(12 July 2022) EPSU is involved in a project on digitalisation that is currently surveying public service workers in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain.
The project, digiqualpub, is coordinated by the OSE research organisation and examines the impact of digitalisation on public services and public service workers. A network of research organisations is producing reports on each of the eight countries as well as distributing and analysing the questionnaire and planning interviews and focus groups involving trade unionists and employees.
The aim is to improve understanding of the impact of digitalisation on job quality in the public services, by highlighting the perceptions that workers themselves have of the changes generated by digitalisation in the performance of their daily tasks. It also aims at raising awareness among trade unions and decisionmakers of the consequences of the digital transition of work for the public services.
The project is focusing on three main sectors - hospitals, public administration and electricity - and will also look at the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in regulating the impact of digitalisation.
So far just under 3500 workers have responded to the survey although this is distributed unevenly across the eight countries. The coordinators are keen to see more responses, particularly from Denmark, Germany and Poland and would welcome assistance in reaching out to workers in the three sectors in those countries.
The project was launched last autumn and will run until late 2023. There will be a mid-term workshop in Brussels in November, a national workshop in Warsaw next April and a final conference in Brussels in September 2023.
In more detail, the project will:
- assess the impact of digitalisation on job quality from the perspective of trade unions, but also of public service workers themselves. The intention is to identify the changes affecting the nature, content and implementation processes of the tasks involved in the jobs of public service workers, as well as the outcomes for the workers themselves.
- explore how the challenges and opportunities for job quality generated by the digitalisation of work in public services are included and addressed in the dynamics and practices of social dialogue at national and sectoral levels in selected EU Member States.
- To enrich the debate about this topic among social partners and to provide advice, through hands-on policy recommendations, to both European and national trade unions and decision-makers, on suitable ways to address the digital transformation of work.