CALL FOR TENDER: Subcontracting for external expertise
Tender Specifications for creating the content and format of an online course focusing on the impact on workers and services of insourcing public services.
Date of publication on the EPSU website:
Deadline for submissions 23/02/2023
EPSU and PSI will publish this tender on their websites and will keep it online until 20 February 2023.
The work is part of project 101048787 supported by the European Commission and introduced by EPSU (European Federation of Public Service Unions) and its partner PSI (Public Services International).
EPSU and PSI are the European and global trade union federations representing public service workers and in this joint project they want to work with experts in trade union training to develop an online course on insourcing – the bringing of services back under public control and management – to the benefit of their local affiliates, their members and the many communities that they serve. Some of the key issues to be addressed and transposed into online trade union education are covered in “The labour dimension of remunicipalisation” and Taking our public services back in house.
Over many years public sector workers have faced the prospect of transfer to the private sector as a result of privatisation and outsourcing. Public sector trade unions have taken steps to monitor and regulate this process and provide training and information to their members so that they able to protect, as far as possible, their pay and employment conditions. Evidence from the Transnational Institute (The future is public) and the database maintained by the University of Glasgow (Public futures) indicates that there is a trend towards bringing public services (back) in-house and in-sourcing workers for a wide range of reasons. These can include the need for more flexibility and control over service provision at no extra cost to the public; service continuation and resilience at times of crises (e.g. the Covid pandemic); ensuring quality and equity of service because better value and universal access can be best delivered through direct management and provision of services.
Public service workers enjoying decent working conditions are best placed to deliver quality services to users and communities. The transition process that the return of outsourced or privatised services to public ownership and management raises a number of challenges and opportunities for public service trade unions in relation to the lead up to and implementation of any insourcing and what this will mean both for workers' jobs, pay and employment conditions and for the quality of service provided.
Purpose of the contract
Many EPSU and PSI unions are driving proactive agendas to re-municipalisation and in-sourcing and building intelligence and experience on how to build a successful re-municipalisation/in-sourcing in their communities, while protecting jobs, labour conditions and organise through the process. Although every remunicipalisation is a unique case as public services and legal frameworks vary across countries and levels of government, many more PSI and EPSU unions could benefit from accessing practical and union practitioners experience on how to return public services and jobs into public services and control.
The main aim of this contract is therefore for the contractor or contractors (joint bids from organisations co-operating to deliver the training and online elements will be considered) to develop an online training course on-demand to support the work of EPSU and PSI affiliates in relation to building public services in-sourcing strategies and campaigns. The training course will incorporate material from a range of resources (see examples on page four, below), disentangling the complexity of the issues, making relevant contents easily available, accessible and actionable for a wider union audience (e.g. local branch leadership, organisers, shop stewards and workers), and practically usable to build their remunicipalisation strategies and campaigns.
The training structure and content management system (CMS) hosting the online training should be easy to update for both EPSU and PSI; entail no or moderate costs so that the online training is long-lasting, sustainable and will reach a maximum audience of beneficiaries. The CMS would be ideally hosted and accessible for affiliates via the PSI and EPSU websites. The type of platform will be agreed with EPSU and PSI and the contractor(s) upon discussion between the parties.
Tasks to be performed by the Contractor(s)
In consultation with representatives of the secretariats of EPSU and PSI – together with a steering group of their affiliates and allied experts – the contractor(s) will draft a training course based on a range of resources that enables trade unionists and workers at all levels to easily understand the different aspects of the process of public services remunicipalisation and insourcing and to develop strategies that cover selecting targets, strategizing, lobbying, campaigning and negotiating and that tackle key challenges, while strengthening the role of trade unions and ensuring decent working conditions and quality services in the transition.
The aim will be to focus on those elements that can be addressed at international level while allowing space for affiliates to adapt the course to integrate national specificities relating to their industrial relations systems and legal frameworks.
EPSU and PSI will provide key relevant sources of research, information and materials on insourcing from their own work and that of their affiliates. They will expect the contractor(s) to use as a particular reference the PSI paper “The labour dimension of remunicipalisation” and especially the report, Taking our public services back in house, which is based on over 50 case studies and provides analysis of the background to insourcing as well as the process itself and how it can impact on the quality of service as well as the quality of employment of the workers providing the service. The guide has a 57-point checklist, divided into nine sub-headings that can help provide a structure to the training course covering: mapping the privatised service; contract termination versus non-renewal; building political and community support for insourcing; running a campaign; running the public service; building a shared vision for insourced public services; dealing with private companies; preparing a fair workers’ transition; and ensuring insourcing for the longer term.
