Waste, organising, and digitalisation: local and regional government standing committee meets

EPSU Standing Committee on Local and Regional Government, February 2024, Brussels

(15 March 2024) At its 62nd meeting, the LRG Standing Committee defined its priorities for 2024 in line with the program of action of the 2019 EPSU Congress in Dublin.

The meeting gave an overview of the waste sector's situation in the various European countries. Several patterns were quickly identified. When this sector is left to private ownership, working conditions drop and financial and environmental scandals start to emerge. EPSU and its affiliates, together with the utilities standing committee, intend to join forces and hold a workshop to explore possible avenues of work, including tackling the current outsourcing dynamic and looking at the state of play of existing collective agreements and standards in terms of health and safety (toxic airbornes, extreme weathers, excessive weights).

Digitialisation was also at the heart of the discussions. Taking the example of the National and European Administration Standing Committee and their sectoral agreement, the LRG Social Dialogue Committee (EPSU and CEMR) will soon enter negotiations for new sector-specific guidelines on digitalisation.

Finally, the committee discussed the various national strategies that EPSU affiliates are putting in place to strengthen unions and their coverage levels. For several years, EPSU has been working with unions in Eastern and Central Europe to develop comprehensive strategies. It has emerged that thematic campaigns need to be run in parallel with a strong presence in workplaces, capable of directly influencing social negotiations. Among the best practices that have proven their effectiveness are the possibilities for involvement through democratic internal structures.