(13 June 2012) From June 8th until June 10th the second EPSU youth network meeting took place in the middle of the Ardennes (La Roche-en-Ardenne), Belgium. About 20 members of the network gathered to take stock of all the discussions that the members of the network have had in different EPSU structures for the past 6 months.
In the first meeting in December 2011 it was decided to mainstream issues for young public sector workers across EPSU and EPSU affiliates. So far different members of the network have been presenting it in the EPSU Standing Committees, Constituency meetings and other networks.
Public Sector young workers are one of the groups most hit by the financial and economic crisis. In fact, many young public sector workers have since 2007 become unemployed and those at work face lower wages and precariousness.
This is one of the main challenges for trade unions at this stage.
The EPSU youth network requested a study to the Association for Working Lives Research Institute (AWLRI) in London. Nick Clark from the institute presented the final findings of the study. In the coming weeks EPSU will publish the study.
The main issue that was debated was the future of the network. All members discussed the need to continue to work to increase the number of young people in the trade unions and to ensure that public services employ more youth. There were different opinions about how to continue to work at the European level, if with a more rigid and formal structure (a Youth Committee) or a less rigid and flexible network. The debate will continue within the EPSU affiliates as this meeting did not have a decision-making character.
In the meantime some policy recommendations will be discussed within the network in a future meeting and these policy recommendations will be proposed for discussion at a coming Executive Committee.
Also a proposal for a big youth conference in 2013 was started to be discussed.
To see photos, the presentations and a report of the meeting