(Press communication – 24 October 2011)
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the Employers Platform of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR-EP) met on 21 October for the Sectoral Social Dialogue Meeting Local and Regional Government to update their joint analysis on the impact and consequences of austerity measures on the public service in local and regional government.
Municipal employers and trade unions both are deeply concerned about the current economic and social developments in the EU, which undermine the provision of public services in particular for local and regional government due to a continued reduction in the allocation of resources. They therefore issued a joint statement ahead of the Council Meeting on 26 October delivering a joint analysis of the impact of the economic crisis in the local and regional government sector.
Anders Hammarback, Chair for EPSU reminded that “due to the cuts unprecedented restructuring in local and regional government is ongoing in some countries of the European Union, with staff reductions and pay cuts while at the same time national social dialogue is undermined in the countries concerned”.
In the second part of the meeting representatives of EPSU and CEMR-EP discussed the skills needed to undergo the reforms in the local and regional government sector.
Steve Comer, Chair for CEMR-EP stressed: “while we are observing strategies how to improve training and education for the highly-skilled, we should not forget that due to demographic changes we need more to value skills as for example in child and elderly care.”
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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).