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EPSU Newsletter 2 February 2012

(2 February 2012) 2012 has started like 2011 ended! Strikes, protest actions and demonstrations across Europe against the blind austerity imposed by Governments that is having disastrous effects (read more)

Joint letter on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

(02 February 2012) Please find below a joint letter regarding the EU Canada trade negotiations (CETA) from the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), and the Canadian National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and Trade Justice Network. joint letter 01.02.2012

EPSU voices dismay over ‘market framework’ for public services

(31 January 2012) The EC published in December 2011 a Communication A Quality Framework for Services of General Interest in Europe COM (2011) 900. This accompanies proposals on public procurement, concessions and State aid. While the introduction recognizes the ‘fundamental role’ of public services (services of general interest – SGI) in terms of social cohesion, providing a safety net, supporting the knowledge economy, the Communication falls short on practical proposals to achieve this. (...)

EPSU sends a message of solidarity and support to its Belgian affiliates

On January 30 the three Belgian trade union confederations organised a one-day general strike. Public sector unions affiliated to the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) were at the forefront of the struggle in picket lines and protest up and down the country. The reason of the strike is the lack of consultation to trade unions and the unjust austerity measures imposed by the Government. The strike faced a scandalous media campaign against the unions, the workers on strike (...)

Italian Water Movement forces Monti to respect the results of the referendum

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, (...)

Unions disagree with policy recipes of the European Commission and ECB at macro-economic dialogue technical level

(1 February 2012) The macro-economic dialogue at technical level considered the economic situation in the European Union and had an exchange of views on the Annual Growth Survey 2012. Regarding the current economic situation the European Central Bank’s most recent forecast as published in its Monthly bulletin of January 2012 underlines the slowdown of the Euro-area economy and the continued downward risks which could result in a further slowing down. The European Commission has been more (...)

ENEL management and unions sign updated agreement on European Information and Consultation

(31 January 2012) The Special Negotiating Body of the ENEL EWC and management reached agreement on changes to the original text bring it in line with the new European Directive on European Works Councils The agreement takes account of the new information and consultation rights, the reference to transnationality including “matters which, regardless of the number of Member States involved, are of importance for the European workforce in terms of the scope of their potential effects or which (...)

Workers’ group of the European Economic and Social Committee opposed the Austerity Treaty

(27 January 2012) The Treaty being negotiated between Member States of the European Union is meeting increasing opposition. The ETUC came out against the Treaty and called for a European day of action. Also the workers’ group of the European Economic and Social Committee argues against the Treaty. Action should be taken to: the introduce euro bonds and taxation on financial transactions, assign a wider role to the European Central Bank to promote growth and employment, sign a "European (...)

Verdi reaches agreement with EON over restructuring

(26 January 2012) Eon announced last year it would dismiss 11.000 workers, 6000 in Germany, the rest in its operations in Europe and worldwide. It was euphemistically called EON 2.0. It was not prepared to give guarantees that this would happen without forced redundancies. Verdi sought to negotiate a collective agreement to prevent such redundancies and to ensure workers faced with restructuring would have a social plan. The agreement is valid till end 2016. The possibilities for those (...)

ETUC opposes the Austerity Treaty and calls for a Day of Action

(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 (...)

Enough is enough! Stop the social damage!

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 (...)

EPSU response to the European Commission’s Green Paper relating to prison detention conditions - December 2011

There is no doubt that improving detention conditions in many of Europe’s prisons is an absolute priority. EPSU argues that central to this objective is the need to improve working conditions of staff and involve trade unions in reforms. A sufficient number of staff with a good balance between prison officers, medical, probation, educational and administrative staff is also a prerequisite to the sound rehabilitation of prison inmates. The Council of Europe’s prison rules that take (...)

EPSU writes to Italian Prime Minister Monti: respect the opinion of the people – do not liberalise water services

(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 (...)

Belgian unions attack government austerity plans and announce general strike

(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 (...)

KESK expert arrested and KESK headquarters raided

(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 (...)

Developing social dimension of Europe’s energy policy says EPSU Committee’s Presidium

(16 January 2012) Company developments, European energy policy and future prospects for the trade unions were considered in discussions of the EPSU Standing Committee Utilities Presidium on 12 January. Sven Bergelin, the EPSU Utilities Committee President welcomed that the Commission has included the social dimension in its recent Energy Roadmap 2050. "This is a success for EPSU which has argued for years that addressing the social implications of European energy policy should be part and (...)

EPSU briefing “10 facts about public-private partnerships (PPPs)”

(Brussels, 01 December 2011) Below you will find a briefing from the Public Services Internal Research Unit (PSIRU) on the problems that PPPs can cause. We hope that this is useful to you in the upcoming discussions on the European Commission’s (EC) legislative proposal regarding concessions, expected soon. This is likely to cover many forms of PPPs. The EC argues that PPPs are beneficial for the public, and in spite of growing evidence of their shortcomings, continues to promote them as (...)