Fighting for the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers
Migration has major implications for public services not least because of the significant contribution of migrant workers to the provision of public services in many European countries. Thousands of public service employees across Europe work in areas related to migrations and asylum-seeking. Unfortunately, the European and national response to asylum-seekers has often fallen pitifully short of what should be expected from one of the wealthiest regions in the world and EPSU has been arguing hard for a change of approach, criticising the European Union’s policies which continue to focus on tightening borders, pushing back refugees and outsourcing asylum duties to third countries. EPSU, along with PSI, has also been calling for an end to privatisation and increased public investment in the public services that are vital to ensure the safe and effective integration of migrants and asylum-seekers into society. This briefing, prepared for EPSU's 2019 Congress provides some background on EPSU's activities in this area.
The JHL public services union has successfully defended the pay and conditions of workers employed by the Arkea municipal company that provides catering and other services to the Turku local authority. The company had sought to change collective agreements that would have meant significant changes to pay rates with some workers potentially losing out by as much as 30% of their earnings. The strike action led to negotiations with the company which will now stick with the current agreement which is due to be re-negotiated next spring.
The JHL public services has organised strike action at the Arkea Oy municipal company, owned by the City of Turku. The union is challenging the company’s plans to switch employers' organisation and transfer around 1000 employees to a different collective agreement with poorer pay and conditions. Lower-paid workers could see their pay cut by 15%-30%. The city's group management has given the plan its blessing and discussions between the trade union JHL and Arkea have not yielded any results. The action began on 17 November with measures taken to ensure no risks to safety. The strike will affect
The Fórsa public services trade union has rejected what it described as a ‘derisory’ offer from the Department of Education in a long-running dispute over the pay and conditions of school secretaries. The union has been campaigning for years to end the unequal treatment of school secretaries employed by the Department of Education and those employed by schools. The latter are on much lower pay rates and have inferior rights to sickness and annual leave. Fórsa has not ruled out the possibility of industrial action. Meanwhile, social care workers in intellectual disability services have voted
Trade unions in the electricity and waste sectors reported very high levels of support for their industrial action and protests on 30 June. The unions want article 177 of the procurement code to be deleted as they argue that it requires widespread outsourcing across their sectors, posing a major threat to jobs and working conditions. They say that if the article is not deleted there will be increasing fragmentation of these industries and it will undermine initiatives towards a circular economy and low carbon energy sector. Meanwhile, the three main confederations have also been mobilising to
Poor treatment of employees, outdated equipment and low quality of services – outsourcing and privatisation of municipal services has similar negative effects whether it takes place in Poland or Norway.