EPSU CARE SECTOR PROJECT
TIME TO CARE: A BETTER DEAL FOR CARE WORKERS IN EUROPE
REQUEST FOR INPUT
Before the summer break, the HSS Social services working group discussed working conditions and wages of (women) care workers in the EU. Participants at the EPSU social services conference of 10-12 June 2007, in Athens, concluded that there was an urgent need to improve working conditions in the care sector, more specifically wages. It was also noted that wages in the care sector are under growing pressure because of political and economic developments like privatization, public tendering, and lack of public funding and investment.
There is an undeniable gender dimension to this situation, as an overwhelming majority of care workers are women. This relates to the persistent undervaluation of what remain typical women's jobs. In addition, the quality and accessibility of care services play a crucial role in achieving gender equality in general. Specific concern about the situation in the care sector was raised in the EPSU Gender Equality Committee (GEC) and was further reflected in the EPSU response to the Commission's ongoing consultation on work/life balance.
In light of the above, we wish to develop an EPSU strategy, via the EPSU social services working group and the GEC, to raise awareness and strengthen our efforts to improve working conditions in the care sector and put this issue high on the EU political agenda.
To kick off this initiative, we will organise an event with EPSU affiliates and EC policy-makers on International Women's Day 2008.
A research will be commissioned this Autumn to collect and compare wages in the care and social service sector with the overall pay levels and gender pay gap in 10 EU Member States. It will also look at the opportunities and obstacles for pay improvements and seek to identify trade union best practices. Its aim is to give a representative picture of the pay situation in the EU and hopefully, it provides us with sufficient input for debate.
Based amongst others on previous expressed interest in the project, we suggest the following countries for the research case studies: Germany, Finland, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Spain, France, UK, Estonia, and the Netherlands.
This selection remains subject to change. Please note however that affiliates involved in the research will be requested to assist the researcher in the collection of information.
The research findings will be presented at the event on 8 March 2008 alongside individual testimonies from the care sector in the countries covered in the study.
Please let us know by 1 October 2007 whether your organisation would like to be involved in this research.
We would also welcome any suggestions concerning researchers, who would be willing and able to conduct this survey on wages.
If you have any questions about the content of the research, please, do not hesitate to contact us. The project will be further discussed at the next meetings of the social services working group, the gender equality committee and the health and social services committee
Looking forward to hearing from you
- DRAFT CALL FOR TENDER CARE WORKERS:
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