Training/life-long learning, Recruitment & organising
Strong public service unions are vital if we are to stand up for our values and our vision in our workplaces, sectors and communities. They are crucial in dealing with national, European and global institutions and in representing public service workers in national trade union centres and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). EPSU affiliates are more effective in negotiating and campaigning where they can count on an active membership, high union density or broad support from workers.
EPSU has been taking a range of initiatives to support affiliates, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, to build union power by developing recruitment and organising strategies and campaigns. This briefing, prepared for the 2019 Congress, covers recent work and current priorities. Our Organising and Campaigns staff, Agnieszka Ghinararu, Miloš Vlaisavljević and Artem Tidva, are working with affiliates to help them with advice, support and training and keeping them informed about new ideas on recruitment and organising methods.
A survey of workers in energy, waste and water, carried out by services union ver.di, reveals widespread discontent, with many employees feeling they are insufficiently trained, overworked, health-impaired or have financial worries. Over 14,500 workers responded to the survey, highlighting a range of urgent needs that the union will aim to address. Staff shortages are creating a lot of pressure on workers and many complain about the failure of employers to offer professional training and development opportunities. With work intensity increasing there has been a dramatic rise in stress for many
Services union ver.di has welcomed the federal government’s statement that it wants to tackle skills shortages but argues strongly that in doing so it needs to address the big challenges in the public sector itself. Ver.di points out that education in kindergartens, schools – especially vocational schools – and universities, is key but the shortage of skilled workers in these sectors has long been a problem. Additional jobs and better working conditions in the public sector are needed. This not just about pay but about providing more training opportunities, better equipment and increased
EPSU’s recruitment and organising (R&O) team has arranged a webinar at 13.00 (CET) on 27 September to discuss the links between organising and collective bargaining. It will include practical examples from EPSU affiliates in Finland (JHL) and Germany (ver.di). Pertti Paajanen, JHL’s director of organisational affairs will talk about the union’s successful R&O campaigns and the interaction between recruitment and collective bargaining and industrial action. Ver.di activist Silvia Habekost will explain how the union succeeded in reaching collective agreements on staffing levels in two big public
The Social Employers and EPSU with the affiliate partner Nexem are pleased to annouce the launch of the FORTE Project. The project outcomes will feed into joint discussions and outputs in the framework of sectoral social dialogue in social services.
The US government has set out 70 recommendations to encourage collective bargaining and union membership making it easier for many federal employees to join unions and eliminating barriers for union organizers to talk with workers. A report by the administration’s Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, says, “it is our administration’s belief that unions benefit all of us.” The report notes that union households earn up to 20% more than non-union households, with an even greater union advantage for workers with less formal education and workers of colour. The report calls for
Last week, EPSU held two online, interactive workshops for the EPSU Youth Network and the Recruitment and Organising Network, on one of the most important topic for the future of our unions – organising young workers.