Anti-austerity measures and increased public investment move to centre of Europe’s policy debate

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Voters in the UK will elect a new government 8 June. We note that the Labour Party manifesto – supported by EPSU affiliates – promising increases in public investment and decent funding for public services, has changed the discourse of the election campaign. This unapologetically anti-austerity manifesto has proved popular throughout the country and has confirmed what we have been saying for some time. Many European citizens have had enough of the failed austerity measures which have reduced jobs in key public services, led to a lowering of wages and undermined collective bargaining. Whatever the final outcome of the UK election, anti-austerity is now front and centre in the European political debate, which we welcome and will continue to vigorously pursue with our affiliates and our trade union partners.

To this end read about how Europe’s Trade Union leaders met in Rome recently, to affirm the importance of Social Europe. The EPSU delegation urged delegates to continue to actively pursue anti austerity measures, including supporting increased public investment and greater financial backing for quality public services. Gloria Mills, the President of the ETUC and of the EPSU Women’s Committee introduced amendments promoting gender equality and gender parity within the ETUC by 2019. The message regarding the need for greater gender equality, quality public services and investment was strengthened by the speech delivered by EPSU’s Vice-President Francoise Geng.

EPSU confirmed its strong support for the ETUC’s ‘Europe needs a Pay Rise’ campaign. This commitment will be evident in our actions and activities around Public Service Workers Day, which takes place on the 23rd of June.

In this edition, we also report on the growing spectre of precarious work.  This work model is of grave concern to EPSU and its affiliates and we will continue to fight against it spreading, at all possible opportunities.

Meanwhile, see how we continue to support our affiliates as they actively fight against the creeping tendency of privitisation of the health services and the outsourcing of services like in the European Central Bank for example.