely speculative activities.
ETUC letter to (...)
(1 September 2010) Here you can read the reply by the European Commission to our communication of 22 July 2010. The letter is signed by the European Commission vice-President Viviane Reding.
EPSU’S OPEN LETTER TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Press Release, Brussels 22 July 2010
“How do the EU-wide imposed austerity plans affect women?” This is the question EPSU has raised with several members of the European Commission in an open letter. If there are negative impacts EPSU wants to know what the Commission will do about them.
(23 July 2010) In a judgment dated 15 July 2010, the European Court of Justice has condemned Germany over the practice of local authority employers to award contracts for pension services on the basis of a selection laid down in collective agreements. Relying extensively on the Viking and Laval case law, the Court ruled that although the right to collective bargaining is a fundamental right, the European public procurement rules should prevail.
To read all click (...)
(16 July 2010, Brussels) EPSU and Canadian public service unions have been working together to highlight the potential negative effects of a free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. Concerns over ‘data exclusivity’ and its impact on healthcare costs was one of the issues raised by a delegation from the Trade Justice Network of Canada in Brussels to meet Members of Parliament, political advisors and assistants in the EP Trade Committee during 4th EU-Canada negotiation round (...)
On 7 July the European Commission launched a Europe-wide consultation on pensions. The Pensions Green Paper poses 14 broad questions that cover the social, economic and financial aspects of pensions systems across Europe.
Although the document does address the issue of the adequacy of pensions and the need to maintain living standards and social cohesion, the European Commission starts with assumptions about the impact of the current crisis and argues that: "The number of retired people in (...)
Ver.di workshop on trade union work on migration: a European perspective, 28-29 June 2010, Berlin
EPSU’s survey on how EPSU affiliates, in central, local and regional governments, respond to migrant workers’ concerns featured at last month’s trade union conference on migration organized by ver.di. The event brought together 50 trade union delegates, active in local migration committees, representatives of EPSU, ETUC and researchers.
Sonja Marko, Ver.di migration officer, said that Germany is (...)
(7 July 2010) A new discussion paper from the ETUC examines the potential impact of the range of rapid fiscal contraction policies that have been announced across Europe. It warns in particular that "a coordinated and Euro area wide fiscal contraction such as the one that is now being set up will have a considerably stronger negative effect on aggregate demand compared to a situation in which only one or a limited number of member states act."
Rather than the European economy beginning to (...)
(29 June 2010) EPSU and its sister organisation, PSI, have once again had to intervene on behalf of Meryem Özsögüt from the Turkish health union SES. Both organisations have written letters of protest to the Turkish president to complain about her arrest and the sentencing and detention of other public service trade unionists.
Meryem made the closing speech at last year’s EPSU congress, where she gave a harrowing account of the arrest and torture that she had been subjected at the hands of the (...)
(24 June 2010) The European Commission has published a consultation document "Towards a new European Energy Strategy 2011-2020"
The electricity social partners with Eurelectric for the employers side agree a joint contribution. The main points the contribution underlines are:
DG Energy and Social Partners should explore ways to cooperate in addressing the social dimension of future energy policies;
DG Energy – supported by DG Employment – should define a process to involve Social (...)
Press Communication (23 June 2010) Norwegian company Statkraft and the European trade union federation EPSU have agreed the establishment of a European Works Council (EWC) which will bring together representatives of the workforce from the different European countries in which Statkraft is active. Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU Deputy General Secretary says: “Europe’s energy landscape is undergoing profound change on a path to sustainable electricity production. European Works Councils will (...)
(23 June 2010) Dave Prentis has just been re-elected general secretary of UNISON in the UK with a a 67% share of the vote in a ballot of the membership. Dave is a vice-president of EPSU and has been general secretary of UNISON since 2001.
The result of the election was announced on the same day as the UK government revealed the scale of the cuts it is planning in an emergency budget. Dave said: "We face critical times as a union and it is important that we remain united, strong and focused (...)
(21 June 2010) Over 40 participants from 10 countries met in Madrid on 16-17 June to debate a number of key collective bargaining issues. Top of the agenda was the impact of the crisis with reports of how governments in Spain, Italy and Portugal in particular are cutting or freezing pay as well as cutting jobs and freezing recruitment.
The meeting was the second of three regional collective bargaining meetings that EPSU has organised this year with the financial assistance of the European (...)
10-12 June 2010, Vienna
(15 June 2010) The EPSU/ETUI workshop brought together 28 participants from the EPSU firefighters network in 18 countries. The workshop discussion will feed into a European-wide health and safety brochure to provide members with a practical tool to support trade union strategies to tackle health problems and improve the quality of work in the fire service.
One key problem in the fire service is long working hours and the network also discussed the developments (...)
(16 June 2010) Over 20.000 workers and pensioners gathered for a human chain around the Romanian Parliament, 15 June.
They protested the austerity package of the government that will lead to cuts of 25% in public service wages and 15% in pensions. The government survived a vote of no-confidence and the cuts will be effective 1 July 2010.
Press Communication (15 June 2010) European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) says the austerity packages imposed by many countries around Europe will have a serious impact on the prospects for economic recovery. EPSU sends this message to the European Council meeting on 17 June.
Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, the EPSU General Secretary: As governments swing the austerity axe they risk chopping off any green shoots of recovery, leaving workers, pensioners and communities to face the (...)
14 June 2010 - UPDATE
With a human chain around the Parliament building the Romanian unions are taking further action to protest against the proposed cuts in public spending, the lack of social dialogue and the on-sidedness of the measures, 15 June 2010. The unions intend to keep the vigil during the debate in Parliament. The government has proposed draconian measures targeting ordinary people. It refuses to raise taxation to generate more income for the state despite recommendations from (...)
Yesterday (8 June) saw demonstrations across Spain as public sector workers took strike action against government proposals to slash public spending and cut civil servants pay. Unions estimate around 75% of workers backed the strike call and thousands took part in rallies in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
Trade unions in Denmark also took to the streets with a large demonstration outside Parliament. The protests were again over plans to cut public spending with unions particularly (...)
New first ever report finds that European Works Councils are poorly informed and consulted on their company’s CSR policies
Joint EPSU – SOMO full Press Release - 9 June 2010
European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) - Stichting Onderzoek Multionationale Ondernemingen (SOMO)
The report is published on the occasion of the final meeting of EPSU (and SDA) project on Learning and practicing – a project for the European Energy sector by which EWCs compared their work and methods. All (...)
Brussels, 31 May 2010
Dear Colleagues, dear Friends,
Tamara Goosens has passed away peacefully on Sunday 30 May 2010, at the age of 36.
Whilst we were aware of Tamara’s situation since mid-April, it is still very hard to take in that Tamara will no longer be with us. Until the very last moments of her life Tamara showed courage and lucidity.
We express our deep sympathies with Sachiko Goosens, Tamara’s mother. We will remember Tamara as she is on the photo, a smiling person, always ready (...)
Press Communication, 31 May 2010
Leaders of public service unions from around Europe meeting in Brussels agreed that cuts to public sector pay, jobs and services were a narrow, inadequate and unfair response to the economic crisis. Union leaders pledged support and agreed to join in European wide mobilisation to promote quality public services, defend jobs and public service workers pay and conditions.
The meeting of the Executive Committee of the EPSU public services federation heard (...)
(Brussels 26 may 2010) At its meeting of 12 May, the EPSU prison services network discussed the complaint brought by the Union of Norwegian Correctional Services Employees, UNCSE-YS, to the Council of Europe against Norway’s correctional services for being in breach of the European Prison Rules.
The Council of Europe’s prison rules set out minimum standards on correctional services taking account of the needs of prison administrations, prisoners and prison personnel. They were last revised (...)
(21 May 2010, Brussels) A European Parliament majority of conservatives and liberal politicians voted 20 May to inflict pain on Europe’s citizens and workers. It adopted a position of severe fiscal consolidation and austerity programmes squeezing out growth and the perspective of job creation. The vote took place on the report on the long-term sustainability of public finance drafted by MEP Liem HOANG NGOC.
EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan With their vote for rapid and (...)
Public sector workers fight back against cuts
(20 May 2010) Faced by government plans to cut pay, pensions and public services, EPSU affiliates in Greece and Romania have taken to the streets to show their anger. Today’s general strike in Greece is the latest in a series of actions called by the ADEDY public service confederation and the GSEE private sector confederation. The unions are angry that their members are being forced to pay for a crisis that has its roots in the international (...)
(19 May 2010) EPSU welcomes the report adopted by the European Parliament on 18 May on “new developments in public procurement”, rapporteur Heide Rühle MEP. EPSU had suggested a number of amendments to the report, emphasizing that the legal changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty – in particular the notion of a ‘social market economy’, a social clause, and a Protocol of services of general interest – provide a new framework for public procurement in which social concerns should play a more (...)
(19 May 2010, Brussels)
Austerity measures risk extending the crisis
EPSU sends solidarity greetings to the hundreds of thousands of public sector workers who will be joining strikes and demonstrations in several countries over the next few weeks. The national demonstration in Romania today (19 May) will be followed by action in Greece, Portugal and Spain as EPSU affiliates challenge the imposition of pay cuts, pay freezes and cuts in jobs and pensions.
EPSU also warns that the severe (...)
(18 May 2010) While national minimum wages in the European Union (1) are mostly between 30% and 50% of average earnings, the rates in Eastern Europe outside the EU (2) vary much more widely. They range from below 10% in Kyrgyztan to over 60% in Albania and Bosnia and Hercegovina. This is one of the main findings of a new report from EPSU.
The report provides an overview of national minimum wages in the 18 countries in Eastern Europe outside of the European Union that have national minimum (...)
(30 April 2010) On 1st of May public service workers and their unions across Europe will demonstrate for decent jobs in essential services . A key message is that Europe needs its public services to get us out of the mess that greedy bankers and failing politicians have created. Investment in public infrastructure, in health and social care, in quality public administrations and municipal services will create the path to sustainable growth and jobs. Europe needs to maintain its social (...)
Save lives: join unions on this 28th April!
Salvemos vidas: ¡únase a los sindicatos este 28 de abril! (comunicado en español debajo del inglés)
Sauvez des vies: rejoignez les syndicats ce 28 avril ! (communiqué en français en bas de page)
Today, on the annual International Commemoration Day, workers and trade unions around the world will commemorate those who have lost their lives, were injured or fell ill due to unsafe, unhealthy or unsustainable work. This year, the focus of activities is (...)
(22 April 2010) EPSU’s working group on collective bargaining in Central and Western Europe met for the sixth time yesterday to exchange the latest information on developments in their countries. Participants talked about recent negotiations and also examined longer term trends in company profits and dividends when compared to average wages.
Although employers were taking a tough line the most recent increases in Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands had all been just ahead of (...)
(22 April 2010) On 15 April, the EPSU’s Women and Gender Equality Committee (WGEC) elected for the positions of chair, Gloria Mills, UNISON Equalities Secretary, UK, and of vice-chair, Cristina Iftimescu, SANITAS Vice-President and President of the union’s women’s organization, Romania.
Gloria Mills is a vice-chair of the ETUC women’s Committee and former chair of the PSI European Women’s Committee. Cristina Iftimescu is a member of the EPSU executive Committee.
Both are members of the PSI’s (...)
PSI / EPSU Press Release
(19 April 2010)
As the third round of Canada-European Union free trade negotiations begins, leaked draft details of the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) were jointly released today by the global union federation Public Services International and it’s European arm, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, together with union affiliates and civil service organizations in the Canadian Trade Justice Network.
This new information (...)
(16 April 2010) In an initial response to the European Commission’s Communication on working time, EPSU stresses the need to keep issue of safety at the centre of the debate. And this is not just a question of workers’ health and safety but about the need to protect a wide range of people who rely on public service workers for their health and protection.
EPSU general secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel said: “Hundreds of thousands of our members are delivering essential services to millions of (...)
(15 April 2010) The European party of socialists and democrats organized a public hearing to discuss with MEPs and civil society the proposal of the European Commission on the European Citizens’ Initiative. The S&D speakers welcomed the initiative of the Commission. Martin Schulz, chair of the S&D group opened the conference and underlined the importance of the European Citizens’ Initiative. The Spanish State Secretary for the European Union, Diego Lopez Garrido stressed that the (...)
(14 April 2010) The ETUC’s Collective Bargaining Committee met yesterday (13 April 2010) to discuss recent developments across Europe with a particular focus on a major agreement on short-time working in the German engineering industry and the continuing conflict in the public sector in Ireland. The committee also discussed how the ETUC should react to an initiative by the Belgian parliament to get minimum wage policy discussed under the forthcoming Belgian presidency.
Collective bargaining (...)
(25 March 2010) The Spring Alliance the group of trade unions, environmental organizations, social action groups and development NGOs of which EPSU is a member, sent a letter to the Spring Council asking for different targets in the EU 2020 strategy. The alliance suggest:
Improve the current greenhouse gas reduction target within the band agreed at the Climate Conference in Bali in 2007, so within 25% and 40% by industrialised countries, and this on the basis of domestic reductions.
Press Communication (24 March 2010) Long and irregular hours, unilaterally imposed on workers, are unhealthy and outmoded forms of work organization. ETUC is expecting proposals from the European Commission that stimulate modern, sustainable and negotiated solutions, taking into account the needs of businesses and workers in a balanced way. This was ETUC’s message in 2004, when it was first consulted on the revision of the Working Time Directive (WTD). This is again ETUC’s message, in a (...)
(Brussels, 23 March 2010) - High-level representatives of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) discussed today about measures to tackle labour shortages in the hospital sector. Priority will be given to the implementation of the joint EPSU-HOSPEEM Framework Agreement on the prevention of sharp injuries.
Many European countries face a human resources crisis in health. The (...)
(23 March 2010) A new report by the Public Service International Research Unit cautions the European Commission against enthusiastically endorsing public-private partnerships, contending that PPPs, as they are known, do not supplement public spending – they absorb it. The European Commission outlines high hopes for developing public-private partnerships in its EU 2020 strategy.
The study Public rescue for more failed private finance institutions has been released on the (...)
(16 March 2010) The European Commission is reported to seek influence over public workers pay. It is now joined by BusinessEurope.
