EPSU Solidarity Message and Support for Czech Trade Union Movement

(20 May 2008, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is a free and democratic
federation of independent trade union organizations for employees in public services in
Europe. We speak on behalf of over 209 public sector unions representing
approximately 8 million organized workers in more than 36 countries.

We are convinced that Europe must mean more to citizens than a market. Quality
public services are keys to meeting citizens' fundamental rights. Universality,
continuity, affordability and democratic control are important principles for public
services. EU competition must not undermine solidarity.

On behalf of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), we therefore
want to support the Czech trade union movement in their protest against the public
sector reforms as prepared by the Czech Government. We express our solidarity with
our Czech trade union members and all the people and civil organizations
supporting them in their struggle to keep public services in public hands.

We are seriously concerned that the public sector reform process, initiated by the Czech
government will diminish the accessibility and affordability of public services. The
privatization of essential services such as health care and education and the pursuit of
profit could lead to a serious deterioration of services for the public. It would also
exacerbates present inequalities in pay and working conditions.

We ask the Czech government to reconsider the plans to reform the public sector
and start immediately negotiations with the Czech trade union organisations -
following the principle of social dialogue - on public sector investments and
public sector pay.

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