EPSU Newsletter 21 December 2011
2011 draws to a close amidst growing uncertainty over the future of the Euro and indeed the ‘European project’ as well as continuing attacks on public services, jobs, and workers’ rights across the continent. This year we have mobilized in Brussels, in Budapest, in Krakow as well as in many other European countries where public sector workers have been out protesting against austerity. 2012 looks like it will require equal if not more intense action read more
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 (...)
(20 December 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) had its first meeting of the recently established Youth Network. More than 30 young workers from 22 European countries attended the event. The meeting took place on December 12th and 13th in Brussels and it was a great opportunity for young workers in the public sector to debate and take stock of the current state of affairs in the public sector across Europe.
Youth unemployment is on average twice as much as the (...)
(10 December 2011) On the occasion of Human Rights Day EPSU calls for attention to the implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.
In 2010 this right was recognised in the United Nations General Assembly. Although many European countries abstained in the final vote, the right is being recognised in most of the EU. The Human Right to Water and Sanitation entitles everyone to accessible, affordable and sufficient water and sanitation that meets the international standards for (...)
Monday 19 December, joint action of Fp-Cgil and Cisl-Fp to amend budget package
On Monday, December 19th, the federations representing public sector workers within the three major Italian trade union confederations will take joint strike action for the whole working day in support of union demands to amend the forthcoming budget package. Currently the burden of adjustments rests mainly on the shoulders of working people and pensioners through, among other things, tax hikes on basic goods (...)
(15 December 2011) The European Commission has published the energy roadmap 2050. Following the criticism of EPSU and others on an earlier leaked version and recognizing the inputs of both the electricity and gas social dialogue committees, the Energy roadmap recognizes the importance of a social dimension. The roadmap states: The social dimension of the energy roadmap is important. The transition will affect employment and jobs, requiring education and training and a more vigorous social (...)
(15 December 2011) The unprecedented wave of protests and those which participate: the protestors have been honored by Time Magazine with the cover of the Person of the Year 2011. Time Magazine devoted a long article to the various protests movements 2011 has seen:
The people driving out dictators in Tunisia and Egypt
The young people and many others that opposed government policies and called themselves Indignados in Spain
The mobilizations with people demanding change in Greece (...)
(15 December 2011) EPSU and PSI sent a message of solidarity to the health care union SES (member of the Confederation KESK). It organizes, together with other unions organizing workers in health services, a strike on 21 December 2011. The unions demands an end to the intimidation and harassment of trade union leaders and activists. They are often arrested and detained. The unions also challenge the flexible and insecure work arrangements and the impact these have on working conditions and (...)
(Brussels, 12 December 2011) Today a new European network, Social Services Europe, was launched to strengthen the profile and position of social services, and to promote the role of not-for-profit social service providers throughout Europe.
It brings together seven Europe-wide networks of not-for-profit providers of social and health care services, SOLIDAR, Eurodiaconia, the European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR), Workability Europe, European Federation of National Organizations (...)
In 2011 PSI produced the film "Sharp Sense - Promoting the Safety of Health Care Workers" designed to lower the risk of exposure for health care workers and the risk of consequences of exposure to pathogens in blood and other body fluids of patients caused by needlestick/sharps injuries.
The film has been made available in English, French and Portuguese.
The booklet (EN - Sharp sense / FR - Le bon sens des aiguilles / PT - Cuidado com as seringas) can be consulted here
The short (...)
(13 December 2011) La Fédération Syndicale Européenne des Services Publics envoie un message de solidarité et de lutte à tous ses affiliés français dans les services publics qui protestent aujourd’hui en front commun (intersyndicale) par le biais de grèves et de manifestations contre les mesures d’austérité que le gouvernement français tente d’imposer. Environ 100 manifestations ont eu lieu à travers le pays aujourd’hui.
Les syndicats dénoncent les plans d’austérité injustes ainsi que le fait que le (...)
(13 December 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a message of solidarity to its Cypriot affiliates that will be striking today against the Government austerity measures. Cypriot unions reject the new austerity measures which were announced by the government last week. This is the third austerity package which is announced by the government in 2011, and the mass majority of the new measures are towards taxation and freezing wages in the Public sector.
It is (...)
(7 December 2011) The nuclear accident which followed the earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima led to a renewed focus on nuclear safety in Europe with some countries even phasing out their nuclear power stations such as Germany. The Members of the European Union and several non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Ukraine agreed to undertake so called nuclear stress tests, the interim results of which have been evaluated by the European Commission. The social partners for the (...)
During summer 2011 DG EMPL produced a video on the elaboration of the Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector concluded by HOSPEEM and EPSU on 17 July 2009.
Based on the procedures stipulated in Art. 154 and 155 2 of the TFEU this autonomous agreement of the European sectoral social partners in the hospital sector on 10 May 2010 became Directive 2010/32/EU.
The video "From needlesticks to sharps - The added value" i.a. contains (...)
(8 December 2012) The priority of the PERC meeting was the economic and social crisis in Europe. Union leaders reported on the attacks on workers rights by many governments as well as media and financial circles. These attacks are part of their “crisis exit” policies as trade unions stand in the way of corporations and their political supporters to push through a neo-liberal vision of Europe unions do not agree with (see also the concluding remarks below).
Other issues discussed:
(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 (...)
(6 December 2011) The ETUC General Secretary and President sent a letter of all EU government leaders expressing their concerns about the ongoing crisis and the problems in the Eurozone.
The possibility of recession is immediate and Europe needs investment for sustainable growth. Measures to realize this are: action by the European Central Bank, mutual support in the form of Eurobonds, a financial transaction tax, fair taxation, concerted action on tax evasion and tax fraud, together with (...)
(Brussels, 2 December 2011) EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions supports your demonstration on 3 December 2011. Unions across the European Union stand up in defense of public services such as health, education, social services, culture, libraries, museums, local and public administration, and law enforcement. Portuguese workers were on strike on 24 November, UK workers on 30 November and Greek workers on 1 December with demonstrations and actions in many European (...)