As if the current financial and economic crisis was not caused by private sector greed and opposition to regulation of the financial sector, as if it has not contributed already to a shift of revenue from low- and middle income earners to Big Banks, when governments stepped in to save them, and as if governments had not been called upon to support the (...)
(10 March 2010) This week saw new twists and turns in the unfolding story of how neo-liberal politics have got back into full swing. It’s almost as if the financial and economic crisis hadn’t happened. Governments used public money to rescue banks but now seek to recoup that money from low and middle income earners, from thousands of public service workers providing essential services, from those who care for your children, the sick, the poor, the old, and the dying.
And the Barroso (...)
(Brussels, 9 March 2010) - The European Hospital and Healthcare Sector Social Partners - The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) welcomed the decision of the Council which adopted the directive on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector today. The agreement between the European Social Partners in the hospital and healthcare sector signed on 17 July 2009 has become law. Now (...)
(8 March 2010 - Press Release) EPSU wants to dedicate this year’s International Women’s day to the millions of underpaid care workers, most of whom are women and many of whom are migrants.
A report carried out for EPSU examines wage levels and gender gaps in the health and social care of 8 EU countries. In all the countries surveyed, workers earn below national average earnings. Earnings of unqualified or lower skilled workers are often at minimum or basic wage levels or not much higher; (...)
In the light of the recent earthquake and the following tsunami we express our solidarity with the people of Chile and appeal to all EPSU members to provide financial contributions to the PSI AID fund; please see attached PSI appeal for bank account details.
PSI solidarity Chile
(2 March 2010) The utilities sector is continuing to experience change and restructuring. The unions met to consider a number of these developments.
Some are related to new technologies such as smart meters and smart grids. The contributions of EPSU to the regulators were discussed. The experience of unions with smart meters is diverse. The position on the consultation of the regulators on smart grids will be further considered at the EPSU workshop on this issue 11 March.
Others are (...)
Press Communication, 1 March 2010
The Swedish state-owned company Vattenfall is asking its German workers to cut in wages and benefits, to open existing collective agreements and to agree to major outsourcing so these companies are no longer covered by the collective agreement. The workers in the company contributed to 1.8 billion Euros profits and are now asked to keep their demands low so profits and dividends can be kept high. The workers are saying NO. To underline this point EPSU (...)
(1 March 2010) Romulad Jagodzinski discussed with the EPSU EWC Coordinators the revised EWC Directive. Discussions are ongoing in most EU countries on the transposition in national law. There are many important issues for trade unions and workers’ representatives at stake. This was underlined through the example of the consultation on the transposition of the Directive by the UK government. It even questions the ALREADY agreed definitions of information and consultation. UK unions but also (...)
REQUEST FOR URGENT ACTION
Yesterday 23 February, the European Parliament’s women’s rights committee adopted the Estrela report on the revised pregnant workers directive- 19 votes in favour, 13 against.
Vote in plenary is scheduled for 24 or 25 March.
Given the opposition by some governments, business and some groups in parliament ( EPP and Liberals), we need you to contact your MEPs and express support for the Estrela report , especially :
Increase of maternity leave from 14 (...)
Europe’s unions fully support the general strike in Greece and ask Eurozone Ministers to go for realistic and socially acceptable plans.
ETUC/EPSU Joint Press Release, 23 February
Europe’s trade unions follow with great concern the situation in Greece and in particular the pressure by the Commission, the Eurozone Ministers and the European Central Bank (ECB) on the Greek government for harsher austerity. The Labour movement in Europe stands in full solidarity with Greek workers in their (...)
Press Communication, 10 February 2010
“A clear message and not business as usual, is what we expect from the European Summit on the financial and economic crisis", says Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU Deputy General Secretary. “We expect that bankers will be submitted to a regime of tough controls and that financial speculators will be taxed on their dangerous financial dealings. We demand that government leaders propose additional measures to create jobs and invest in public infrastructure and (...)
(5 February 2010, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is sending out a strong message of support to the tens of thousands of public sector workers who are taking action across Europe in defence of strong public services and decent pay, jobs and employment conditions.
EPSU affiliates in Germany , Greece , Ireland , the Netherlands and Portugal are, or will be, involved in various forms of industrial action this week and next. In Germany and the Netherlands (...)
(Brussels, 29 January 2010) All Belgian EPSU affiliates are joining the national march for Jobs and Respect for workers 29 january 2010, Brussels. Following major restructuring and job cuts in a large number of companies, the continued greed of corporate executives and the attacks by the combined Belgian employers on the unions, on the welfare system and public services the three confederations have called for the manifestation which is open to other Belgian organizations as well. Demands (...)
(27 January 2010) Trade unions organizing workers in EON met to consider the implications of EON’s Perform to Win and other plans to reorganize and restructure the company, January 26th. EON is the large German multinational electricity and gas company active in several European countries, Russia and the US. The reorganization plans have a significant impact on the workers and their families with job cuts and outsourcing being the main characteristics. The plans have caused considerable (...)
(Brussels 14 January 2010) – The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and their Canadian counterparts have expressed serious concerns about the proposed trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. The second round of negotiations is due to start on 18 January and will continue for the week.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), along with EPSU, today (...)
The ETUC has sent its proposals for action during the Spanish Presidency. It wants action to deal with the impact of the financial, economic and social crisis first and foremost. Other areas covered in the ETUC Memorandum are related to Social Europe, a Social dimension to the internal market, climate change and energy, enlargement and trade and external relations. ETUC also demands decisive action on the Social Progress protocol and that the gaps in the Posted Workers Directive are (...)
Press Communication, 11 January 2010
The European Court of Justice is organising a hearing in the case of the European Commission versus Germany (C-271-08), 12 January 2010, Luxembourg. The Commission took Germany to the Court as it believes that the practice of local authorities to award contracts for pension services on the basis of the selection as laid down in collective agreements is a violation of the public procurement directives. The German government disagrees with the European (...)
(15 December 2009) Representatives of a large number of European Works Councils in the energy sector discussed the role of the EWC in corporate policies, corporate social responsibility and transnational agreements. Steve Thomas (PSIRU) presented an overview of the challenges faced by the companies. These include:
Dealing with reducing carbon-emissions. Many companies chose to invest in nuclear power;
Reducing high levels of debt after spending sprees. This will cause further (...)
(15 December 2009) While battles are raging over the text of the next international agreement to bring down green house gas emissions during the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, the European electricity social partners discussed the implications of transition for the workers in the electricity sector. Presentations were made of several recent studies that map the implications of climate change on employment in the electricity sector. Representatives of the European Commission (Andrea (...)
(Brussels, 8 December 2009) Under the Swedish EU presidency, it was not possible to reach political agreement on the Proposal for a Directive on the Application of Patients’ Rights in Cross-border Healthcare (1 December).
As previously stated in the joint declaration on health services (December 2007), EPSU and HOSPEEM, the recognised European social partners in the health care sector, have continuously urged governments not to introduce any measures that could threaten the principles of (...)
(7 December 2009) Over 150 officers from public service trade unions met in Brussels on 3-4 December to debate the impact of the economic crisis. Representing affiliates of the EPSU trade union federation in over 30 European countries, the participants discussed the challenges of collective bargaining in such a difficult economic environment.
The conference heard the experiences of workers from several central and Eastern European countries and in a statement noted that: “Over the past (...)
(30 November 2009) The economic and financial crisis has not missed its impact on the waste sector. Waste volumes have dropped leading to restructuring, delayed or cancelled investments, plant closures and job losses. When contracting out waste services, municipalities often care more about the lowest price then about quality, decent pay and conditions. However, caring for the environment and public health go hand in hand with quality of jobs and a high level of health and safety in the (...)
(25 November 2009) Several trade union leaders of KESK were arrested on 28 May 2009. They were accused of having established a terrorist organization amongst others. EPSU, PSI and many others condemned the continuing persecution of the unionists. Meryem Özsögüt of SES told the EPSU Congress of the abuse she and her fellow unionists suffered from the authorities. Injuries, maltreatment, dismissal and imprisonment were common when speaking up for workers rights. EPSU again demanded the release (...)
(12 November 2009) The European Commission is wrong when urging Member States to seek balanced budgets and to reduce public deficits in the course of one or two years following the major economic and financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.
This is the message of European public service union leaders when meeting in Brussels.
A cutting strategy has the real risk that economic recovery will be stopped even before it is well under way. The role of the International Monetary Fund draws criticism. (...)
Demographic Change and Skills to be taken seriously when developing European energy policy
Press Release (Brussels, 5 November 2009)
Both employers and trade unions are concerned about the ageing profile of the workforce with many workers retiring in the next 5-10 years in the European gas sector. This poses particular challenges to ensure the level of competencies and skills which is important to maintain a high quality service, to develop the gas infrastructure, to ensure security of supply and to respond to technological developments and climate change (read more)
(26 October 2009) Professor for Energy Policy Steve Thomas of the University of Greenwich and PSIRU explained the implications of competition in electricity. He introduced the European Union Directives on opening the electricity and gas markets that would be implemented also in Turkey when it becomes member of the Energy Community (see www.epsu.org/r/239) .
EPSU’s Deputy General Secretary underlined the consequences for workers and users, while Prof. Thomas highlighted that the internal (...)
EPSU SOLIDARITY MESSAGE TO FINNISH STATE SECTOR AFFILIATE
Brussels 21 October 2009 On behalf of EPSU, we wish to express our solidarity to our Finnish affiliate Pardia representing employees in government agencies, universities and research institutions, as well as some commercial enterprises and companies.
Today, 21 October at 4. 00 p.m. Pardia is interrupting its general assembly meeting to protest on the steps of Finnish Parliament.
Our colleagues will protest against their (...)
Statement by EPSU Standing Committee on national and EU institutions (NEA)
(Brussels, 16 October 2009) EPSU’s trade union affiliates representing millions of state sector civil servants and employees in Europe met on 15 October 2009 in Brussels.
The Committee heard direct accounts of government plans to cut public and civil service pay, pensions, other conditions and jobs. These will make it impossible to maintain a high quality public service when people need it most.
Ongoing cuts (...)
(15 October 2009) Government representatives presented their national action plans at the Social Forum. As several were late or not available participants criticized the lack of progress and this is reflected in the conclusions of the Forum. The conclusions will be presented to the Ministerial Council in December. The importance of social dialogue was stressed and that more is needed to develop this. The Forum further discussed affordability issues as prices are increasing and in several (...)
(14 October 2009) EPSU and CEMR at the meeting of their sectoral social dialogue committee on 9 October discussed possible joint actions on social procurement in light of the forthcoming guide from the European Commission on socially responsible public procurement (SRPP), expected now to be published towards the end of 2009. EPSU and CEMR affirmed that local and regional authorities must have freedom to take into account the full range of economic, social and environmental costs and (...)
(8 October 2009) The social dialogue committee agreed to seek involvement in the work being done by the European Commission on the development of the energy road maps 2050. The energy road maps consider the long-term future of Europe’s energy system. The importance of considering the longer term strategy was already raised in the EPSU Contribution to the Commission’s Green Paper. The social dimension is to be an important aspect of this project.
The committee further discussed the project on (...)
(7 October 2009) EPSU affiliates from the energy sector in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands met in Brussels yesterday to discuss common issues of concern in collective bargaining.
They heard about the French unions’ struggles over the summer to secure an improvement on a 0.3% pay offer and the current refusal of the employers to get involved in any real social dialogue. The news from the Netherlands was more positive with a short-term (10-month) agreement (...)
(6 October 2009) The gas social partners considered the final study of the project on demographic change and competencies. The representatives considered a series of recommendations by the researchers (David Tarren, Working Life Research Institute). Some of these were controversial such as the proposal that in response to the looming skill shortages employers and unions should consider to prolong the retirement age on a voluntary and individual basis for certain occupations. The union side (...)
(2 October 2009) 7 October is the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), organised by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
EPSU is monitoring the effects that the economic crisis is having on wages and working conditions.
Our International organization, Public Service International (PSI) and other global union federations have chosen to use the day to highlight the growth in precarious work and the resulting erosion of workers’ and trade unions’ rights.
The dedicated website is (...)
(Brussels, September 28, 2009) --- NGOs and trade unions met with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso Monday at a Brussels conference held by the Spring Alliance.
The meeting came with high expectations in the social and environmental fields as well as on the international scene, as the world enters a critical phase: deep in economic crisis, with EU unemployment at a ten-year high and climate change an indisputable reality.
The Spring Alliance is a broad-based movement (...)
Press Communication, 23 September 2009
Electrabel (GdfSuez) and SPE Luminus (EDF) Belgian headquarters subjected to swoop by 50 Inspectors
50 Belgian Energy Inspectors yesterday (22 September) descended on the offices of the two main Belgian electricity producers. Electrabel and SPE Luminus are under suspicion of systematically manipulating the market to keep energy prices artificially high.
By controlling the availability of energy supply, both companies are under investigation for (...)
(21 September 2009) The European Commission consulted the European social partners on the risks posed to the health and safety of workers from electro-magnetic fields. To EPSU it is important that all workers and all risks are covered by appropriate health and safety legislation. The European Commission should take initiatives to ensure all workers exposed to electro-magnetic fields see the risks minimised or taken away. The long-term effects will need to be explored. Thresholds need to be (...)
UPDATE: National Greed under pressure: Day of Action 11 September 2009
(3 September 2009) The UK company National Grid continues its harsh position to outsource jobs despite excellent profits and results. The unions are therefore organizing a day of action on 11 September 2009.
(21 August 2009) In an updated report on the European companies in the electricity and gas sector, further evidence is provided that the 7 brothers, Europe’s largest electricity and gas companies continue to strengthen their grip. The report provides continued evidence of how the misguided liberalization policies are leading to a group of powerful companies. The updated report was produced by Professor of energy policy Steve Thomas, Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) of the (...)
(11 August, 2009) EPSU has again condemned the human rights abuses being carried out against Turkish Trade Unionists, particularly trade union federation KESK.
EPSUGeneral Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, has sent a message to Turkish Prime Minister, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urging him to take action.
The Turkish Police Authorities have arrested dozens of trade unionists this year, 32 of whom still remain in prison. A typical case, cited in the letter sent to Mr. Erdoğan, is that of Ms. (...)
