(17 March 2021) On March 10, the LRG/HSS Social Services Working Group met for the first time this year. On the agenda was the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, research into privatization of social services, social dialogue in social services and the workplan of the WG.
Following an overview of available data on vaccination progress especially for social care workers by Adelina Comas-Herrera from the LSE in London, participants took the floor to report their own experience. Childcare workers for instance were only recognized as high-priority group for vaccination in some countries, despite their close contact profession. Another important topic was vaccine skepticism among workers.
Following this, participants heard presentations on research commissioned by EPSU that was carried out over the past year. Jane Lethbridge from the University of Greenwich and Marco Marrone from the University of Bologna presented their outcomes, showing trends and effects of increasing privatization in social services.
The third item focused on the final steps towards a social dialogue in social services. We heard updates from the LRG standing committee the previous day and discussed an outline of a Workplan that was drafted with the Social Employers with participation of CEMR. The workplan will be further elaborated in the coming weeks.
Lastly, participants discussed the Workplan for the Working Group itself. This work programme is based on EPSU’s Programme of Action adopted at the 10th EPSU congress in Dublin. It contributes to the achievement of our common goals and will guide the actions of EPSU’s secretariat in the years to come. The discussion of the Workplan has been delayed due to the COVID-19 situation which led to a sudden shift in priorities and an ad-hoc workplan during 2020.
See documents on the meeting page (https://www.epsu.org/event/social-services-working-group-12021)