R.6. National and European Administration

A. The EPSU affiliates meeting at their 8th Congress in Brussels from 8-11 June 2009, Brussels recognise that:

1. The growing impact of the European Union on the central administrations calls for a coordinated critical response, like that against the Directive on services in the internal market; the maintenance of an effective publicly funded and delivered state sector is essential for a democratic and socially, ecologically and economically successful society across Europe and indeed throughout the world;

2. Essential features of such civil services are that of a well-trained, well-paid and sufficient workforce, socially responsible management, and social dialogue with independent and representative trade unions, enjoying full employment rights including the right to information, consultation and negotiation on pay, terms and conditions and public sector reforms and to take industrial action where necessary;

3. The EPSU affiliates denounce the growing role of the private sector in the supply of public services and reiterate their demand for horizontal legal provisions at EU level on public services which would consolidate the legal basis for non-competitive public activities, whilst leaving plenty of room for subsidarity. Whilst the private sector, when properly regulated, has a vital role in any mixed economy, evidence and ethics show that it cannot substitute to the main functions of central public administrations which are to ensure security – social, physical and legal-, justice and equality for the common good, not commercial profits for the few;

4. The quality of central government administrations requires stability and predictability, parliamentary checks and balances and independent evaluation based on public service principles such as solidarity, equal access, universality, continuity, affordability, proximity, social partnership and democratic control;

5. The continuing attacks on the pay, numbers and image of civil servants caricatured as a “financial burden” , are unacceptable. Central government and EU administrations are part of the solutions to tackle Europe’s key challenges;

6. The success of work towards formalising the European social dialogue between the EPSU-led TUNED – Trade Unions’ national and European administration Delegation- and EUPAN – EU Public Administration Network- in central government administrations has arisen, in part at least, because of the closer working relationships both between the employers and the trade union groupings representing civil servants across Europe, the growing impact of the EU and the need to develop a sectoral response in its own right;

7. Look forward to a positive outcome to the test phase 2008-2009 on a formal social dialogue. They commit to developing their cooperation to conduct trade union action within the EPSU to provide alternative solutions to the policies of reducing public services;

B. The 8th Congress calls on EPSU and affiliates in national and European administrations to:

8. Trade union rights and social dialogue
Promote trade union rights for civil servants at national and EU levels in line with the EU Charter of Fundamental rights and other relevant European and International charters and conventions. Violations of trade union rights in some countries occur mainly through insufficient penalisation of anti-union behaviour by employers, and excessively wide definitions of “essential (public) services” at national level where basic trade union rights are restricted;

9. Convince representatives of EUPAN to establish an employers’ organisation at EU level and formalise the sectoral social dialogue with a view to developing a positive reform agenda and minimum social standards for central government administrations;

10. Commit to both maintaining EPSU’s leading role as the representative voice for public sector workers across Europe and strengthening the links with other groups;

11. Campaign via collective bargaining and/or legislation for decent pay, including pensions, and conditions for all, equal pay for same work and of same value between women and men, notably through gender neutral job evaluation, and discrimination-free workplaces on the grounds of gender, ethnic/national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation and trade union membership.

12. Quality state sector
Shift the current debate from performance and productivity to a quality and social justice agenda for central public administrations and respond to EU initiatives and case law accordingly;

13. Promote the regulatory, protective and law-enforcing role of governments and EU institutions through the development of common principles on good governance, transparency, anti-corruption, e.government and quality public finance;

14. Critically assess the involvement of the private and third (not for profit) sectors and agencies;

15. Raise the profile of an independent, well-resourced, accessible and representative civil service as part of the EPSU demand for horizontal legal provisions at EU level for public services and related Action Programme on quality public services based on the public services Protocol agreed by the 27 EU governments in 2008;

16. Continue co-coordinating Europe wide bargaining information and building stronger links, including also bilaterally, between groups of like civil service workers across Europe with a view to improving working conditions tackling reforms, and raising a more concrete profile of EPSU;

17. Contribute to develop policy, in cooperation with other Standing Committees, on redistributive fiscal regimes and public investment in public services in Europe.

18. Committee structure
Establish a youth mentoring system in the Committee whereby younger representatives attend Committee meetings and/or other NEA-related activities at least once a year;

19. Increase women’s participation in the committee and in all its activities to reach gender parity in line with the EPSU constitution.

Adopted 10 June 2009

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