A summary version is also available in EN/BG/CZ/HU/PL/RO/RU/TK.
Part II of the report – the country chapters – is available in English.
The report maps out the current situation with regard to the application of and respect for trade union rights in the public sector across Europe.
It identifies persistent and existing obstacles and problems facing trade union rights, in particular concerning the freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the right to take collective (...)
(Brussels, 17 July 2009,) The European Hospital and Healthcare Sector Social Partners - The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) represented by the President of EPSU health Committee, Karen Jennings and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) represented by General Secretary, Godfrey Perera today signed a European agreement, which is set to prevent medical sharps injuries for the whole health workforce in Europe.
VIDEO of PRESS CONFERENCE
(9 juillet 2009) The ETUC Executive Committee yesterday confirmed its position on the working time directive. EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel expresses her satisfaction with the ETUC statement: ‘Our message to the Commission is very clear. We do not want a fast track consultation on a revised working time directive over the summer break. We now need time for reflection before any revision of the directive. We expect that the Commission now lives up to its duties and enforces (...)
Adopted on 18 June 2009, Prague (EN/FR/DE)
(23 June 2009) The European trade unions and Eurelectric for the companies and employers signed a joint statement on Corporate Social Responsibility, 22 June 2009. The social partners underline the importance of CSR for the electricity industry, the positive attitude towards trade unions that is required and encourage the use of common reporting standards as defined by the Global Reporting Initiative and in particular the recent supplement on the electricity industry. (...)
Press Communication, 18 June 2009
(18 June 2009, Dusseldorf) Thousands of Energy workers assemble today for a protest at the Annual General Meeting of energy Company EON. The protest is organised by German Union Verdi. Under the slogan ‘we are one’, appropriated from EON publicity material, the Union organisers are staging an action day to condemn EON management refusal to provide guarantees on jobs and training. Union sources have also discovered that EON management has not ruled out (...)
(15 September 2009, Brussels) The 8th EPSU Congress delivered a clear mandate to promote and protect public services. The Congress witnessed 10 delegates each read an ‘action point’ summarizing the decisions taken during the week. The delegates represented EPSU membership from all corners of Europe.
The 10 action points (see below) represent the priorities for the EPSU congress period 2009-2014. They were introduced by Meryem Ozsogut from the Turkish health union SES who also outlined how (...)
(12 June 2009, Brussels) In the closing session of the 8th EPSU congress, delegates heard from Meryem Özsögüt from the Turkish health union SES (see full speech below). She gave a harrowing account of the arrest and torture that she had been subjected at the hands of the Turkish authorities. In 2008 she had organized a press conference to denounce executions carried out by the authorities. She was summarily arrested at gunpoint and detained without trial.
She thanked EPSU and Public Service (...)
final adopted text of the Congress resolution (10 June 2009, Brussels) For the congress period 2009 – 2014, the EPSU 8th EPSU Congress overwhelmingly backed the resolution on Local and Regional Government. The resolution was introduced by Anders Hammarbäck (SKTF, Sweden), EPSU Committee Chair for the sector.
He stressed the need for “a positive agenda for public services, based on shared values of solidarity and equality.” This had to be “an agenda in which local democracy and (...)
European Commissioner for Energy addresses EPSU Congress
(11 June 2009, Brussels) “There can be no energy dialogue without social dialogue”, said the European Commissioner for Energy, Andris Piebalgs. Mr. Piebalgs was speaking at the 8th Congress of the European Federation of Public Service Workers. In an exchange with congress delegates he emphasised that partnership with the public sector is paramount in the EU energy sector.
The Commissioner emphasised the importance of high-skilled (...)
(10 June, 2009, Brussels) Tim de Jong, ABVAKABO, Netherlands, introduced an affiliate’s resolution entitled “Strengthening Public Service Trade Unions”.
The resolution was adopted unanimously by the Congress delegates.
final adopted text of the Congress resolution
Mr. De Jong outlined the main challenges facing European Public Sector Unions particularly in the field of organizing.
The resolution urged the affiliates of EPSU to make organizing and the growing of membership of these (...)
Congress backs call to block EU-Colombia trade deal
(10 June, 2009, Brussels) Delegates at the EPSU Congress heard some harrowing reports of what it is like to be a trade unionist in Columbia when Gail Cartmail of the UK union Unite introduced an emergency resolution on the country’s trade negotiations with the EU.
The resolution says that: “Displacement, murder and repression are everyday fears in a country where thousands of trade union members and leaders have been killed by (...)
(10 June 2009, Brussels) The 8th Congress of the European Federation of Public Service Union – EPSU, taking place in Brussels from 8-11 June, utterly condemns the plans of the Latvian government to reduce the salaries of Latvian public sector workers by 50%.
The EPSU Congress expresses its outrage with this unilaterally imposed austerity measure, for public sector workers, whose income levels already lack behind those of other economic sectors. This salary cut would threaten the (...)
Final adopted text of the Congress resolution
(10 June 2009, Brussels) For the congress period 2009-2014, for quality public services – quality of life, EPSU have adopted the following resolution:
the resolution affirms:
”Quality Public Services – Quality of Life” – this resolution calls on EPSU to continue its campaign for EU legislation to protect public services and for an EU Action Programme on ‘quality public services’. It also calls for the quality public service dimension to be better (...)
final adopted text of the Congress resolution
(10 June 2009, Brussels) Today, on the third day of the EPSU Congress, the affiliates have voted for the resolution on Equal Pay. Agnes Cser, President of the EPSU Gender Equality Committee and Gloria Mills, Chair of the PSI-Europe Women’s Committee (pictured giving their joint speech to congress) introduced this resolution in which EPSU recognises that the gender pay gap still exists more than 50 years after the EU introduced the principle of (...)
final adopted text of the Congress resolution
Our aims for strengthening the European Social Model in 2009-2014
(9 June 2009, Brussels) Jan Ruden, (SEKO, Sweden) pictured, introduced the Congress resolution on the European Social Model. The Congress resolution was a targeted response to the recent European Court of Justice rulings (e.g. Laval, Viking, Luxembourg) which have dramatically undermined fundamental workers’ rights. The response (see full text below) was unanimously adopted by (...)
final adopted text of the Congress resolution
Our aims for Collective Bargaining in 2009-2014
(9 June 2009, Brussels) For the congress period 2009-2014, in the area of collective bargaining, EPSU have unanimously adopted the following resolution:
The resolution affirms the principles and objectives that EPSU affiliates commit to in the field of collective bargaining, including:
ensuring that social justice, trade union and human rights take preference over competition rules and trade (...)
The 8th EPSU Congress have sent a letter to the President of Turkey, Mr Abdullah Gül, expressing serious concern about the the arrest of the 24 members of theKESK Confederation on 31 May 2009. A Declaration of Solidarity adopted by the 550 participants in the 8th Congress of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) in Brussels, called on the President to take ’immediate steps’ to release the arrested trade unionists.
Full text of the declaration:
SOLIDARITY WITH KESK (...)
Final adopted text of the Congress resolution
(9 June 2009, Brussels) “Delegates we must commit ourselves here today to a campaign for a new economic model – a true social market economy”, Blair Horan (CPSU, Ireland) introducing the resolution.
The European Federation of Public Service Unions has agreed a set of action points to tackle the Economic and Financial Crisis. At the 8th Congress of EPSU, the delegates unanimously agreed to adopt the resolution entitled; “The Financial and economic (...)
First EU wide text agreed by Hospital trade unions and employers set to prevent over one million injuries per year.
(9 June 2009, Brussels). The European Hospital Social Partners - The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) represented by the President of EPSU health Committee, Karen Jennings and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) represented by General Secretary, Godfrey Perera have announced, before 600 trade union (...)
(9 June 2009, Brussels) “We cannot let market forces run healthcare systems or we will end up with a two-tier system of healthcare delivery” Godfrey Perera, General Secretary, European Hospital and Healthcare Employers association (HOSPEEM).
The Hospital sector employers and trade unions in Europe today joined forces to send a message to EU Health Ministers. The Social Partners for the sector were speaking on the draft EU directive on cross-border healthcare which is being discussed by EU (...)
Press Communication - EPSU
A stronger European Public Services Federation created
(8 June 2009, Brussels) the EPSU Congress has voted on the Merger between EPSU and PSI (Public services International) –Europe. With this merger, our membership will rise to 255 public service unions ( from 224).
Delegates have also voted on changes to the EPSU Constitution underpinning the merger process. EPSU-PSI Europe Merger was agreed unanimously.
EPSU General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, and (...)
Press Communication – EPSU
Party of European Socialists (PES) leader addresses EPSU congress, says ‘a more balanced EU with a strong role for public services’ the priority for next European Parliament
(8 June 2009, Brussels) Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the President of the European Party of Socialists (PES) gave his reaction to the results of the European Election today.
The PES President addressed 600 European trade union leaders, who were gathered for the 8th Congress of the European (...)
(8 June 2009, Brussels) From 8-11 June, here in Brussels, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (www.epsu.org) holds its 8th Congress. The congress takes place in the Flagey Conference centre.
Over 600 public service trade union leaders are present to discuss, debate and vote, on how the European Union should refocus its efforts, to ensure quality public services throughout the EU. At a time of economic crisis it is essential that that the vital role of public services is (...)
Voir la version française ci-dessous
(31 May 2009, Brussels) The PES group in the Committee of the Regions(CoR) is not satisfied with the directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border health care, adopted in first reading by the European Parliament’s plenary, on 23 April. At a seminar entitled ‘Crossborder cooperation on health services’, held on 22 May in Palma de Mallorca, attended also by EPSU speakers, representatives of the group expressed their hope that the new (...)
(29 May 2009, Spain) Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Alejandro Cercas (pictured right with EPSU General Secretary Carola Fishcbach-Pyttel, and Stephen Hughes MEP), has today slammed the European Commission’s attempts to get an ’under the table deal’ on working time. The MEP had discovered that the Commission was preparing to launch an initiative on working time, but which would exlude the key topic of the so-called ’individual opt-out’. EPSU has received the full text of an interview (...)
(28 May, 2008) As the European Elections near, the highly regarded think tank Friedrich Ebert Stiftung has published a timely report on what should be the new priorities for the incoming European Commission. (See document below)
The report dedicates a whole chapter to the issue of Public Services, or Services of General Interest in eurospeak. It calls for a balanced legal clarity on the role of public services. Most encouragingly, the report states that the current bias towards private (...)
ETUC Press release on Euro-demonstrations
Brussels, 16 May 2009
Some 350,000 people have just taken the streets of Madrid, Brussels, Berlin and Prague to support the European Trade Union Confederations (ETUC) Action Days.
Demonstrators are demanding more ambitious and more courageous action by Europe and national governments to help the growing armies of unemployed. They also demand that never again can the excesses of financial capitalism to be allowed to wreck the world economy.
Press Communication, 14 May 2009
European energy trade unions meeting in Luxembourg today highlight stark contrast between increased share returns and falling wages (14 May 2009, Luxembourg) On the eve of a weekend of mass union demonstrations throughout Europe, a report by public service trade union federation EPSU has revealed a stark trend among the sector’s main employers, showing the wages bill falling as a share of profits and dividends. The EPSU energy unions have released the (...)
(Brussels 08 May 2009) The European Federation for Public Service workers (EPSU) fully shares the European Trade Union Confederation’s (ETUC) disappointment at the no-vote in Parliament on 6 May on a report to improve the protection of pregnant workers and young mothers in Europe.
Due to the opposition by the conservative (EPP) and liberal (ALDE) groups in the European Parliament, the report by Portuguese Socialist MEP Edite Estrela , on the Commission’s revision of the pregnant workers’ (...)
Le ministre belge signe l’engagement en faveur des services publics pour les élections européennes
(Le 8 mai 2009) La FSESP a accueilli hier le Ministre Wallon des affaires économiques et de l’emploi, Jean-Claude Marcourt au siège du secrétariat de la FSESP, afin de signer le Public Service Pledge, la pétition en faveur des services publics. Le Ministre qui est en tête de liste pour la Wallonie pour le Parti Socialiste, a affirmé soutenir avec vigueur l’initiative de la FSESP. Il a (...)
(6 May 2009) The Members of the Special Negotiating Body will sign the EWC agreement for the French-Belgian company GdF-Suez today 6 May in Paris. The SNB reached agreement with management 7 April.
Following the merger of GDF and SUEZ, the European Works Councils (EWC) of both companies agreed to negotiate a new EWC agreement basing itself on the experience of both EWCs (...).
(28 April, 2009) The Conciliation Committee, set up to find a compromise on working time between Parliament and Council, met for the last time last night. Talks concluded without an agreement being reached. The sticking points were the opt-out, on-call time and multiple contracts.
“Despite the best efforts of the European Parliament delegation, it was not possible to reach an agreement that would have allowed the working time directive to play a meaningful role in (...)
(23 April 2009, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) expresses disappointment with today’s vote in the European Parliament on the patient mobility directive. By a margin of just 4 votes, the MEPs voted against allowing the directive to have a joint legal basis of public health and the internal market. The joint basis would have allowed Member States to ensure that all citizens have equal rights to high quality healthcare based on medical need, and not just the (...)
(23 April 2009) The European Parliament approved the final agreement on the internal market for electricity and gas 22 April 2009. This agreement negotiated between Commission, Parliament and Council does foresee two points which have been crucial for EPSU unions. It no longer forces ownership unbundling and gives Member States options. It further strengthens protection of vulnerable users and demands of governments to consider measures to address energy poverty. “While the EP has approved (...)
Decision could put healthcare provision ‘at risk of worst aspects of internal market’
(21 April 2009, Brussels) The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has today passed a declaration on the Patient Mobility Directive.
On 23/24 April, the European Parliament (EP) will take a major decision on how healthcare is defined in the European Union. The EP is due to take a position on the legal basis of the directive and whether it should be national healthcare systems, or the internal market that is responsible (...)
(20 April 2009) Workers and their unions remember the hundred thousands that have died or have become injured in work place accidents each year on 28 April.
