(21 December) The EPSU Executive Committee of 8-9 November 2010 approved the establishment of an EPSU youth network. This decision follows the terms of the merger agreement between EPSU and PSI-Europe.
Our main aim is to establish an active network of young trade unionists in public services with a view of mainstreaming youth issues in EPSU and working on concrete actions on youth polices in public services.
How do we want to start? Youth unemployment is consistently acknowledged as a ‘structural weakness’ in the European Union, and in the wider Europe 1] . The economic crisis has exacerbated the situation. The ETUC and PSI have made this issue central to their youth activity. It will be our task to identify the specific public service dimension to youth unemployment.
As you probably know in many public services, a frequently applied strategy to staff shortages are internships and work experiences for young workers. However, unless there are guarantees of decent minimum standards, this route runs the risk of being exploited by employers. Against this background we intend to commission a research project that will be used to do a mapping exercise to identify the different situations in the different countries were EPSU has affiliated members.
We consider it vital to support union representatives to play an active role in mentoring and supporting young workers. This has two advantages: It assists the new members and also promotes recruitment and organisation, demonstrating the value of union membership to new groups of workers. We will therefore be encouraging a mentoring system as agreed in the last EPSU Congress and look into suitable ways of supporting youth participation in EPSU Meetings. To develop this work we would like to receive as much information as possible from affiliates about current campaigns to recruit young workers and/or how you deal with youth unemployment as public services unions. We would appreciate if you can send relevant information about upcoming youth events and actions organised by your young members to Pablo Sanchez, responsible in the EPSU secretariat for youth activities so that we can feed this information into the network.
But a first important step is to identify active young trade unionists keen to participate in and contribute to the EPSU network. The next steps will depend on the success of the establishment of the network. The communications to the EPSU youth network will be launched early 2011 with a discussion of one of the Europe 2020 flagships called “Youth on the move” and related policy papers.
With this communication we want to call for the nomination of participants for the EPSU youth network. We request you to let us have your nomination by 15 February 2011. Contact person is Pablo Sanchez ([[email protected]).
2. http://epsu.org/a/5538 [See point 18]