(15 July 2014) The European Commission has indicated it wants to withdraw the maternity leave directive. This initiative is part of its Refit agenda aiming to do away with what it sees as unnecessary regulatory burdens. Removing this directive is also the top priority of the UK government’s Business Taskforce (see Cut EU Red Tape, 24 February 2014). Many women who have recently given birth and/or are breastfeeding would stand to benefit from the directive which would strengthen the (...)
(25 June 2014) With the European Parliament and European Commission still in limbo following the European elections, the European agenda is dominated by the negotiations of several free trade agreements : with Canada, the United States as well as between the really good friends of trade, that is to say the countries negotiating [TISA).
These negotiations are taking place behind closed doors and involve trade experts and corporate lobbyists. The growing concerns of trade unions, social (...)
(5 June 2014) The memory of EPSU Congress is still lingering in our heads. It was a success and let me say thanks again to our French colleagues and EPSU staff for your hard work and to all delegates for the many contributions in the debates. We said good bye to Carola and Anne-Marie after many years of active work for EPSU. Congress also elected Annelie Nordström from Kommunal as our new President and myself as General Secretary. Thank you for your support and we look forward to ensure (...)
(15 May 2014) The Congress will be the moment to review our past struggles and lay the foundations for the future EPSU action. Congress will also elect a new leadership team, as both our President Anne-Marie Perret and myself will no longer run for office.
The past 5 years have been marked by austerity policies all over. Many EPSU affiliates were confronted with the consequences of these misguided policies of cutting salaries and cutting jobs in the public sector. The European Union is in (...)
(25 April 2014) This coming 1 May workers and their trade unions will march for a social Europe, a Europe where we can live in peace. We want a peaceful solution for Ukraine; we also want that the Turkish trade unionists can peacefully gather on Taksim Square to celebrate Mayday in Istanbul.
Five years of austerity policy have ravaged many countries of the European Union. Austerity is the root cause for many citizens to reject the European Union in its current political course. Much is made these days of the fact that Greece is able to present a balanced primary budget for the first time in years. But what is the social cost?
(3 April 2014) We just finished the last Executive Committee before EPSU’s 9th Congress. The issues we deal with show that trade unions do have alternatives and are mobilised to obtain them.
We reinforce our demand for more transparency from the European Commission in its trade negotiations to conclude the Transnational Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States by signing on to a broad call for more openness with a range of NGO’s. We reject liberalisation through the (...)
(13 March 2014) International women’s day is a reason to celebrate the struggle of many women as well as men in the trade union movement to bring about more equality, in our work places, in our unions and in society. For public services workers, five years in the financial, economic and social crisis caused by bank deregulation, lax financial oversight, and the greed and corruption inherent in the neoliberal agenda, the situation is not improving. Many workers lose their jobs due to the (...)
(26 February 2014) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) supported by organisations of the European Water Movement, have been the backbone of the first ever successful European Citizens Initiative (ECI). The European Parliament hosted a public hearing on Monday, 17 February, during which the representatives of the Citizens’ Committee presented their demand for the EU to recognize the Human Right to water. This was certainly a milestone event and the European Parliament rose (...)
(30 January 2014) Human and trade union rights have dominated the agenda in January. An international delegation of trade unionists from different European countries and coordinated by the ITUC, participated in two court hearings in which arrested KESK (one of the Turkish public sector confederations where EPSU has a number of affiliates) leaders stood trial in Istanbul, on 23 January 2014 and in Ankara just a week before. The KESK leaders are accused of organizing or participating in (...)
(18 December 2013) As we are redacting this letter, public attention is directed to the ongoing protest movements in Kiev, Ukraine. We urge the authorities to refrain from any police or other violence against the peaceful demonstrators which include many students and workers. We support the call of the Ukrainian trade unions for a national roundtable in which all interested parties in society can take part, including the trade unions. We will work with our affiliates in the Ukraine to (...)