Millions of workers are affected by occupational diseases. Unions organise to prevent such accidents. We strive to make 28 April a national and international day on health and safety. Croatia has become one of the latest countries to do so. Workers will be holding ceremonies, meetings and other events to commemorate those that lost (...)
(31 March 2009, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has today expressed disappointment at the decision of the European Parliament Committee on Environment and Public Health (ENVI). The Committee have decided to endorse the Commission’s proposal to make the Internal Market the legal basis for cross-border healthcare provisions. EPSU representatives had strongly called for a legal basis that protected the Member States ability to schedule healthcare based on (...)
(27 March 2009, Brussels) The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has today considered a detailed action plan to address the economic crisis in Europe. Representatives of over 200 public service unions participated at the Federation’s Executive committee meeting on 26 and 27 March.
EPSU President Anne-Marie Perret lauded the ability of the unions to take such a step, commenting that; “this action illustrates that public service workers are utterly (...)
Dave Prentis, Frank Bsirske and Carlo Podda
(this article first appreared in The Guardian, Friday 27 March 2009. As Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel and Silvio Berlusconi squabble over a rescue package involving billions in bailouts for failed banks and big business, the people of Europe worry about losing their jobs and their homes, and how to pay their bills.
We want them to put aside the squabbling, unite in urgent action to protect families and communities, and lay down the foundations (...)
(22 March 2009, Brussels) This week saw the European Election campaign to get candidates to sign a ‘public service pledge’ pass the 100 mark. There are now 101 contenders for the election, from 18 EU countries, already signed up. The campaign interactive map of Europe shows who. Already ‘pledged’ are; European Parliament Socialist (PES) Group leader, Martin Schulz MEP, head of the European Greens Monica Frassoni MEP, and leader of the Party of European Socialists Poul Nyrup Rasmussen MEP (...)
Aux organisations syndicales françaises affiliées à la FSESP
Bruxelles le 18 mars 2009
MESSAGE DE SOLIDARITE DE LA FSESP POUR LA JOURNEE D’ACTIONS DU 19 MARS 2009 EN FRANCE
La FSESP, représentant 8 millions d’agents publics et fonctionnaires en Europe, soutient la journée de mobilisation interprofessionnelle et intersyndicale en France le 19 mars 2009 qui donnera lieu à des grèves et des manifestations dans tout le pays.
Cette journée d’actions est la prolongation de celle du 29 janvier et (...)
End to Opt-Out ‘logical’ if directive is to have any meaning
(18 March 2009, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), particularly as the European social partner for firefighters and medical personnel, welcomes the European Parliament stance as working time talks begin.
The so called ‘conciliation committee’ process on the working time directive started on Tuesday (17 March). The formal talks, between teams from the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, (...)
Joint Press Communication:
European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
(17 March 2009, Brussels) In advance of the Spring summit, the Social Partners for the local government sector in Europe have sent a 17 point checklist to European leaders. CEMR-EP (Council of European Municipalities and Regions) and EPSU (European Federation of Public Service Unions) issued the list of demands to highlight the positive role local government (...)
Breaking story on Water Forum outcomes
(17 March 2009) At the opening of the World Water Forum this week, European trade unions will present damning evidence of the EU’s water policies. They will demonstrate that the EU drive to commercialise water services is based on a flawed model; "The Commission’s support for private sector involvement in water services is counterproductive and based more on market ideology than fact", said Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary. He continued; (...)
(10 March 2009, Brussels) NEW UPDATE on Healthcare for all campaign! The ENVI Committee has decided to postpone the vote on the draft directive on crossborder healthcare until Tuesday 31 March. We would like to thank all affiliates for their tireless lobbying over the last week, and urge you to continue the good work between now and the end of the month.
The Conference of Presidents in the European Parliament will discuss the issue of competence between committees on Thursday 12 March. (...)
(9 March 2009, Brussels) Sunday 8 March saw 962 events staged in 62 countries for International Women’s day, making it the most successful in the 98 year history of the event.
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). has a strongly developed gender equality policy. One of the centre points is fair working time. “An ideal way to mark Int. Women’s Day in European is to ensure a strong EU working time directive”, stated Carola Fischbach-Pyttel (EPSU General Secretary). “Not enough (...)
Euro Parliament Green /EFA Group come out in force for strong public services
(3 March 2009, Brussels) the Green/ European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament gave a ringing endorsement to the EPSU public service pledge. The leader of the group, Monica Frassoni MEP (pictured) stated that the pledge was an excellent initiative. The invitation to address the group had come from UK Green Jean Lambert MEP. EPSU is working in close coordination with the Green group on issues such as (...)
Joint press statement of the ETUC (European Trade union Confederation), EPSU (European Federation of Public Services Unions), Ver.di (Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft), ICTU (Irish Congress of Trade Unions).
Attacking Public Sector wages: The wrong thing to do at the wrong moment
Brussels, 4 March 2009
European trade unions are stunned to observe the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) attacking public sector wages once again. The independent ECB is providing political (...)
(2 March 2009, Brussels) EPSU have launched the public service pledge leaflet in all 23 EU languages (see bottom of page for your country language!). All 200+ public service trade unions affiliated to EPSU will be encouraged to use the pledge in their campaigns for the European elections (set for June 2009).
EPSU President Anne-Marie Perret stated that; "this leaflet will allow us to check whether European Parliament election candidates mean what they say when it comes to public services". (...)
On behalf of the European Federation of Public Service Unions, EPSU, representing 8 million public services workers in Europe, I would like to express our solidarity for the strike on 25 February called by our affiliate ADEDY.
We express our opposition to the European Commission’s new recommendations and in the measures promoted by the Greek government to the detriment of Greek public services users and workers. The Commission recipe of loose labour relations, cutbacks of the expenses of (...)
Brussels, 24 February 2009
On behalf of EPSU, representing 8 million public services workers in Europe, I would like to express our solidarity for the strike on 26 February called by our affiliate CPSU.
Following the 22 February massive rally of opposition against the Irish Government’s handling of the economy, public sector workers are right to keep the pressure and oppose unfair and unilateral measures such as:
6% pay cut
pension levy that will cost public sector workers between (...)
(23 February, Dublin Ireland)
Massive turnout for union demonstration
Around 200,000 people joined the national demonstration in Dublin on Saturday organised by the ICTU union confederation in protest at the government’s handling of the economic crisis. A particular focus of trade union anger has been the decision to impose a pensions levy on public sector workers that will cost them between €1,500 and €2,800 a year. The previous weekend had seen the IMPACT trade union co-ordinate lobbying (...)
(16 February 2009, Brussels) The EPSU public service pledge is continuing to gather pace. The President of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament Martin Schulz (pictured) endorsed the pledge. In an action coordinated through the office of Stephen Hughes MEP, this last week, over 60 members of the Party of European Socialists declared their support. All members of the PES leadership (bureau) have signed the pledge. Vice Presidents Hannes Swoboda, and Linda McAvan have both sent in (...)
(30 January 2009, Brussels) EPSU will mark the first anniversary of their Prison action day on 16th March 2009. The day will highlight the fact that overcrowding in prisons, throughout the EU, is still a major problem.
EPSU will call on members of the European Parliament’s Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to support the action. EP members will be asked to sign up to the EPSU Public Service Pledge as a way of publicising the need for quality standards in prisons which, (...)
(11 February 2009, Brussels) With over 700 amendments tabled, European Parliament committees ENVI and EMPL started the long task of scrutinising the merits of the directive for cross border healthcare.
The committees, which tackle Environment and Public Health, and Employment respectively, held initial debates on the Commission’s proposal.
Reports from the Parliament suggest that the timetable already indicates that the directive will probably not be brought to first reading before the (...)
(3 February, 2009, Brussels) The decision of the European Commission to launch an investigation into energy markets due to high consumer dissatisfaction (2 February) is a “stunning denial of their own role in causing this mess”, according to EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan. He added that it is: “precisely the Commission liberalisation of the energy market which has lead to massive concentration of ownership, and high prices for private and business users”.
He commented (...)
(30 January 2009, Paris) There was a huge response to the call by French unions to strike on 29 January. Estimates put the number of participants at over 2 million. Answering the call of the 8 French trade union confederations, the demonstrators assembled to protest over the poor management of the economic crisis. EPSU President Anne-Marie Perret joined the demonstrations in Paris. She noted that the; "enormous scale of these protests reflect the growing frustration with the way the (...)
(30 January, 2009, Brussels) Ögmundur Jonasson has today been named as the new Minister for Health in Iceland. Jonasson has served as the Icelandic representative on the EPSU Executive Committee since 2000. He is the President of the Icelandic Public Service Union; the Federation of State and Municipal Employees (BSRB). He is also a leading member of the Vinstrihreyfingin - grænt framboð, or Left-Green movement. The new Government has been formed in the wake of the collapse of the (...)
(30 January 2009, Brussels) EPSU has agreed to coordinate on shared policy issues with The European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe). The initiative follows on from discussions with EPSU affiliates and work done in the EPSU equality workshop in 2007. It is particularly well-timed as the European Parliament is due to discuss the Anti-discrimination Directive Com 2008 426, which is due to be adopted (1st reading) in March (...)
Aux organisations syndicales françaises affiliées à la FSESP
(28 janvier 2009, Bruxelles) La FSESP - Fédération Syndicale Européenne des Services Publics -, représentant 8 millions d’agents publics et fonctionnaires en Europe, soutient la journée de mobilisation interprofessionnelle et intersyndicale en France le 29 janvier 2009.
Nous soutenons les revendications de nos affiliés du secteur public POUR surmonter la crise financière et économique qui requiert des mesures urgentes en faveur de (...)
(27 January 2009, Brussels) EPSU have staged the latest in a series of successful events to promote collective bargaining coordination in the EU based on concrete examples. On 27 January the Federation hosted a seminar entitled: “How to improve coordination of collective bargaining in (Central West) Europe in the energy sector”.
Gross and net pay was compared of energy workers from the participating countries. The jobs that were examined were: (...)
(21 January 2009, Brussels) Representatives of the European Hospital Social Partners met with the European Commission for high level talks on the upcoming ‘Sharp Injuries’ negotiations. The Social Partners (EPSU for hospital employees and Employers’ Organisation HOSPEEM) met with Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs Vladimir Spidla on 20 January. Mr. Spidla expressed his support for the upcoming negotiations and stated that he was pleased that the European Social Dialogue process (...)
(15 January 2009, Brussels) EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel has strongly backed the actions of Lithuanian public service workers. Organised by EPSU affiliates LPSK and LVDPS, the workers demonstrate on 16 January. They are protesting against the draconian measures the Lithuanian Government is attempting to push through.
Ms. Fischbach-Pyttel stated that; “The Lithuanian action is part of a growing trend. In the past few weeks many workers and their trade unions throughout (...)
(14 January 2009, Brussels) In a ringing endorsement of EPSU positions, the Party of European Socialists (PES) has signed up to the EPSU Public Service Pledge. The 215 MEP’s in the group have been asked to ‘actively support’ the pledge. A circular from Vice President of the PES Group, Harlem Desir MEP, reiterated to the Socialists Members their recent decision to call for a European framework for public services and urged them to coordinate with EPSU affiliates in their own member state (...)
(14 January 2009, Paris) In a move which signals the high levels of concerns, ALL French Trade Unions in the public sector have announced a joint day of action on 29 January. The 29th will see demonstrations all over the country in defense of public services. The Union activists aim to stop the increased attacks on public service standards by the Sarkozy Government. In particular, a moratorium on the ‘dead-end’ policy of cutting jobs and budgets is demanded. The Unions propose (...)
(17 December, 2008, Strasbourg) By overwhelming majority, the European Parliament has today voted to keep the working time directive strong. Under the expert stewardship of Socialist MEP Alejandro Cercas, the vote saw huge majorities on the three key points: a fair period in which to calculate the average working week; counting on-call time in the workplace as working time; and a phasing out of the opt-out from the directive. The margin of victory exceeded even the most optimistic (...)
(16 December, 2008, Strasbourg) Over 10,000 trade unionists demonstrated outside the European Parliament, calling on Members to vote for fair working time in the EU. The MEPs are due to vote on the working time directive on Wednesday (December 17). At stake is the definition of working time, the period over which the maximum average working week is calculated, and perhaps most importantly, the extent to which EU member states are legally obliged to implement the directive.
The European (...)
(11 December, 2008, Brussels) John Monks, the General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), has called on all members of the European Parliament to vote for fair working time and to avoid making the first backward step on social policy in EU history. The ETUC will mobilise in Strasbourg http://www.etuc.org/a/5552 ahead of the vote to demonstrate its commitment to fair working hours for EU workers. The letter reads:
“You will be called upon next week in the plenary (...)
(9 December 2008, Brussels), Meeting in Brussels on 4 December 2008, the EPSU prison service network gave a very positive assessment of its first coordinated trade union Action Day against prison overcrowding of 28 February.
It was agreed to maintain the pressure against prison overcrowding using the European elections 2009, in the framework of the EPSU public service pledge, and the Swedish EU presidency in the second half of 2009.
There is some scope for cooperation with the European (...)
(5 December, Brussels, 2008) The leaders of Europe’s social democratic and socialist parties have made the adoption of a European Framework for public services a key demand of their manifesto for the European elections 2009
(link: http://www.pes.org/downloads/PES_ma... ).
The PES manifesto “People first: A new direction for Europe”, was adopted in Madrid this week. EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel stated that this was a decision that will; “give hope to public service workers (...)
(2 December, 2008, Brussels) European Parliament group GUE-NGL (European United Left – Nordic Green Left) have put the rejection of the Council of Ministers proposals on the working time directive at the top of their agenda.
As the home page of their website indicates: www.guengl.eu/showPage.jsp, there is a strong commitment among the 41 MEPs to back efforts to reject the council attempt to reduce the directive to a bare minimum of limits.
EPSU has made it clear that the three areas where (...)
(28 November, 2008, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is conducting a coordinated action among 200+ public service unions to persuade Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to vote against the weakening of the EU working time directive.
The European Parliament is due to vote on the directive, in Strasbourg, on 17 December. An absolute majority of 393 votes is needed to reject the weakened proposal by the Council of Ministers.
EPSU members are contacting (...)
