Getting to grips with digitalisation
Digitalisation has the potential to positively transform public services and the jobs of public service workers. Quicker and easier access to services and increased participation of citizens can be combined with better quality jobs as repetitive work is replaced with more fulfilling tasks. However, trade unions must be involved in the transformation process not just to ensure that workers have their fare share of the benefits of digitalisation but also to deal with the potential downside. This briefing, produced for EPSU's 2019 Congress, highlights some of the work done on this issue in recent years and sets out the current priorities.
Right to disconnect: implement the EU social partners agreement in Central Government Administrations
Speaking at an event on the Right to Disconnect hosted by the S&D Group in the European Parliament, EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan reiterated the urgent need to make the right to disconnect a reality.
After lengthy strike action by Ministry of Justice staff through 2023, trade unions, including the FSC-CCOO and UGT-SP, are now sitting down with ministry officials to try to resolve some of the main areas of dispute. The FSC-CCOO was disappointed at an early stage when its proposals for the remit of two working groups were rejected. The federation wanted one to discuss a general pay increase and other issues and the working group on the efficiency law to discuss working conditions and not just job functions. The FSC-CCOO also raised a number of other issues it wants to see on the negotiating
The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) has published research covering all EU member states which warns of the impact of computerised systems on work. Potential negative effects include more unpredictable, hectic and intense work rhythms, the encroachment of paid work beyond its boundaries, longer working hours and a poorer work-life balance. The report also explores the differences in terms of job demands and resources between digitalised and non-digitalised work environments in similar jobs. The ETUI says that while the digital revolution tends to be associated with various positive
With the increase in the use of artificial intelligence systems and especially so-called General Purpose Artificial Intelligence like ChatGTP, regulating the use of such systems in society and in the work place is crucial to protect us from unwanted consequences.
Fagforbundet and other trade unions in local government have negotiated a new framework agreement which updates the rules and processes regulating the relations between local government unions and employers. The agreement covers continuing discussions about the need to develop the rights of employee representatives and the framework conditions in which they operate, a review of the main agreement to identify provisions that may be out of date or no longer relevant, consideration of how the provisions are applied in practice and to assess the need for amendments. There is also a specific
EU social partners in central governments urge Commission to enforce their agreement’s provisions on telework and right to disconnect
Following years of discussions and joint guidelines on digital technologies in central government administrations, an agreement on digitalisation was signed on 6 October 2022.
Last week the European Parliament’s Committees on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) approved a compromise position on the creation of a European Health Data Space.
In the week that the private sector employers at European level blocked an agreement and potential directive on telework and the right to disconnect, the Eurofound research agency published a report showing why action is urgently needed on this issue. Its new survey found that workers who telework are more likely to work longer than is contractually required and close to one fifth of respondents reported working additional hours because they are contacted outside of working hours. Eight out of 10 workers surveyed in companies with and without a right to disconnect policy reported that they