06 December 2019

EPSU Prison Services Network meeting

We are pleased to invite you to the next meeting of the EPSU prison services network  on 6 December 2019.

It will take place at the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), Rue Marché aux Herbes 105, Galerie AGORA, 1000 Brussels.

It will start at 09:00 and end by 16:00.

Simultaneous interpretation has been requested for the following languages:

EN, FR,  IT,  ES  and as passive (you can speak but not listen to) in DE and HU.

Below a first draft agenda (v 07.11.19), should you wish to add a topic or make a presentation, please let me know, thanks.

Also, we are pleased to invite you to the opening of a photo exhibition Working behind bars on 5 December 2019 at 17:30 until 19:30 at the EPSU offices, rue Joseph II 40, Brussels.
It is jointly organised with the ETUI (European trade union Institute), following the publication of a special issue of HESAmag dedicated to working conditions in prisons, to which some of you have contributed earlier this year,  see here in FR and here in EN.
The exhibition will be introduced by the photographer Sadak Souici and ETUI health and safety senior officer Laurent Vogel,  with drinks and snacks available.
To register to the opening, please use a separate online registration form here.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Best regards,
Nadja Salson

Event type: 

06 December 2019

European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF)
Rue Marché aux Herbes 105, Galerie AGORA
1000 Brussels

EPSU Prison Network meeting of 6 December 2019 - Report

(21 February 2020) The EPSU network of unions organising prison staff met on 6 December in Brussels to discuss latest trends and challenges as well as opportunities to bring visibility in newly elected EU Parliament to working conditions in prisons and trade union alternatives for positive change.

It was attended by delegates from Bulgaria, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Norway and the UK. Spanish Renew MEP Pagazaurtundúa and vice-president of LIBE Committee (the Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs) which deals with prison matters in the European Parliament,  addressed the network on the topic of violence and harassment against female prison workers in Spain.

Much of the discussion throughout the day focused on safety matters with reported increased levels of violence against staff, as well as prisoners, making the penitentiary system an unsafe, dangerous workplace. Insufficient staffing level is a key contributor to that near breaking point situation as in the UK, Belgium and Spain. While the prison network’s demand for 1:1 prison staff/inmates ratio (over 24h) seems increasingly a distant objective, it remains all the more relevant, together with more public investment in mental healthcare.

In terms of follow-ups, in the short-term, EPSU will further explore with Ms Pagazaurtundúa whether a workers’ perspective can be added to the agenda of a hearing in Parliament on detention conditions - it is now confirmed that EPSU will be invited to speak at the hearing on 15 or 16 April 2020.

In the longer term, EPSU will seek to organise a next meting, possibly on 1 October 2020 (TBC), with a focus on an EPSU strategy on health and safety in prisons.

Other EPSU-led projects in the pipeline for 2021-2022 will be relevant to the prison network: a multisectoral social dialogue project on prevention of third-party violence, in cooperation with hospitals, central, local and regional government; and a trade union project on the exclusion of public sector workers from trade union rights and EU directives in cooperation with EuroCop and Euromil. The network will be kept posted in due course.

To note, affiliates from Romania and Spain are planning meetings in 2020 to which members of the network will be invited.

For the full report of the meeting in English (also available in FR, ES, IT )

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