(27 November, 2008) EPSU statement of support to Hungarian public service workers:
We would like to extend our full support for your demonstration on behalf of the over 200 member organizations represented in the European Federation of Public Service Unions.
We condemn the intentions of the Hungarian government to deprive Hungarian public service employees of their 13th salary for 2009, thus unilaterally interfering with acquired rights negotiated in collective agreements. We further (...)
(25 November, 2008, Brussels) The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), has unanimously agreed to endorse the proposal to merge EPSU and the European section of Public Services International (PSI). The Executive Committee followed on from the positive position adopted by the Steering Committee of PSI on 17 November. This now allows the process to go forward for formal adoption at the EPSU Congress in June 2009.
EPSU General Secretary, Carola (...)
THE ETUI MONTHLY FORUM, 25 November 2008, 12:30 - 14:00h
Protecting workers in privatisation and outsourcing: some lessons learnt from Private-Public Partnerships (PPPs) and the liberalisation of public services
How does the privatisation and outsourcing of public services in Europe impact on performance and employment? How have Private Public Partnerships affected the working conditions for those employed in this sector?
The liberalisation and privatisation of public sector activities (...)
(24 November, 2008, Brussels) (English summary below) Demonstration am 16. Dezember 2008 in Straßburg.
Es hat in der Vergangenheit bereits viele erfolglose Versuche gegeben, die Europäische Arbeitszeitrichtlinie zu Lasten der Beschäftigten zu verschlechtern. Am 9. Juni 2008 hat der Rat der EU-Arbeits- und Sozialminister eine politische Einigung erzielt, mit der es zu einer massiven Verschlechterung der EU-Arbeitszeitrichtlinie kommen soll.
Der Beschäftigungsausschuss des Europäischen (...)
(Brussels, 19 November, 2008) As the recognised European social partners in the hospital sector, EPSU and Employers’ Organisation HOSPEEM have, this week, announced their intention to start formal social dialogue negotiations on the issue of sharp injuries in hospitals. The announcement, made in a formal letter sent to European Commissioner for Employment, Vladimir Spidla, states that the social partners are “best placed” to tackle the issue of sharp injuries in the hospital sector.
(19 November 2008) This article first appeared in Social Europe Journal, vol.4, issue1, Autumn 2008.
Christophe Rouillon, Mayor of Coulaignes (France), Vice President of the French Mayors Association and member of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions. He writes on behalf of the European Socialists (PES Group) in the Committee of the Regions
This autumn of 2008 sees public services hit head on by the current financial crisis at a time when an assessment has to be made of the (...)
Let’s fix Europe, together!
(18 November 2008) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (www.epsu.org) is launching its Public Service Pledge for the European elections at 12h30 on 25 November 2008. The launch will take place at the EPSU Executive Committee meeting and thus will have present all of the public service trade union leaders within the EU (...)
Limiting the maximum working week to 48 hours
Employment policy - 05-11-2008 - 14:58
The maximum working time in the EU should be 48 hours a week, and the opt-outs from this rule should removed within three years, according to the majority of MEPs in Wednesday’s second reading vote at the Employment and Social Affairs Committee.
By adopting a co-decision report from Alejandro Cercas (PES, ES) with 35 votes for, 13 against and 2 abstentions, the committee made clear its disagreement with (...)
(12 November 2008) The trade unions represented in the Special Negotiation Body and management reached an agreement on a European Works Council for the Italian energy company ENEL. The agreement includes:
two annual meetings of the EWC with preparation and debriefings meetings and based on 20 members
4 meetings of the Steering Committee. It will consist of 5 representatives, one for each country.
4 days of annual training
facilities for additional meetings of the Select Committee (...)
(Wednesday, 5 November, 2008) The Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament produced a clear vote in favour of keeping working time. The issues at stake were the individual opt-out, the definition of on-call time in the workplace, and the reference period to calculate an average working week.
Under the patient stewardship of rapporteur Alejandro Cercas MEP (Spain) the Committee voted almost three-to-one in favour of keeping the principles of fair working time in (...)
(Monday, 3 November, 2008) A delegation of three civil society leaders from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland met last week with EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach Pyttel. They called for action and support for the current crises in Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Bongani Masuku (Congress of South African Trade Unions), Barnes Dlamini (Swaziland United Democratic Front) and Emelda Mhuriro (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) gave a detailed briefing, stating that democratic change is (...)
(Monday, 3 November, 2008) GMB and UNISON have called on the 19 MEPs from the UK labour party to continue to show ‘tremendous solidarity’ on the issue of working time. The letter asks that the UK members vote in favour of Alejandro Cercas’ proposal on the working time directive on 17 December 2008. The letter states: “We (UNISON and GMB) very much hope that you will be able to unite in that solidarity again on this second reading vote in support of the Cercas report, and we assure you that this (...)
On 5 November 2008, the European Parliament (EP) Employment and Social Affairs Committee will vote on the report by Alejandro Cercas on the Working Time Directive. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) hopes that the EP committee will confirm the position taken by the Parliament in its first reading, in contrast with the regrettable agreement brokered at the Employment and Social Affairs Council on 9 June.
The Working Time Directive represents high stakes for European citizens. The Cercas report and (...)
(Brussels, 22 October 2008)
Today, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) welcomed the vote in the European Parliament on the Directive on Temporary Agency Work, following the agreement in the Council on this issue in June. The Directive introduces the principle of equal treatment for agency workers from the first day of their assignment, with limited possibilities for derogation that must involve the social partners.
ETUC was particularly satisfied with the way the Council solved (...)
EPSU has joint social action groups in demanding support from MEPs to tackle energy poverty and take measures to protect low-income households.
Read the letter: Joint letter on tackling energy poverty Distribution of leaflets (L. Tiberini, EPSU and colleagues from social action groups) in the European Parliament, Brussels, 8 October 2008
Energy Council to be firm in securing a stable energy sector and addressing energy poverty
(Press Communication, 8 October 2008, Brussels) The Energy Council will determine its common position on the proposed amendments to the internal market for electricity and gas directives, 9-10 October. "Europe cries out for stable and secure public services citizens and business can rely on. Not for the continuation of dangerous ideological experiments" says EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan (...)
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is organising a Day of Action on 7 October : "For Decent Work and Decent Pay".
The ETUC is calling on its affiliates to support the day of action with national campaigns and events. Together with the French affiliated unions, ETUC will organise a European rally on 7 October in Paris. Read the ITUC press release, and the ETUC news.
It is important for all unions and including public services unions to participate and organise activities and events on this day to draw attention to our demands for (...)
(October 1, 2008, Brussels) The Spanish Parliament has sent a strong message to the European Parliament on working time. In a clear decision, the Parliament voted to stick to the core principles of the EU working time directive. They are that fair working time is essential for health and safety, for work life balance, and for a strong social Europe.
EPSU Spanish affiliate UGT sent a message of congratulations to the Spanish Parliamentarians
The Spanish decision is a direct reproach to (...)
Statement by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) on the crisis of casino capitalism
(29 September 2008) The world financial crisis must be a turning point and cause a complete change in the way the financial world works. The dominant model of financial capitalism is close to collapse. This capitalism, liberated from long-standing restraints around 25 years ago, especially in the USA, has been used since as a role model for the rest of the world to follow. It has patronised the (...)
(22 September 2008, Brussels) On 17 September the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) hosted a strategy meeting on the draft health services directive COM (2008) 414, published in July 2008. Part of the meeting was extended to include a wide range of European health and social NGOs.
Trade unions and NGOs agreed that patients should be at the centre of all EU-policies on health services. EU-action and initiatives should first and foremost promote accessible and quality (...)
(22 September 2008)
Water in Public Hands - union campaigning - Using the opportunity of a series of water activist events during the European Social Forum, trade unions from the water sector reflected on current developments and campaigns to keep water services public.
Be proud of public water - the importance of public water operators Most municipalities, cities and countries have excellent public water companies. Such companies are however not vocal at the European or global level. (...)
(15 September 2008) We are happy to launch a new version of our website. This site is still under construction. We apologise for eventual inconvenience. Please contact epsu.org" onclick="location.href=lancerlien('cboeckx','epsu.org;akrijger epsu.org'); return false;" class='spip_mail'>Catherine Boeckx if you encounter any difficulties or have any suggestions. An introductory note will be sent to you (...)
Part one: Summary of available tools and actions points
(15 September 2008) Designed as a campaign-oriented, practical tool, the report maps out the current situation with regard to the application of and respect for trade union rights in the public sector across Europe. It identifies persistent and existing obstacles and problems facing trade union rights, in particular concerning the freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the right to take collective action, as (...)
(15 September 2008) Thirty-two delegates from EPSU affiliates in nine countries took part in the third and final regional meeting on social dialogue and collective bargaining. They debated a range of issues including pay developments in the public services, collective bargaining policy, improving the workings of the sectoral social dialogue and the draft collective bargaining resolution for next year’s EPSU Congress. The participants were from Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, FYR Macedonia, (...)
Press Communication: Brussels
European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)
European Hospital and Healthcare Employers' Association (HOSPEEM)
(16 July 2008, Brussels). On Monday 14 July a joint Hospital Social Partner delegation met Commissioner Vassiliou.
Commissioner Vassiliou explained the rationale for promoting the Cross-border Healthcare Directive. She underlined in particular the need for better collaboration between the Member States as well as the establishment of (...)
Press Communication, 7 July 2008
The Commission’s draft directive on cross-border healthcare is part of its ‘renewed social agenda’, published on 2 July. “This should not mislead us to think that this is a social directive,” says Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary. “There was a storm of opposition against a leaked version of the draft directive in December 2007. And rightly so!” adds the EPSU General Secretary. “This draft was identified as a radical proposal to introduce market (...)
Kundgebung der gewerkschaftlichen Plattform in Luxemburg-Stadt
Am 5. Juli 2008
(Brussels, 4 July 2008) Der Europäische Gewerkschaftsverband Öffentlicher Dienst - EGÖD - unterstützt die Zielsetzungen Eurer Kundgebung am kommenden Samstag uneingeschränkt! Wir teilen Eure Empörung über das jüngste Urteil des Europäischen Gerichtshofes, das in diesem Fall von der Kommission selbst gegen das Land Luxemburg angestrengt worden ist. Dieses Urteil ist kein Betriebsunfall! Bereits dreimal in Folge hat der (...)
Lesson of Lisbon still not heard as Brussels executive looks to makes grab for control of national healthcare systems
(1 July, Brussels) The European Federation of Public service Union has learned that the European Commission is set to publish a radical proposal on cross-border healthcare, this Thursday July 3. The draft proposal, which has been seen by EPSU, wants to give huge powers over healthcare to the Commission. In particular, the Brussels Executive wants to take power to define hospital care in all EU member states. The draft document states that; “In particular, power should be conferred on the Commission to define for the purposes of this Directive (...)
(Brussels, 18 June 2008) The European Parliament will consider amendments to the proposal for a Directive on Internal Market for Electricity and Gas, 18 June. EPSU, the European Anti-poverty network and the European committee for Social Housing (CECODHAS) have requested MEPs to show that they care about low-income households and consumers and support those amendments that address energy poverty.
Please find the joint press release :
People in poverty shouldn’t have to choose between (...)
FSP-UGT considera una “desastrosa decisión” de los ministros de Trabajo de la UE el ampliar la jornada laboral más de 65 horas
La Federación de Servicios Públicos, FSP-UGT lamenta la decisión adoptada en la noche del 9 de junio, por los ministros de Trabajo de la Unión Europea de incrementar la jornada laboral a más de 65 horas semanales. Esta decisión, que no ha sido apoyada por España, supone una grave vulneración a los derechos del trabajador, en particular, y a la negociación colectiva (...)
How municipalities are reforming their public services to respond to the challenges facing them? And to what extent dialogue between employers and employees can play a role in that process? These were the main questions raised at the conference organised by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) together with the EPSU on 3 June 2008, in Brussels.
The conference aimed to present and discuss the outcome of the CEMR/EPSU research project on changes in the organisation of (...)
COMMUNIQUE - 10 juin 2008 - Service de Presse de la CONFEDERATION GENERALE DU TRAVAIL FORCE OUVRIERE
La cgt FO qui, depuis 2004, s’oppose à la révision de la directive temps de travail concoctée par la Commission européenne estime que ce 10 juin sera marqué comme un jour sombre pour le droit social, pour les travailleurs en Europe et pour la (...)
Press Communication, 5 June 2008
“Working time directive risks becoming empty shell”
The European Employment Council of 9 June is set to discuss the proposal of the Slovenian Presidency to revise the Working Time Directive.
The proposal would lead to the disastrous situation where:
- for the first time, a European Union social law proposal would worsen standards for European Workers;
- European Court of Justice decisions on ‘on-call time’ in the workplace, would be ignored, by defining ‘inactive time at the workplace’ as not being (...)
Keine Aufweichung des Patienten- und Arbeitsschutzes
(5 June 2008, Berlin) Die Ärztegewerkschaft Marburger Bund (MB) warnt die Arbeits- und Sozialminister der EU-Mitgliedstaaten vor einer Revision der Arbeitszeitrichtlinie. Bei der Sitzung des Rates der Europäischen Union am 9. Juni 2008 soll auf Betreiben der slowenischen Präsidentschaft über eine Änderung der Arbeitszeitrichtlinie samt Neubewertung der Bereitschaftsdienste entschieden werden. Diese (...)
Bruxelles, le 5 juin 2008
A la veille du Conseil Emploi, politique sociale, santé et consommateurs (9 juin), la Confédération européenne des syndicats (CES) fait part de ses vives préoccupations concernant les propositions de révision de la directive sur le temps de travail qui figureront à l’ordre du jour de cette réunion.
La CES a écrit au ministre slovène du Travail afin de lui faire part de sa déception concernant les propositions qui figurent actuellement à l’ordre du jour. Selon la CES, elles (...)
Press Communication, 5 June 2008
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has called on the EU Council of Energy Ministers to pull back from the ‘grave error’ of forced ownership unbundling in the sector. EU energy ministers are set to discuss far-reaching proposals for energy companies on 6 June. EPSU has warned that Ministers run the risk of swinging a wrecking ball at the sector in a time of growing (...)
