Europe must invest in social care and services

13 March 2013, EPSU Statement - {{Promoting national social dialogue practices in social care and services}} Today, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) organises an important meeting on social dialogue in social care and social services with the participation of more than 60 participants from 20 European countries. This meeting is intended to start off a more intensive and comprehensive cooperation at European level by the most representative organisation in this field EPSU represents workers in the field of social services and social work in general, including in the social economy and not-for-profit sector as well as in the commercial sector. It is the recognized European social partner in the sector health and social services, and local and regional government sector, which is the main provider of financing and funding of social care. The gathering will address the national and European perspectives of investing in social care and services and debate with “European employers” common objectives and concerns of developping social dialogue practices. This sector is a key contributor to growth in the economy and in employment but lacks full recognition for the rights, status, employment and pay conditions of workers. The EPSU meeting will work in the field of elderly care, child care, services for persons of disabilities and sheltered workplaces. “{This gathering falls right at the moment where we see the publishing of the Commission’s so-called Social Investment Package that acknowledges the need of Member States to promote the investment in social services and care structures, which we welcome. However, what we already see is that the Commisson is using old arguments and pushing recommendations to Member States on marketisation of social services by calling for the provision of competitive-driven social services},” says EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel. Therefore EPSU will advocate - Supporting the development, implementation and monitoring of requirements for the quality of social services and of the jobs/working conditions at all levels, including the EU voluntary quality framework on Social Services of General Interest - Emphasizing the need for high quality services and employment conditions and the need to address problems such as low pay, training, working time, health and safety, the legal employment status, fighting undeclared work, promoting migrant rights or addressing the gender questions - Strengthening the social dialogue and coverage of workers by collective agreements and how to organise workers in home-based services and small and medium-sized local structures of service provision - Promoting the collection of further information, knowledge and data about social care providers, employers’ organisations, coverage of the workforce by collective bargaining and collective agreements and the representativity at national level - Countering increased privatisation in social care and social services and pushed marketisation of social services as well as competitive-driven EU policy on social services by promoting decent working conditions and ensuring appropriate quality of employment - Ensuring the support and developmment of socially-just public funding in this sector EPSU will ensure that this important sector for our societies will have proper working conditions to ensure that those in need do enjoy a high quality public service. If you want to know more about recent EPSU’s policy and activties on social care and services, please have a look at following documents, available in several languages: -* [Overview on main activities, outcomes and priority issues for EPSU in social services (2010-2012)->art9089], February 2013 [available in EN/FR/DE/ES/RU/SV] -* [SSGI in the EU context: EPSU reflections, requests and recommendations->art7452], March 2011 [available in EN/FR/DE/ES/RU/SV] -* [EU Policy on social services of general interest (SSGI): Towards a “voluntary quality framework for social services”? EPSU background document->art7057], October 2010 [in EN] -* [EPSU report “Care Services for Older People in Europe - Challenges for Labour”->art7431], February 2011 [in EN; with executive summary and recommendations available in EN/FR/DE/CZ/ES/IT/RU/SV] -* [EPSU contribution to consultation on personal and household services ->art8908] (PHS), July 2012 [in EN) -* [Information on PESSIS Project->art9070] [in EN] For more information contact Pablo Sanchez, [>] (0032 (0) 474 62 66 33) or Christine Jakob, [>] EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC and comprises 8 million public service workers from over 275 trade unions; EPSU organizes workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration, in all European countries including in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood. EPSU is the recognized regional organization of Public Services International (PSI). 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