EPSU Working Paper Social Services and Social Dialogue

Brussels, 21 September/8 November 2016

Common guidelines for EPSU members in view of the development of social dialogue at EU-level with relevant and representative employers‘ organisations

The EPSU Working Paper "Common guidelines for EPSU members in view of the development of social dialogue at EU-level with relevant and representative employers‘ organisation" provides a common perspective on trade union priorities for the sector of social services and on topics that could - at a later stage - be addressed at European level in the context of social dialogue. The document should in particular support the EPSU affiliates in Austria, Belgium, France and Germany, but also in the Czech Republic, Ireland and Spain that are currently involved in the PESSIS III Project when they participate in national discussions on the potential, usefulness and limites of EU social dialogue in the field of social services and when they are asked to react to papers elaborated by national employers’ organisations in this regard.

The document sets out aims of the trade unions affiliated to EPSU in the social dialogue in the social services sector (cf. section 2). They should help should help achieving in particular three goals: to 1) preserve and further develop social services that are organised and financed on the basis of solidarity, which allow unfettered access to high-quality provision of these services for all people, irrespective of their social status and their financial possibilities, 2) to secure the funding and the innovation capacity of social services and their further development, with a view to making a contribution to the stabilisation of the European Social Model and 3) to develop proposals aiming at a reduction of staff shortages and at the continuous improvement of working and pay conditions as well as of the quality of the services and of the jobs in the social services sector, to the benefit of both social service users and the workforce in the sector.

The document also sets out EPSU's vision for common action of social partners and in the context of social dialogue in the field of social services (cf. section 3). They cover a range of topics under the following headings: 1) Place European integration on a social basis; 2) Secure the financing of social services; 3) Achieve better pay through standards of "good jobs/work" and collective agreement, 4) Implement better working conditions and good training and 5) Organise migration – implement the conditions of the "Code of Conduct on Ethical Recruitment".

The common guidelines are available in EN, FR and DE.

The graph "Social Partnership and Social Dialogue VS. Joint Lobbying and Advocacy (also with Civil Society Organisations)" attached as appendix to the common guidelines illustrates topics that could be dealt with in the context of social dialogue at EU-level between representative national trade unions and national employers' organisations and juxtaposes these issues to topics that could be jointly advocated for by trade unions and employers - and where appropriate and agreed also in partnership with civil society organisations.

It is important to state that EPSU is not proposing at this stage - i.e. at the end of 2016 - any structural arrangements or concrete topics for EU-level social dialogue for the sector of social services.

Largely depending not least on the outcome of the PESSIS III Project (running from January 2016 to December 2017; PESSIS = Promoting employers' social services in social dialogue), there will only be discussions on these two questions at a later stage.

For 21 or 22 March 2017 (the definitive date is to be confirmed) the project coordinators FEGAPEI (France) and EASPD are planning an event at the European Parliament in the format of the hearing in which a number of EPSU colleagues can participate. One key objective is to present a "Joint Declaration" on social dialogue in the field of social services the employers' organisations involved in the PESSIS III Project are currently finalising and for EPSU to contribute to the debate based on the "common guidelines". For other updates from the project please read the Newsletters 2 (12 December 2016) and 1 (30 March 2016).

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