(2 June 2008) Presidents and delegations of the main Ukrainian energy trade unions from the nuclear power, gas and electricity sector met to discuss how the unions can get involved in the EU-Ukrainian energy dialogue and the Energy Community of which the Ukraine wishes to become a full member. Representative of the Moldovan and Georgian energy trade unions also participated. EPSU Deputy General Secretary informed the trade unions of the developments in the electricity and gas sector in the (...)
Aux organisations syndicales françaises affiliées à la FSESP
La FSESP - Fédération Syndicale Européenne des Services Publics -, représentant 8 millions d’agents publics et fonctionnaires en Europe, soutient la journée de mobilisation interprofessionnelle en France contre les réformes du gouvernement en matière de retraites.
Nous soutenons les revendications de nos affiliés du secteur public, en particulier POUR :
La pérennisation du système de retraite par répartition, seul à même d’assurer la (...)
(20 May 2008, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is a free and democratic federation of independent trade union organizations for employees in public services in Europe. We speak on behalf of over 209 public sector unions representing approximately 8 million organized workers in more than 36 countries.
We are convinced that Europe must mean more to citizens than a market. Quality public services are keys to meeting citizens’ fundamental rights. Universality, (...)
(EPSU Press Communication, 7 May 2008, Brussels) The European Parliament Committee on Energy voted with a narrow majority to force Member States to break up vertically integrated companies in the electricity sector, 6 May. The evidence presented by the European Commission for its ideological view has been criticised and found unfounded and based on erroneous assumptions. The social consequences for workers and citizens have not been investigated. The positive historical experience of many countries with vertically integrated companies has (...)
(28 April 2008, Brussels)This day workers and trade unions commemorate those workers and colleagues who have been killed during the preceding year because of unsustainable forms of production. It is the 13th time this day is honoured across the world. Each year around 2 million workers are killed, 1.2 million are injured and 160 million diseased.
Carola Fischbach-Pyttel: This day we pay tribute to all the dead, injured and sick workers. We remember those workers who had fatal accidents often because their employer did not provide protection to make cheap gains. We remember those workers who died while doing their jobs rescuing others like firefighters and police. We campaign for good health and safety for all.
(Press Communication, 24 April, Brussels) The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) approved the position of the ETUC regarding its decision not to negotiate on the Revision of the European Works Council Directive, 22 April 2008. BusinessEurope was not able to agree to a fixed and short timetable and the risk of bad faith negotiations was considerable giving the attitude of BusinessEurope and some of its members who have consistently and violently lobbied against the Revision of the Directive. This would have delayed revision considerably (...).
(11 April 2008, Brussels) With a letter to the European Commission the ETUC has notified that it will not negotiate on the revision of the EWC Directive due to a lack of willingness to provide guarantees for a substantial agreement by Business Europe.
To read the letter of John Monks, General Secretary of the ETUC, click here.
(11 April 2008, Brussels) Economic and social progress need to go hand in hand is the key message of the joint statement of the social partners in the European gas sector. The trade unions and Eurogas for the employers/ companies agreed to seek a constructive involvement in building a social dimension to the European Energy Community for South East Europe and to contribute to the development of the social dialogue with their expertise. Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU Deputy General Secretary welcomes the statement "The European Gas industry represented by the trade unions and Eurogas speaks out for the social development of the sector. This is a voice the European Commission and the Member States of the Energy Community can not ignore. We expect a serious commitment to the national social action plans and social dialogue”.
Brussels, 7 April 2008
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and
Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) have jointly signed a code of conduct on
ethical cross-border recruitment and retention.Through the code of conduct the European social partners in the hospital sector want to
address inequalities and unnecessary burdens on healthcare caused by unethical recruitment
practices. With this agreement (...)
(7 April 2008, Brussels) More pay, more rights, more equality were the battle cries of European trade union leaders at the ETUC Euro-manifestation in Ljubljana, Slovenia 5 April.
35.000 trade union representatives from many European countries marched in a colorful and joyful demonstration. We passed the message to European finance ministers that Europe’s workers have had enough of purchasing power being eroded, of the greed of their CEOs, and of Ministers who preach wage moderation but do not act against high profits, rising prices and the undermining of social rights (...)
(04 April 2008, Brussels) The EPSU European Works Council Coordinators discussed the Revision of the EWC Directive and the ETUC response to the 2nd phase of consultation. Romuald Jagodzinski of the European Trade Union Institute introduced the Commission consultation document and the ETUC reflections. These relate to a strengthening of the information and consultation rights, training for EWC members, strengthened resources, role for the European Federations, legal personality and the (...)
( 04 April 2008, Brussels) Unions reported on the results of collective bargaining. Purchasing power had been maintained for workers and in some cases real wage increases have been obtained that reflect productivity increases and the high profits of companies. Strike action was undertaken in several cases. The EPSUCOB@ network commences to cover a larger number of agreements. The unions support the ETUC Pay Campaign.
(03 april 2008) After last week’s disappointing recommendations from the arbitration commission, verdi is now recommending to its members that they accept a new offer from the federal and local government employers. Ver.di’s collective bargaining committee voted 64-25 in favour of the employers’ latest offer which is a significant improvement both on earlier offers and on the proposals from the arbitrators. If backed by the ver.di membership the deal will mean an increase in 2008 of at least (...)
(Brussels, 3 March 2008) The statement, which is in response to the consultation by the European Commission on this subject, has been prepared on the basis of the discussion held by the members of the sectoral social dialogue committee for regional and local government in December 2007.
In the statement EPSU / CEMR:
underline that social inclusion is an important issue for the EU, Member States, and social partners (in all sectors) given that 16% of the EU population is at risk (...)
"We are very satisfied with the public resonance and participation of this first European wide Action Day in the prison sector", says EPSU General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel. More than 400 delegates from 10 countries (Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, Estonia, Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway) assembled yesterday in Brussels on a common platform of key demands. The central demonstration in Brussels was combined with many national actions, information days in prisons, petition with national parliaments and press conferences.
"We want more and better qualified staff. We want better working and living conditions in prisons. We want that basic human and trade union rights are recognised. We need a European coordinated policy to tackle prison overcrowding by promoting (...)
JOURNEE D’ACTION « PRISONS »
MESSAGE DE SOUTIEN D’ANNE-MARIE PERRET, PRESIDENTE DE LA FEDERATION SYNDICALE EUROPEENNE DES SERVICES PUBLICS
Paris, 27 février 2008
Cher(e)s Collègues, cher(e)s Camarades,
Je vous adresse ce message de soutien à l’occasion de la journée d’action de ce jeudi 28 février 2008 contre la surpopulation carcérale dans les pays de l’Union européenne organisée par la FSESP.
A toutes et à tous, je souhaite plein succès pour l’euro-manif’ de la mi-journée à Bruxelles ! (...)
On behalf of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), one of Canada’s largest trade unions, I am sending a message of solidarity for the upcoming European action day on ’Overcrowding in Prison’. The National Union represents correctional officers in most of Canada’s provincial correctional facilities.
To read more, open document below
Press Communication, 27 February 2008
If you are in a hole stop digging" say energy workers to Council (27 February 2008, Brussels) The European Commission is obsessed with ownership unbundling and criticises Member States for protection of domestic households at a time when electricity and gas prices increase, jobs in the sector are lost, investment in new capacity is lagging behind, mergers and take-overs cost tens of billions of Euros and most States in the USA have halted their (...)
Brussels Action Day: Please see ACV/ACOD Video "Première" - En avant première
Prison Staff organisations announce 28 February Brussels rally to put prison overcrowding on EU agenda
(20 February 2007, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) announces a rally; ‘NO to Prison Overcrowding’ to coincide with the meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers on 28 February (rally to be supported by actions throughout Europe).
ISSUE: At present, prisons in the EU are at 125% capacity. Plans in a number of EU countries to build privately run prison facilities, are making worse an already difficult situation. The consequences of prison overcrowding are (...)
Code of Conduct Ethical Recruitment
(18 February, 2008, Brussels) The Social Partners in the hospital sector in the EU have announced their intention to sign an agreement on ethical recruitment. The deal outlines a “code of conduct” that national, regional and local hospital employers and workers will implement over a three-year period. Yearly ‘progress reports’ from each of the 27 EU member states form a key part of the accord. Speaking for the European Federation of Public Service Unions, (...)
(14 February, 2008, Berlin) EPSU affiliate ver.di today announced a series of ‘warning strikes’ by Public Service workers. The strikes, scheduled from 14-22 February, will take place throughout Germany. Ver.di President Frank Bsirske announced that public service workers had no choice but to strike. A ver.di negotiator commented that; “the ‘insultingly low’ wage offer by representatives of the Municipal and Federal employers is the cause of this action”. After three rounds of negotiations, all (...)
Contemporaneamente Manifestazione europea dei sindacati aderenti alla FSESP in tutte le capitali europee e a Bruxelles - in occasione della riunione del Consiglio dei Ministri Europeo per la Giustizia e gli Affari Interni sui servizi carcerari - "...migliorare le condizioni di lavoro e di vita nelle prigioni e ridurre il numero dei detenuti migliorando ed investendo nella prevenzione, in alternative al carcere e nella riabilitazione" dal documento programmatico della FSESP per una urgente (...)
I wish you a happy and successful New Year. This circular letter is to give you a brief overview of the challenges to be addressed this year and beyond.
1. EPSU Congress
The EPSU Congress will take place from 8 - 11 June 2009 in the Flagey Centre in 1050 Brussels. A formal call to all affiliates will go out in early May this year. Preparation of Congress contents has already started with a first public services workshop being held on 29 January, where we will have a first discussion on (...)
(Madrid, January 2008) EPSU Spanish Affiliate CC.OO has started the momentum towards the European action day against prison overcrowding set for 28 February 2008.
The Spanish trade union have mobilised members to protest about the health and safety conditions for prison staff. They have also called for proper professional recognition for prison staff. For a detailed outline of the CC.OO position please WATCH this VIDEO - http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=vANo0HStwSA
(1 February, Leipzig). EPSU German affiliate, Ver.di has helped secure a victory for public services in a local referendum in Leipzig. Initiated by a large coalition including unions and Attac Leipzig, the result saw the citizens of the German town stop the city mayor’s privatisation plans http://www.buergerbegehren-leipzig.de/. EPSU General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, praised the work of Ver.di, stating that this: “illustrates the iron bond between quality public services and (...)
(23 janvier 2007) La Fédération Syndicale Européenne des Services Publics (FSESP), représentant 8 millions de fonctionnaires et d’agents publics en Europe, réaffirme son soutien à ses affiliés français des services publics (FO, CGT, CFDT et UNSA) pour le mouvement de grève le 24 janvier prochain en France.
Nous soutenons les revendications de nos affiliés pour :
le rattrapage des pertes de pouvoir d’achat (actifs et retraités)
l’ouverture immédiate d’une négociation sur les salaires avec le (...)
(15 January 2008) The Lithuanian government is planning to build a new nuclear power station. Under pressure of rich businessmen it is considering to change the nuclear law which would allow private sector investors to take over the Lithuanian energy sector. The Lithuanian confederations have issued a joint declaration to warn about the situation for the public to the government and the Lithuanian parliament. The unions also organised a picket for the Semjus, the Lithuanian parliament, 15 (...)
Out of touch Commission makes major miscalculation
on healthcare proposals
PRESS RELEASE, 19 December, 2007, Brussels
The decision by the European Commission to postpone the publication of the draft directive on Cross-Border Healthcare, until spring 2008, represents a major victory for advocates of universal healthcare coverage throughout the EU.
Commenting on this embarrassing climb-down by the Commission, EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel stated that; “the draft proposal (...)
(18 December, 2007, Brussels) The following is a statement agreed by the European Network for Public Service. The statement is available in English and French.
For further information, please go here: http://www.fse-esf.org/spip.php?art...
Give public services their rightful place
The European network for public services, linked to the European Social Forum, is deeply concerned by the Communication on "Services of general interest, including social services of general interest" as well (...)
European Hospital Unions and Employers agree joint statement on EU and healthcare
(14 December, 2007, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association (HOSPEEM) have jointly signed a declaration on health services in the EU. For the full text of the statement please see attached or click here; (www.epsu.org or www.hospeem.eu).
The declaration, which marks the first formal joint position between the EU social (...)
Eurelectric and the trade unions adopted four joint statements at their plenary meeting.
The social aspects of the European energy community (South East Europe) and the implementation of the memorandum of understanding. The joint statement supports the Memorandum of Understanding (http://www.epsu.org/r/239). It also draws attention to the importance of the social action plans and the involvement of the social partners. The joint statement addresses the Social Forum that will be (...)
(7 December 2007, Brussels) The European Trade Union Confederation has today published the “Strategy and action plan 2007-2011” - adopted by the 11th ETUC Congress in Seville. This report is available in three languages: English, French and German. The report outlines the ETUC’s plans under the general banner “On the Offensive”. The report concentrates on ETUC action in the fields of; social dialogue; a social labour market; effective economic governance; and a stronger social Europe. As part (...)
Brussels, 26 November 2007
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is a free and democratic federation of independent trade union organizations for employees in public services in Europe. We speak on behalf of over 209 public sector unions representing approximately 8 million organized workers in more than 36 countries.
We are convinced that Europe must mean more to citizens than a market. Quality public services are key to meeting citizens’ fundamental rights. (...)
Bruxelles le 28 novembre 2007
A l’heure où la Commission européenne lance une nouvelle offensive contre les services publics en renforçant le rôle du tout-marché et des intérêts privés, la FSESP, représentant 8 millions de fonctionnaires et d’agents publics en Europe, souhaite marquer sa solidarité avec ses affiliés portugais pour la grève générale le 30 novembre prochain.
Cette grève générale s’étend à tous les agents publics et fonctionnaires du pays (Centrale, Régionale et Locale, Institutions privées (...)
“Internal Market Strategy and companion document’ on public services”.
Strikes are in part a reaction to a European Commission that has forgotten that Public Services should be at the heart of the EU
PRESS COMMUNICATION, 27 November 2007
The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) deplores the European Commission’s position on the further consolidation of the legal framework regarding provision, organisation and financing of public services, including (...)
