(24 November 2016) Thousands of workers in the Belgian social / non-profit descend on Brussels 24 November. They demand of the government to continue the agreements that ensured that stress was addressed, older workers could reach the pension age healthy and which offered younger workers a perspective to work in the sector. The government has not agreed to prolong the arrangement by which workers from 45 years on, would work 2hours less per week with every 5 years. This working time reduction came about after months of struggle in 2000 and 2005. And the agreement is showing results. Turn-over is reduced. People can work longer in the care sector and older workers remain more active. There are less burn-outs. Motivation and job-satisfaction have increased and the sector is more attractive for younger workers. This is very important to address the ageing of the workers. The unions demand investment of the government in the sector and oppose the commercialization of care and culture. Workers in the public sector are supporting the actions.
EPSU has sent a message of solidarity to the Belgian affiliates (LBC-NVK, BBTK-SETCA, AC-CG, CNE, ACV/CSC-Openbare diensten/ services publics, ACOD/CGSP).
In Belgium the so-called non-profit or social profit sector includes workers in hospitals, elderly care, care for people with a disability, home care, childcare, protected workplaces, revalidation, social-cultural work, etc. It is one of the largest employers in Belgium with over half a million workers, or close to 15% of total working population.