EPSU Executive Committee – supports Climate strike, discusses Congress, EP elections and recent EU policy

EPSU Executive Committee members support YouthForClimate actions, 12 March 2019

(14 March 2019) Several unions are supporting the #youthforclimate actions which are taking place across Europe. The urgency is felt and far more needs to be done to prevent global warming spiraling out of control. It will lead to climate chaos. The EPSU Executive expressed its support. An EPSU delegation will be present at  the demonstration in Brussels.

Congress preparations were the main item at the EPSU Executive Commiittee. With less than 83 days until congress, updates were provided on the Programme of Actions, the Programme for Congress and the preparations by the Irish affiliates. The Executive Committee approved the recommendations of the Congress Resolutions Committee (CRC) on the proposed resolutions of the affiliates. The Executive Committee asked the CRC to work further on the resolution on Israel-Palestine relations, human rights and our future work. Members of the Standing Orders Committee and the Credential Committee were nominated. It also noted the work of the Youth Network in preparation for the Youth Conference 1-2 June in Dublin.

The nominations for the elected positions were endorsed. The Executive Committee proposes to elect:

  • Mette Nord, Fagforbundet, Norway to EPSU president.
  • To re-elect Jan Willem Goudriaan, current EPSU General Secretary and
  • to re-elect the member auditors Catherine Blanc (CFDT-Interco, France) and Martine Ugolini (CGSP, Belgium).

The vice-presidency was discussed. Elections take place in the first Executive after Congress.  A call for nominations will go out shortly. The Congress briefing on climate change  is now available. The briefings assist delegates to prepare and reflect on the work that has been done and is proposed.

We discussed the preparations for the ETUC Congress (21-24 May) and agreed on the EPSU delegation. It is important that the ETUC Progamme of Action reflects the concerns of public service workers and commits to public provision and public investment. We do not want to see health, education, prisons, elderly care, and other services opened up to more commercialization. The next Executive Committee of the ETUC 26/3 will also discuss the proposed team to be elected in the Congress.

The European Parliament elections take place 23-26 May. Members discussed concerns over the rise of the far-right. Concerns over inequality and a lack of voice for workers need to be addressed. Blocking European solutions to common problems or even to demolish Europe and throw the continent back in nationalist antagonism are not answers to workers concerns. We looked at the opportunities to demonstrate the contributions unions and the Federation make to our common struggle and why we need support of progressive forces in the European Parliament. The EPSU Secretariat is available to assist unions with information, articles and a “newspaper”. If interested please contact the EPSU Secretariat. Following the elections we will build our relations with the new MEPs.

We were informed by the UK representatives of the latest state of affair regarding Brexit and the sequence of votes expected. It is time for the people to have a say again. The Ukrainian unions thanked the trade unions for their considerable support following the fire in the trade union house in Kiev 19 February 2014.

After overcoming the bureaucratic hurdles and years of building they have now moved in and have been able to buy the necessary equipment to continue their work in their union house. The PSI informed Members of the progress with the implementation of the work programme and several successes achieved.

The Executive Committee noted the various agreements that have been reached such as on the European Labour Authority and Work-Life Balance. EPSU is disappointed that many public service workers are excluded from being covered by the minimum guarantees and rights the directive offers. Members congratulated the work of the broad coalition to get the Directive on Whistleblowing through the European institutions and the last minute compromise to ensure companies are not protected from whistleblowers.

 It noted the many actions for the 8 March and the work of EPSU to mobilise affiliates for a strong stand.  

Other decisions:

  • It adopted the 2018 report of activities.
  • Agreed for the General Secretary to discuss the relations with Euromil
  • The affiliation requests of the Slovenian and Serbian trade unions organizing military workers were approved. It welcomed the return of FEMCA, the Italian union organizing workers in energy and water amongst others into EPSU.

The EPSU Executive Committee took place 12 March. It was chaired by EPSU President Isolde Kunkel-Weber.

Documents adopted:

U.K. Ukraine