For documents and further information on the conference please go to > etui
This conference was organised by EPSU in cooperation with the research institute of the ETUC, the ETUI-REHS www.etui-rehs.org , the Swedish research organisation SALTSA www.saltsa.se and supported also by CIRIEC www.ulg.ac.be/ciriec and other research networks. The idea was to facilitate a discussion between researchers and trade unionists on the consequences of privatisation and liberalisation, looking at the (...)
(21 November, 2007, Brussels) On 20 November a delegation lead by EPSU President and General Secretary, Anne-Marie Perret and Carola Fischbach-Pyttel respectively, delivered a strong message of support for the French Public Service Workers. The message was delivered to the French Ambassador to Belgium.
EPSU General Secretary talks to press at French Solidarity action 20 November
The action was strongly supported by Belgian Unions, with representatives from CGSP (www.multimania.com), (...)
European Commissions’ communication on services of general interest, including social services of general interest: a new European commitment (COM (2007) 724endg.)
"This marks the beginning, not the end of the debate on more legal certainty for public services in the European Union" (draft declaration)
(Brussels, 20 November 2007)
The European Commission published this week its views on the further consolidation of the legal framework regarding provision, organisation and financing of (...)
“This marks the beginning, not the end, of the debate on Public Services in the EU”
European Federation of Public Services Press Communication
(20 November 2007, Brussels) The European Commission today published its views on the further consolidation of the legal framework regarding provision, organisation and financing of public services, including social services within the European Internal market.
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) contends that the Commission (...)
Motion de solidarité
Présentée par la Fédération Syndicale Européenne des Services Publics (FSESP) et les Organisations syndicales belges des services publics et de la fonction publique à l’occasion de la journée d’action des fonctionnaires français du 20 novembre 2007 et remise à Monsieur l’Ambassadeur de France en Belgique
A l’heure où la Commission européenne s’apprête à lancer une nouvelle offensive contre les services publics (ou « services d’intérêt général ») en renforçant le rôle du marché (...)
On Monday 19 November at 19h45, John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, General Secretary of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), will present a petition with more than half a million signatures to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. The petition calls for an EU directive on public services.
Reacting to indications that the Commission is poised to reject proposals for a directive on (...)
(14 November 2007, Brussels) The European Parliament Socialist Group today set out fresh thinking on EU energy policy needs and pledged to target energy poverty and consumer protection.
The Group said that in the run-up to adoption by Parliament of the European Commission’s energy market package it would also fight for a regulatory framework to allow network investment that would "keep the lights on in Europe." This would cover grid access and planning procedures for new and renewable (...)
(Brussels, 09/11/2007) The mayors of ten European capital cities have signed a declaration in support of “high-quality public services, accessible to all”, on the initiative of Freddy Thielemans, Mayor of the City of Brussels and John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). On the eve of the publication of the European Commission’s new strategy for the internal market, the mayors of ten major capitals together with the European trade union movement state (...)
(9 November, 2007, Brussels) The debate to define public services at EU level has shot to the top of the EU agenda. The European Commission has been exposed in an attempt to use the new EU Reform Treaty to shut down 10 years of debate on the definition of public services. In a strongly worded letter to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the Socialists’ Group in the European Parliament (PSE) Martin Schulz, has condemned the Commissions actions as (...)
(9 November 2007, Riga) EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs’, proposal for ownership unbundling remains hotly contested including in his home country of Latvia and neighboring Estonia. At a seminar in Riga today, hosted by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), the audience heard criticism of the Commissioners plans from Estonian and Latvian representatives of Government, Energy Companies, Trade Unions and Energy Regulators. "The Commission’s proposals do nothing to (...)
(8 November 2007) Public services provide a vital contribution to Europe’s economy. It is with this in mind that the European Trade Union Institute for Research, Education and Health and Safety (ETUI-REHS), the European Public Services Union (EPSU) and SALTSA are organising a conference entitled “An alternative to the market: the social, political and economic role of public services in Europe”. The event will consist of a number of workshops and a plenary session taking place on 19th-20th (...)
(31 October 2007) The EPSU group welcomed the announcement of the European Commission that it will propose amendments to the EWC Directive. The Commission included the revision of the Directive in its work programme for 2008. The EPSU EWC Coordinators urge the Commission to come forward quickly and with substantial improvements to the Directive. The revision is long overdue and should have been proposed in 1999 already. BusinessEurope is mounting a campaign to dissuade the Commission from (...)
(30 October 2007) Europe’s energy unions are not convinced of the Commission proposals for ownership unbundling or the independent system operator which are part of the 3rd liberalisation package. ’Bureaucratic’, ’ideological’ and ’based on flimsy evidence’ were some of the observations. Overall the unions see it as the wrong priority given the challenge to attract investment and to address climate change. A long-term and stable framework is needed to attract investment and not new policy (...)
(Rome, 26 October 2007) Up to two million Italian public sector workers held an eight-hour strike on Friday in protest against cuts in public spending in the country’s latest budget. Thousands marched through the streets of Rome in steady drizzle, holding union flags and banners attacking Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s budget and poor job stability in Italy. Local news agencies estimated that as many as two million public employees stopped work and more than 100,000 took part in the street (...)
Following on the heels of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the social aspects of the South East European Energy Community (18 October) and the European Commission Conference on capacity building for social dialogue in South East Europe (19-20 October), the 7th Energy Round Table for unions in South East Europe focused on the recent developments with the internal market electricity and gas and the implementation of the Memorandum.
The unions welcomed the signing of the (...)
(18 October, 2007, Lisbon) EPSU Portuguese affiliate STAL held a major action calling on the Portuguese Government to stop its attacks on workers rights. The Union called on the Government to respect the concept of the European Social Model. STAL affiliates are particularly critical of the Government attempts to introduce grater flexibility without any commensurate social rights.
EPSU General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, congratulated the Portuguese on their action. She stated that; (...)
(Brussels, 18 October 2007) The Executive Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), meeting in Lisbon yesterday, adopted a statement on the draft EU reform treaty. The ETUC communicated this statement to Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates, who attended the Executive Committee yesterday. Today, a top-level ETUC delegation led by General Secretary John Monks and President Wanja Lundby-Wedin has presented the statement to the EU Tripartite Social Summit meeting in Lisbon. (...)
Embargo 12.00 18 October 2007
PRESS COMMUNICATION, 18 October 2007
(Vienna ,18 October) Energy and Social Affairs Ministers from South East Europe today signed an agreement with the European Commission to put social issues at the heart of the South East Europe energy community. The agreement, or memorandum of understanding, was signed in Vienna (home of the Energy Community Secretariat) today by Ministers from across the Balkan states, and by European Commissioner for Energy, Andris (...)
Carola Fischbach-Pyttel addressed an action day organised by Munich’s municipal service providers on 13 October. Congratulating the organisers for their initiative she stressed the influence of EU competition and internal market rules are having on the organisation of municipal services. Local activists from the Ver.di union and Attac used the occasion to collect some 2000 signatures for the ETUC petition.
This is the 3rd time this action day for local public services has been hold, this (...)
A Commission representative introduced the new package of measures to liberalise Europe’s energy markets as published 19 September 2007. Important issues in this package are: ownership unbundling, cooperation of transmission system operators, limitations to ownership of strategic assets by non-Eu state owned investment funds, agency for energy regulators. Trade unions pointed out their concern over ownership unbundling, its social implications and that it will no deliver. The union group (...)
On 14 September 2007, in Brussels, trade union delegates organising prison services from 8 European countries agreed to a European Action Day to protest at overcrowding of prisons and the deterioration of working and living conditions.
PRISON OVERCROWDING: EUROPEAN ACTION DAY ON 28 FEBRUARY 2008
BRUTAL CONDITIONS HAVE BRUTAL RESULTS
On 14 September 2007, in Brussels, trade union delegates organising prison services from 8 European countries agreed to a European Action (...)
(Vienna, 27 September, 2007) Public Services International (PSI) elected Peter Waldorff as General Secretary, at their World Congress in Vienna. Waldorff has been President of HK-Stat, the Danish union for government and public employees, since 2001. He has been a member of PSI’s executive board since 1998 and is also President of the National Administration Standing Committee in EPSU.
In his acceptance speech, Waldorff stated that “From today we stay united. I reach out two hands to all of (...)
The Portuguese government has proposed changes to the current labour law for the public administration. The bill which is to introduce these changes has not been discussed with the unions. EPSU sent a letter of protest and demanding the Portuguese government starts negotiations to reach agreement.
For the protest letter: ...
The European Commission published the 3rd package 19 September 2007. An EPSU work group met on the same day to consider the package. The important issues are:
the proposals to strengthen the national and European regulator - including the creation of an Agency of European regulators;
to oblige the traders to be transparent as regards their deals to prevent manipulation of wholesale markets;
a stronger role of the European Network of Transmission System Operators and
proposals for (...)
PRESS COMMUNICATION, 10 September 2007
European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)
UNI - Europa (Private Skills and Services Federation)
European Transport Workers Federation (ETF)
Subject: Joint response of European Energy/Post/Transport Workers Federations to European Commission report on the Evaluation of the Performance of Network Industries Providing Services of General Economic Interest 2006).
Event: Joint EUROPEAN COMMISSION and EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE (...)
(31 August 2007) On 30 May 2007, the European Commission launched the second phase of consultation of the European social partners on the issue of reconciliation of professional, private and family life. The document summarizes the replies of the European social partners to the first stage consultation document, issued on 12 October 2006 and asks their opinions about proposals for further action at EU level.
to read (...)
(28 August 2007) 27 August 1907 union leaders from the electricity, gas and water sector met to discuss common problems and established Public Services International, EPSU’s global sister federation. Our colleagues at that time were also faced with multinational companies who ran power plants, gas stations and drinking water operations in their communities. They saw the need to exchange information to confront the employers. And: all too soon municipalities and other public bodies (...)
(24 August 2007) EPSU’s French affiliated unions and several other unions in public services agreed to start preparing for a mobilisation against plans of the government to cut employment. The government has also not responded to demands for improving salaries and maintaining wages. To read the press release of the unions (in French) ...
COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE, Paris le 24 août 2007
ORGANISATIONS DE LA FONCTION PUBLIQUE :
CGT CFDT FO UNSA FSU SOLIDAIRES CGC CFTC
COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE
(03 August 2007) EPSU and PSI have condemned the police break-in in the headquarters of the KSSH Confederation. The police broke in, destroyed property and kep union officials and staff out of the building. The police seeks to make the work of the trade union difficult. The trade union has protested against shortage of water and electricity and bad government management. EPSU has also reported the incident to various European institutions. To read the letter to the president of Albania... (...)
(29 June) The Roumanian gas and electricity unions have informed us about the actions they have taken. They have approached the government and handed over letters, but also approached MEPs, European Commissioner for Energy Piebalgs and the Deputy minister of energy of Montenegro who chairs the Ministerial Councils).
More then 50 trade union representatives of the energy trade union of Montenegro gathered outside the Energy Ministry and demanded the signature of the Memorandum of (...)
Press Communication, 27 June 2007
29 June meeting in Montenegro “last chance to avoid major error on social policy”
Energy Ministers from South Eastern Europe are set to green light further energy policies to open their markets to competition and expose workers and citizens to market forces at their meeting in Podgorica, Montegro on 29 June. Unfortunately they (...)
(20 June 2007) The EWC approved in principle a number of agreements, rejected others and demanded continuation of negotiations on a range of other issues. The agreements are not signed yet, as some consultations are ongoing and a number of minor questions need to be solved (read the full article).
(19 June 2007) Employers and trade unions in the European electricity sector agree that if Europe wants to attract the massive investment needed for new capacity and for keeping the networks safe and secure a stable framework is needed and not a changing of the rules every so many years. Trade unions were outspoken in their criticism of ownership unbundling but also employers are sceptical. Both sides agree to the importance of impact assessments including the social dimension. EPSU Deputy (...)
(18 June 2007) Leaders of the Russian energy trade unions (production, transmission, distribution; state and municipal utilities) stated very clearly that opening of the electricity and gas markets will hurt workers and citizens. Prices will increase for domestic users and vulnerable users, and vulnerable regions will suffer. Public services will be affected. The unions reflected on the Roadmaps to develop competitive and compatible markets in electricity as developed by the CIS Electric (...)
(8 June) Leaders of the energy trade unions expressed frustration and anger with the lack of progress on the social dimension of the European Energy Community at a seminar in Sofia, 7-8 June. The Memorandum of Understanding on Social Aspect will again not be signed at the Ministerial Conference 29 June. Unions squarely blamed the European Commission as it had failed to proceed with the necessary preparation to allow for signing the MoU and despite the Political Declaration of the Ministers (...)
(24 May 2007) EPSU president, Anne-Marie Perret, addressed PCS delegates at a fringe meeting fighting for global peace and economic justice. The meeting was held against the backdrop of PCS 1000-strong delegate annual conference which voted, amongst others, to continue the campaign and industrial actions against the 100.000 job cuts in the civil service and for above inflation pay rises.
Anne-Marie Perret gave a round up of the main issues facing French public sector workers, which are (...)
Union representatives from Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Spain met with management of the Italian energy company ENEL to discuss the establishment of a European Works Council. EPSU was represented by its Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan. We welcome the start of the process to agree an EWC for one of Europe’s leading energy companies. We look forward to an EWC which reflects the strong social commitments of the company.
The first meeting of the Special Negotiating Body (...)
30 members of the EPSU firefighters’ network from 19 European countries met on 14 May in Luxembourg. The main topic for discussion was the finalisation of the EPSU firefighters’ Charter. This sets out a series of key demands and aspirations for EPSU firefighters’ unions across Europe.
The network also discussed EU and national developments on issues such as civil protection, health ands safety, and life-long learning and skills development.
The network also expressed strong support for (...)
Several hundred representatives of workers in the energy, water and waste sector came together to decide policies for the next 4 years at a Verdi Conference 10-11 May 2007, Berlin.
The EPSU Deputy General Secretary addressed the Conference welcoming the proposals to fully participate in the campaign to obtain a million signatures for the petition. We need your support. You can be the ambassadors of another Europe in which not markets and profits are central but in which people take (...)
