Executive agrees on major policy issues for Congress and sees candidates for new leadership team

(4 December 2013) Eighty members and observers of the EPSU Executive Committee from 28 countries met in Brussels last week and took further steps on the road to the federation's 2014 Congress. The Committee agreed its position on resolutions and amendments and approved the various Congress committees.

Candidates for the leadership

Annelie Nordström, president of the Kommunal municipal union in Sweden, was elected vice-president and has also been nominated by the Nordic and UK and Ireland constituencies as candidate for the EPSU Presidency. The Executive Committee meeting in February 2014 will decide whether to endorse her candidacy.

Meanwhile the Executive Committee unanimously supported the nomination->http://www.epsu.org/IMG/pdf/it_5-3_Congress_nominations_General_Secretary.pdf] of Jan Willem Goudriaan, current Deputy General Secretary for the position of General Secretary. This means there will be a new [leadership team when the current general secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, and president, Anne-Marie Perret, both retire at Congress.

Preparing for the European elections

The Executive Committee further noted the continuing work on the Right to Water campaign and agreed the main issues to pursue in the run up to European elections in May 2014. Our affiliates will be campaigning for a public service- and worker-friendly Parliament. The important issues at stake include tax justice, transparency in decision-making in trade and lobbying, social Europe and promoting and defending collective bargaining and trade union rights. Unions will also be calling for a new direction in economic policy, away from austerity and for more investment in public services, jobs and sustainable growth.

Actions by affiliates

Portuguese affiliates involved in strike and other industrial actions were supported by the Executive Committee and we sent solidarity messages to the unions.

Congress resolutions

In recent months discussions on the major policy orientations for the future of EPSU have been taking place in affiliated organisations, constituencies and various EPSU committees and the Executive Committee agreed the 12 main resolutions and its positions on amendments from affiliated unions.

A key discussion at Congress will be around the introductory resolution on an Alternative Europe. EPSU unions reject austerity, resist the pressure for corporate and neoliberal policies and want to reclaim the progressive Europe in which social justice, jobs and public services are key drivers for growth and welfare based on a strong trade union movement.

Other resolutions will cover:
- Quality Public Services at the heart of Social Europe
- Strengthening Workers Rights and Employment in Europe through Collective Bargaining, Social Dialogue and Industrial Action
- Economic policy: from austerity towards a more balanced system of economic and social governance
- Climate Change – what priorities for sustainable development?
- Migrant workers’ rights
- Closing the gender equality gap, fighting the pay gap, violence and discrimination.

EPSU will also continue to develop its work in the various public services and professional groups. Congress will see discussions on
- Social Services for all
- National and European administration (NEA): reinforcing the general interest
- Local and Regional Government (LRG): Strengthening local democracy
- Health and social services (HSS): combating liberalisation and meeting future needs
- Utilities: a key driver for sustainable development.

These resolutions will provide the direction for our work in the future and define the priorities for future action.

Resolutions from affiliates

Apart from Executive Committee resolutions, affiliates have also submitted their own resolutions and the Executive Committee will consider these and any amendments to them at its next meeting on 11-12 February 2014. Unions have submitted positions on trade and social and environmental criteria, organising and recruitment, fighting for all, youth, the public audit of debt, protection of the welfare state, European and global union work and European Treaties.

The next Congress resolutions committee takes place on 21 January 2014.

Congress Committees

The Executive Committee approved the nominations for the Congress Board and the Credentials and Standing Orders Committees.

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