EPSU Gender Equality Action Plan 2001 - 2004

Adopted by the Executive Committee 12 June 2001


The Gender Equality Action Plan is based on the EPSU Policy Statement on Gender Equality (2000) which includes main issues from the Budapest Conclusions (1999), the EPSU Constitution and the AIMS of the EPSU Gender Equality Committee (GEC). The Action Plan is designed to implement and develop EPSU's gender equality policies, and set realistic goals on the achievement of these up to the EPSU Congress in the spring of 2004.


The Gender Equality Action Plan shall apply to all structures of EPSU which shall share work and responsibilities in order to obtain the objectives.
- GEC will initiate activities according to the Action Plan and other EPSU gender equality policies, and assist the Steering and Executive Committees.
- The Executive Committee (EC) will give advice and recommendations to the affiliates and the Standing Committees on the implementation of EPSU gender equality policies, and will audit and monitor the progress.
- The affiliates and Standing Committees should follow up the initiatives from the EC, and report back to GEC when requested.
- The EC members and the EPSU constituencies have a special responsibility for mutual support and follow-up nationally and in their constituencies.
- The EPSU Secretariat will ensure a close co-operation with ETUC and PSI in matters concerning the Gender Equality Action Plan.
- The EPSU members of the ETUC Women's Committee and the 'double' members of GEC and the PSI World Women's Committee will contribute towards making the most out of the synergy effect of the co-operation with these organisations.

Internal priorities

The two internal priorities are of equal importance and linked to each other. EPSU will secure:
- Equal representation of women and men in the decision-making bodies of EPSU and its affiliates.
- Mainstreaming of the gender perspective in internal and external EPSU policies.

External priorities

- Mainstreaming of collective bargaining. This will primarily involve input to and activities related to the ETUC and PSI campaigns on equal pay for work of equal value.
- Analysing and disseminating information on relevant European Union policies, taking steps to influence EU policies, and encouraging follow-up of the implementation of such policies nationally.

EPSU will

1. Discuss mainstreaming in the EC. To secure mainstreaming in all policies the principle has to be understood and approved, and mainstreaming techniques have to be acquired and implemented by all parties involved.

- Discussion EC meeting autumn 2001
- EC recommendation and relevant material and exercises will be distributed to all affiliates in 2001.

2. Gender-proof all items on the EC agenda. Instruct speakers to address the impact of certain policies on women and men. The GEC will have a particular responsibility for monitoring this.

- On-going the whole period. Assessment end 2003 by the EC.

3. Discuss formula for increasing the representation of women in EPSU bodies and meetings. Explore methods on how to reach the 50% objective for women's representation in the EC through normal nominations or positive action. Set goals for the next nomination process, and for replacements during the period.

- Discussion EC meeting autumn 2001.
- EC recommendation to be distributed to all affiliates.
- GEC representation in the EPSU Constitution Working Group and the foreseen Congress Preparation Working Group.

4. Monitor representation of women in EPSU affiliates and in the nomination process. Assist affiliates in uncovering gaps in their gender equality policies, including statistics, and in setting objectives, developing tools and monitoring development. On the basis of this take steps, if necessary, to ensure the nomination of women to EPSU decision-making bodies. The constituencies should be strongly involved in the follow-up.

- Discussions in EC meetings autumn 2002, 2003 and spring 2004.
- GEC to draw up checklist for affiliates spring 2002. Replies will be analysed early autumn 2002 in order to prepare an EC recommendation.
- GEC members to carry out 'interview sessions' with reference groups in the constituencies based on the PSI gender equality survey for Europe (2003 - 2004).
- Discussions to be initiated in the affiliates and constituencies 2002 - 2004.

5. Develop statistics on gender participation in EPSU bodies, on external committees and social dialogue teams, and in internal and external meetings at the European level.

- The EPSU Secretariat will keep statistics on a yearly basis, starting 2001.
- EC to evaluate statistics autumn 2003.

6. Participate in and contribute to the ETUC and PSI campaigns on equal wages. ETUC is developing a database on equal pay which will be available on their web-site, while PSI is preparing a global campaign to be launched at the Congress in 2002. A co-operation has been initiated in order to synchronise the two campaigns for optimal impact.

- In co-operation with PSI, collect material from the affiliates for the ETUC database on equal pay and for the PSI campaign kit. EPSU Secretariat 2001.
- Consider further activities with the ETUC depending on prolongation of the equal pay project (2001 - 2002).
- Ensure that all the EPSU affiliates support the PSI equal wage campaign (2002 - 2004), and that they adopt equal pay policies.
- Reports to and discussions in all EC meetings. Ensuing recommendations. (2001 - 2004).

7. Develop a standard training module for the affiliates, based on the Handbook for the Mediterranean trade unions (2000) and extended with material from other EU-level trade union organisations. Awareness raising, women and decision-making and women and collective bargaining will be core elements of the training module. Seminars based on the module should be run and financed by the affiliates, possibly as part of constituency co-operation.

- The EPSU Secretariat will seek external funding to develop a gender equality training module which can be used by all EPSU affiliates (2002).
- Provided funding the training module will be made available to affiliates, and a reporting mechanism on seminars will be devised.

8. Organise a major EPSU Gender Equality Conference prior to the EPSU Congress in order to assess and discuss the main items addressed in the Gender Equality Action Plan and the training module.

→ A Gender Equality Conference on representation of women in decision-making bodies, and women and collective bargaining to be held spring 2003.

9. Make an effort to achieve more impact on EU gender policies by targeting work through the ETUC's Women's Committee, and putting issues on its agenda. Try to prevent that EU policies don't slide backwards, for example regarding ILO conventions. Ensure that EU gender equality policies, in particular on discrimination is brought to the attention of the EC.

- EC discussions on timetables for the affiliates to hold meetings with their governments on implementing relevant EU directives. GEC to prepare list for EC meeting autumn 2001. Recommendation to be sent to the affiliates early 2002.
- The Secretariat should try to ensure that the Commission funds trade union seminars.
- The Secretariat is to explore what the EU offers in terms of seminars, etc. on gender equality, and make this information available to the affiliates.