Please find attached a call from the ETUC to affiliated organisations to collect signatures for the public services petition www.petitionpublicservice.eu during the May Day celebrations. May Day is traditionally a day of solidarity and a day of celebration for the trade union movement. This makes it the perfect occasion to present our case for quality public services for all. We are urging you to turn May Day 2007 into a massive, Europe wide, drive for quality public services.
(23 April 2007) The EPSU EWC coordinators discussed recent developments. The EPSU Deputy General presented the recent EWC agreement which was reached with the Czech company CEZ and signed by EPSU. CEZ is the first EWC of a Czech company and the first EWC which is made up of representatives of trade unions in the new member states (Czech, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania). He underlined the progressive formulation of information and consultation which includes that consultation is to take place (...)
CoR/EESC conference on the future of public services - 19 April 2007
(19 April, Brussels) Today’s conference on a European framework for high quality public services, organised jointly by the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee of the EU, in close cooperation with the Socialist Group in the European Parliament and many European partner organisations campaigning in this field (such as ETUC, EPSU, CEEP, European Social Platform), showed once again that "high quality public services - open and transparent, with equal access for all - are essential elements in the European model of society. Market forces alone cannot ensure (...)
(10 April 2007) The Committee of Social Rights of the Council of Europe which considers the correct application of the Social Charter has condemned the Bulgarian government for not respecting the right to strike for civil servants and other groups of public service workers such as in electricity and health care. The verdict came after the ETUC and the Bulgarian confederations CITUB and Podkrepa brought a case before the Committee in 2005.
EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel (...)
26 March 2007, Rome, on the 50th Anniversary of the European Union, the Italian public services trade unions affiliated to EPSU ( FP CGIL, FILCEM CGIL, CISL FPS, FLAEI CISL, CISL FEMCA, UILCEM- UIL) have presented the Campaign for the ETUC petition on public services and the EPSU Quality Public Services campaign (framework legal instrument).
The doyen of the EU parliament, Giovanni Berlinguer (PSE), the vice president of the Socialist Group in the EU Parliament, Pasqualina Napolitano and (...)
(5 April 2007) An EPSU delegation met with the Montenegro Deputy Minister Mr. Canovic, in Podgorica, 5 April 2007. EPSU brought the message that the South East European Energy Community needs a social pillar. The internal market for electricity and gas will have grave social consequences. Mr. Canovic, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Montenegro is currently the President of the Ministerial Council of the South East European Energy Community.
EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan (...)
(4 April, Brussels) The Socialist Group in the European Parliament (PSE) has today launched a dedicated website for public services. The website, available here, is designed to promote the key PSE policy which calls for an EU framework law on public services. The website includes a summary of the PSE policy position, a list of the PSE Members of the European Parliament directly responsible for public services and a FORUM for you to air your views on public services.
Most importantly, the (...)
28 March, 2007 EPSU Ireland affiliate, IMPACT, have launched a comprehensive campaign to defend Ireland’s public servants. The campaign can be accessed here: www.qualitypublicservices.ie. The action by IMPACT swiftly follows on from the joint EPSU/IMPACT press conference to push for an EU framework law on public services. This event, which took place 15 March, saw EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel and Irish Congress of Trade Union (ICTU) General Secretary, Dave Begg (...)
(28 March, Prague) EPSU affiliate STATORG (the trade union for State Bodies and Organisations) put the ETUC call for a framework law at the heart of their annual Congress on 16 March. STATORG President Alena Vondrova arranged for the EPSU campaign ’Quality Public Services -Quality of Life’ to have a High profile at the event. Richard Falbr MEP, from the Party of European Socialists (PSE) took time to sign the ETUC petition www.petitionpublicservice.eu
Pictured with Mr. Falbr signing the (...)
(28 March, Brussels) EPSU United Kingdom affiliate GMB gave a major boost to the European wide campaign ’Quality Public Services - Quality of Life’ in Brussels last week. The GMB Senior Management Team, took time during a visit to Brussels to give support to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) initiative www.petitionpublicservice.eu.
The team, made up of national and regional leaders, are pictured giving their support to the petition. GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny (pictured with (...)
(22 March, Madrid) Los ciudadanos "seguimos esperando por todo" lo relacionado con la sanidad, la Comunidad "abre las puertas de la privatización de hospitales públicos".
Miles de personas recorrieron el centro de Madrid en una manifestación convocada por los sindicatos CC.OO. y UGT en defensa de los servicios públicos de la Comunidad de Madrid, que contó además con el apoyo de más de 40 organizaciones y una veintena de ayuntamientos de la comunidad. La marcha, a la que acudieron los secretarios (...)
(20 March, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has been informed that the European Commission has decided not to publish a controversial communication on public services. The communication, which was set to be unveiled on 21 March, will now only be published "at the earliest on 12 April", according to Commission sources. This delay suggests that there are serious tensions with the College of Commissioners about the content of the communication. EPSU (...)
(19 March) The broad based coalition to keep water in public hands and to oppose privatisation of water services organised a demonstration in front of the Commission’s Trade Department, 19 March 2007. DG trade was the target of the action as it negotiates on behalf of European governments on GATS. There is a risk that the Commission seeks to liberalise environmental, water and sanitation services through trade negotiations.
The group also argues that the European Commission should stop (...)
EPSU, several other unions and many NGOs have signed a statement on the ocassion of World Water Day, 22 March. We demand the Commission
Stops using aid money to facilitate private sector involvement.
Drops requests for market access within trade talks.
Greatly increases aid and public investment in the sector.
Supports the development of strong public utilities in the Global South through ‘public-public partnerships’ that enable the exchange of expertise between public providers, (...)
(14 March) In one week’s time, the European Commission, specifically the office of Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, is set to publish its latest communication on public services, or services of general interest (SGI) in EU Jargon. This latest document from the Commission will give a clear indication as to how committed Mr Barroso’s team is the public services in the EU. For 10 years however, the Commission has been circling the debate rather than taking concrete action. What will (...)
(13 March, London) The momentum for www.petitionpublicservice.eu continues to build this week, as UNISON announced plans to involve 40,000 activists in the push for one million signatures for the petition. The initiative, from the UK’s biggest union, brings the petition, and most importantly, the need for a framework law for public services to the grassroot level.
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis stated that "Public Services in European are under attack, which is why UNISON is supporting a call for a European law to protect public services from (...)
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) are both concerned that European internal market and competition policies are not balanced by an adequate legislative framework for sustainable services of general interest (SGEIs). Services of general interest are acknowledged as one of the pillars of the European Social Model and as such have to be safeguarded and promoted. (...)
(8 March, Tallinn) EPSU affiliate ROTAL have staged a ’signing drive’ and public demonstration as part of the Quality Public Service - Quality of Life campaign. The event, which took place on 8 March, was a concerted effort to get signatures for the ETUC petition on public services. Kalle Liivamägi, EPSU campaign coordinator in Estonia, stated that he hoped that this action would signal a ’stepping up’ of campaign activity through the Baltic’s. The ROTAL head stated that it was vital that the new (...)
(13 March, Brussels) Last month over 150 civil service trade union reps from across Greece met in Athens to mark the opening of a new public service training institute. EPSU affiliate ADEDY, the federation of civil service unions in Greece, is taking a new approach to trade union education by focusing on how it can contribute to the provision of high quality public services.
Richard Pond, attending the meeting on behalf of EPSU, used his intervention (pictured) to make the link between (...)
The socialist Group in the European Parliament today, 7 March 2007, urged all Europeans to sign the ETUC (European Trade Unions Confederation) petition calling for action by the Commission to ensure high quality and accessible public services for all.
Socialist Leader Martin Schulz said:" Europe’s greatest political challenge is to reconnect with European citizens, to show that the European Union has something to offer in terms of a better quality of life. Good public services, available to (...)
(Press Communication, 8 March, Brussels) Today is international Women’s day, but in the Care Sector is there much cause for celebration? “Care service workers, a majority of whom are women, continue to be undervalued and underpaid. And working women are facing more and more barriers in the access to care. So where is the official response? “Promises of gender equality and better work/life balance are undermined by the lack of any real action to improve public care services “ says Carola (...)
France - Actions et mobilisations syndicales
(7 mars) Les mobilisations contre la directive Bolkestein ont fortement remis en évidence le besoin d’une directive cadre sur les SIG. Elles ont ouvert une fenêtre que nous ne devons pas laisser se refermer sans en avoir exploité toutes les possibilités revendicatives.
Au niveau européen, l’automne 2006 a été marqué par plusieurs initiatives traduisant l’impact des interventions et mobilisations syndicales :
le Parlement européen a adopté en septembre (...)
- C. Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary and J. Ciacma, Coordinador de Internacional, FSAP-CC.OO Spain, signing the petition
- C. Valera, International Secretary FSP-UGT Spain, signing the petition
(7 March, 2007) The effect of clear, simple, targets on the public service petition were illustrated yesterday. On 6 March, EPSU affiliate CC.OO (Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras) www.ccoo.es launched their nation wide campaign on the petition. The results were immediate. By end of the day, 4,833 visits from Spain had been logged to www.petitionpublicservice.eu. In addition, EPSU affiliate Federación de Servicios Públicos de la UGT www.fsp.es sent 20.000 e-mails to public workers in the region of (...)
(27 February 2007) STAL, EPSU affiliate in Portugal, has stepped up its efforts to ensure a successful petition in time for the ETUC congress in May. The union has widely circulated a call for the petition to the signed. STAL is cooperating with the other Portuguese affiliates to reach the widest number of potential signatories. National Campaign Coordinator José Manuel Marques stated that; "the Portuguese trade union community is fully aware of the need to maximise the mobilisation for this (...)
3 WEEKS TO GO!
EPSU PLAN OF ACTION for
ETUC Petition for High Quality Public Services accessible to all
Collection of 1 million signatures!
Key message: Success of online petition needs clear political leadership.
The Petition needs to be prioritised for next 5 weeks. (19 February - 21 May).
"Un milione di firme: è l’obiettivo che la Confederazione europea dei sindacati (CES) vuole raggiungere con la petizione "Per servizi pubblici di qualità" , lanciata per spingere l’Unione Europea ad adottare una direttiva che difenda i servizi pubblici e ne promuova la qualità. Il sindacato ricorre ad uno strumento concreto, previsto dal Trattato costituzionale europeo, con cui i cittadini possono fare sentire la loro voce e avanzare proposte alla Commissione e al Parlamento europei. (...)
(19 February 2007) The public interest such as protecting the environment and public health should prevail over promoting competition and the internal market in waste argued the trade unions representing waste workers at the EPSU waste seminar 15 February 2007, Berlin. They supported the ETUC initiative to obtain a million signatures for the petition on public services.
A legislative initiative will give the EU another basis to judge conflicts between the public interest and competition (...)
(15 February, 2007) Worker organisations with a combined membership of 15 million have today issued a joint call on their members calling for support for public services at the EU level. The General Secretaries of the EPSU, ETF, ETUCE and the President of Euromil called on their members to sign the European petition calling for a legal framework for public services at www.petitionpublicservice.eu.
The combined declaration covers employees in the Transport, Education, Military, Health, (...)
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) petition calls on the Commission to introduce EU legislation to ensure universal access to public services and protect them from privatisation. Click www.petitionpublicservice.eu to sign the petition.
Supported by another huge trade union body, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), ETUC is calling for a framework directive to prevent the EU’s free market rules determining the future of services as diverse as water, education, (...)
The EPSU secretariat would like to express its condolences to the family of Francisco Palomares Gomez (pictured) who passed away on 14 February. Francisco was CC.OO Secretary for Public Services and the EPSU national campaign coordinator for Spain. He had been ill for some time.
On behalf of all affiliates, EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel would like to note the significant contribution that Francisco made to European Trade Unionism through his campaigning work. “Francisco was (...)
(12 February 2007) The leaders of the Baltic public service unions pledged to get many signatures for the public service petition of the ETUC. Health, state, municipal, energy and other public services unions recognise the importance of obtaining more then a million signatures in favour of a European initiative to promote quality public services. The EPSU Deputy General Secretary argued that the petition also assists unions in reaching out to citizens and non-union members. The Baltic (...)
(9 February, Paris) La journée d’actions, de grève et de manifestations lancée dans la Fonction publique (Etat - Hospitaliers - Territoriaux - La Poste - France Télécom...) a été une réussite.
Malgré lui, le ministère de la Fonction publique est obligé de reconnaître que la mobilisation est encore plus forte que le 2 février 2006 sur le même sujet. En plus des grèves, de très nombreuses manifestations ont eu lieu sur tout le territoire (Paris, Marseille, Rouen, Rennes, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lyon, (...)
Recognising the importance of the ETUC petition for public services in the countries that are part of the EU neighborhood policy, leaders of the Ukrainian and Georgian unions signed the petition of the ETUC. Current EU policies promote liberalisation and privatisation in the neighborhood countries without much attention for the public interest, social dialogue and trade union rights.
Yvan YAROWIY, President of the Council of T.U. of Gas Facilities Workers of Ukraine, Mykola KRYGIN, (...)
(8 February 2007): action a success - read the preliminary agreement
(6 February 2007) Update: Hungarian strike in electricity a success.
The two hour strike of EPSU affilaite VdSzSz and other unions is a big success. Participation in the strike varies between 65 and 95% of workers according to the work place. Many non-unionised workers have joined the action. Production has been reduced with 200-300 MW. A big achievement for our Hungarian colleagues that sends a powerful message to the government.
(31 January, 2007) EPSU affiliate PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union) will today stage a massive action in protest at the UK Government plans to slash thousands of public administration jobs. EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel stated that: “this action, and tellingly the support it is receiving from the general public, is a clear message to the UK Government that enough is enough”. She added that: “across the European Union more and more actions are taking place which (...)
Energy Workers 5-point critique of EU energy strategy
(10 January 2007, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions rapid response to the EU Energy Strategy as released by the European Commission today (...):
(7 December, Brussels) The EPSU campaign for public services received a major endorsement from the UK recently. Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC, and Dave Prentis, General Secretary of the biggest public service union UNISON, took time out to sign the European Trade Union Confederation petition on public services http://www.petitionpublicservice.eu/. The petition calls on the European Commission to produce a legal instrument on public services immediately.
The TUC and UNISON (...)