Final round of negotiations over EWC Suez Environment transnational agreement on gender equality

(27 January 2015) On 20/21 January a final round of negotiations with management (Director of Social Affairs) took place between the work place representatives of France, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Spain represented in the Suez Environment European Works Council together with the European Federation EPSU over the transnational agreement on gender equality. The final signing of the agreement is projected for March in an Extraordinary European Works Council. A number of improvements were achieved compared to the initial agreement negotiated two year ago for Gdf-Suez. This agreement will be effective in Suez Environment, active in the water and waste sector, in which women representation at the workplace is rather low. The agreement reasserts that equality between women and men is a fundamental human right recognized internationally as well as at EU level. All group companies with over 150 employees will have to commit themselves to establish a summary of actions promoting gender equality and including topics covered in the agreement e.g. sexual harassment. The agreement applies to European subsidiaries that are fully consolidated with the SUEZ ENVIRONMENT consolidation scope, or which are more than 50% owned by the Group. The agreement includes a chapter on commitment to changing thinking and behavior, the involvement of management and the communication over this agreement. Guaranteeing equal opportunities in recruitment , career development and access to professional training, improved work-life balance are central to the agreement with quantitative objectives to be reached. In particular, some improvements over the original agreement could be reached over including parental leave in relation to changes of average renumeration and that particular attention is needed to renumeration of part-time employees, who are in this company mostly women so that they see similar wage increases than full-time employees. The monitoring of this agreement will be been taken in charge by the Employment and Training Group of the company to which European Federations will be associated.