Collective bargaining conference (2 days)
Emerging from the crisis - fair pay and employment in the public services
7-8 December, Brussels ITUH
Collective bargaining in the crisis
Public service trade unions continue to face a very challenging bargaining environment. Pay cuts and pay freezes have been imposed on workers in Latvia, Ireland, Greece, Romania and Spain. Cuts in public spending are leading to job cuts and recruitment freezes so that those still left in work are under pressure to maintain services despite the attacks on their pay and conditions. ETUC advisor Ronald Janssen will provide a broader cross-sectoral perspective on the crisis.
Research report on the impact of pay cuts
There will be a session specifically on collective bargaining in the public services and participants will be briefed on the results of a research project examining the impact of pay cuts and pay reforms in several of the countries hit hardest by the crisis.
There will be three simultaneous workshops on the afternoon of day one and the morning of day two of the conference. We are currently planning to cover the following themes, with short introductory presentations from researchers or EPSU affiliates:
• Closing the gender pay gap
• Fair pay in the utilities – initial results from a multinational research project
• Tackling low pay and no pay – how unions are improving minimum pay rates and dealing with unpaid wages particularly in Eastern Europe
• Sustainable development – can environmental issues be tackled through collective bargaining?
• Demographic change – policies to tackle the ageing workforce
• More and better jobs – less flexibility and more security?
With two sessions of workshops, the conference this year will provide a broader range of debates for participants to get involved in. The final two sessions of the conference will include a report back from this year’s three regional collective bargaining conferences in Copenhagen, Madrid and Bratislava and a closing debate on priorities for our collective bargaining work in 2011.
Last year’s conference attracted over 140 participants from 30 countries and we hope that this year’s conference will as well attended so that we can have a wide-ranging exchange of views on how to deal with the crisis. We were also pleased to see an increase in the proportion of women participants and would encourage affiliates to maintain this trend.