(10 May 2019) French public service workers are keeping up the pressure on the government to withdraw or change its proposals for reforms of the public services. These reforms will costs jobs and impact on the quality of the services to citizens. Across France close to a quarter of a million workers participated with several services being affected. The reforms come at a moment in which many people have taken to the streets to demand more investment in public services and to keep schools and hospitals open for example. The unions organizing workers in health and elderly care used the actions to stress demands for more staff to cope with workloads and needs of patients. Energy unions are demanding that local support centres in the distribution companies remain open to assist people experiencing difficulties with their bill and energy provision. EPSU’s affiliates are behind the movement and have joined forced with other unions underlining the unity there is in opposition to the reforms. The proposals go together with reform of the social dialogue structures aimed to weaken the influence of the unions. Austerity continues for the public service workers as no pay increase is proposed, continuing years of wage freezes.
These are demands of public service unions across Europe. We continue to point out how lack of investment and resources are undermining our public services at a moment that people want more funding and better quality of the services. EPSU sent a message of solidarity and the EPSU General Secretary and EPSU policy staff for central government administrations joined the demonstration. It took place 9 May 2019, Paris.