The online training should also refer and link to Public Futures, the only global de-privatisation database on public service provision established through a partnership between the Transnational Institute and the University of Glasgow, as well as the collaboration of PSI Global Union. Cases of water remunicipalisation began to be gathered by TNI and a global network of partners from 2007 until 2015. The project then expanded to collect cases in other sectors between 2016-20. Since the establishment of the Public Futures Database, which was launched publicly in February 2021, activists and researchers from a total of sixteen organisations have been involved in the data collection process. These are then verified by the database team.
The contractor(s) will develop the structure and content of the course and provide the pedagogical and technical support and platform for its use based on the resources and guidance provided by EPSU and PSI. The contractor(s) will deliver a fully accessible online course, ready to use by local trade unionists, shop-stewards and workers. EPSU and PSI and the Project Steering Committee they will convene will have opportunities to input, assess and adapt the platform and the pedagogical contents on an ongoing basis to ensure it meets the objective of the project. The contractor(s) will be responsible for the successful technical development and upload of the online course.
The contractor(s) team (ideally 2-3 people max.) will need to demonstrate their competence and experience in (1) trade union education (2) designing engaging, easily accessible online training courses for an international, multi-lingual trade union audience; (3) online course web design/IT skills; (4) timely delivery of project workwithin budget and on time.
The aim will be to appoint the contractor(s) by the end of March 2023 and for work to begin as soon as possible after appointment and no later than the end of April 2023. The initial development work should run from April to November 2023 when a series of meetings will be organised involving EPSU/PSI affiliates to evaluate and test the training course. Depending on the exact timing of these meetings, the contractor(s) will then have time (a minimum of two months, December 2023 and January 2024) to make revisions so that the final version of the course is available from February 2024, allowing time for translation before the project ends in April 2024.
EPSU and PSI will be in regular contact with the contractor(s) throughout the project and will require updates and adaptations on progress to ensure that the timetable is adhered to and the project targets met.
The maximum funding for this work is EUR 50.000 (all taxes included). The travel and accommodation expenses for the contractor(s) to attend any of the project events and meet with the project partners will be covered separately, out of the overall travel and accommodation budget of the project.
EPSU will sign a contract with the contractor(s) and payments will be made in three instalments depending on the contractor(s) carrying out the relevant stages of the work in accordance with the contract.
The first payment of 20% of the contract value on the contract's signature, a further payment of 40% of the contract value on completion of the first draft of the course that should be available for evaluation as of June 2023, and a final payment of 40% upon completion of the work, due in November 2023. The second and third payments will depend on the contractor(s) delivering the course to the approval of the project steering committee.
The contract will be awarded to the tenderer whose offer represents the best value for money – taking into account the criteria indicated above under Expertise Required. The principles of transparency and equal treatment to avoid any conflict of interest will be respected.
Content and presentation of the bids
Tenders must be written in English. The bids should set out clearly under specific headings showing how the contractor meets the selection criteria – the ability to produce online training material for a multilingual trade union audience in time and on budget. The bids should be submitted to EPSU ([email protected]; cc [email protected] and [email protected]) by 20 February 2023.
This list includes examples of the kind of material that will help shape the content of the training course and is in addition to the sources mentioned (with links) in the text above.
- Cumbers, B. Pearson, L. Stegemann and F. Paul, “Mapping Remunicipalisation: Emergent Trends in the Global De-Privatisation Process in April 2022”, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, UK (2022)
- Cibrario, D, Nagata, M., Local Public Services and Trade Unions through the Covid Pandemic: The Case of Welfare Care – Kempen (Belgium), PSI (2022)
- Cibrario, D, Nagata, Local Public Services and Trade Unions through the Covid Pandemic: The Case of the Community Call (Ireland), PSI 2022
- Rossetti, M. De Ferreira, N, et al, LOCAL PUBLIC SERVICES IN CRISIS MODE: ADAPTING GOVERNANCE MODELS TO EXCEPTIONAL TIMES Emergency Governance for Cities and Regions, UCLG-Metropolis-LSE Cities (2022)
- Cibrario, D. Remunicipalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic, PSI 2021
- Pearson, B., Paul, F., Cumbers, A., Stegemann, L., Public Futures Database Report March 2021
- Cibrario, D Strong public and social housing services: a key asset in halting global pandemics, PSI (2020)
- APSE, Rebuilding Capacity. The Case for Insourcing Public Contracts, UK (2019)
- Cibrario, D, Ciambra, A., SDG 11 – Tackling the challenges of global urbanization: flagship local government initiatives to meet the SDGs, PSI-UCLG 2019
- UNITE Better Public Services: A Unite Toolkit for Insourcing in Local Government (2019)
- Satoko, K. et al Reclaiming Public Services: How cities and citizens are turning back privatisation, TNI, PSI, PSIRU etc., (2017)
- Columbia Institute/CUPE, BACK IN HOUSE: Why Local Governments are Bringing Services Home (2016)
- Hall, D., WHY PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS DON’T WORK. The many advantages of the public alternative, PSIRU-PSI (2015)