Successful Youth Seminar in Bulgaria

(December 2010) The first youth seminar organised by European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) affiliates since the Executive Committee decided to establish a Youth network took place in Sofia, Bulgaria on 12-13 December.

For many of the participants was the first seminar of such a kind and it was seen as very useful. The seminar, "Youth and trade unions: strategies to encourage young members to be active" involved participants from both national trade union confederations: CITUB [Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria] and PODKREPA.

The main objective was to help young trade union members to develop a recruitment and consolidation strategy within the trade union federations. In order to do that the participants identified the different issues in the different sectors: local and regional government, health and public utilities.

The conclusions of the seminar were that the trade unions in the public sector face many common problems: increasing age of workers and trade union members so youth issues do not get enough attention. This needs to be solved at the level of bargaining and information for young members.

To do so, the trade unions need to adapt their structures, encourage youth representation, mainstream youth issues and construct and inter-union youth network - with the aims to involve young members at all levels.

An agreement was made to continue the work started and to spread within EPSU the work done in Bulgaria.