Newsletter II - November 2016

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Welcome to the second issue of the
PESSIS III Newsletter!

This publications is an initiative of the project consortium to provide continuos information on PESSIS III activities and deliverables.
The project, funded by the European Commission’s Programme on Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue, runs from November 2015 to November 2017. It brings together 4 European and 7 national organisations representing social and health service providers with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU).  It is the follow up of the project PESSIS II and represents the third step of a longer term process aiming at establishing a representative platform for employers in the social services sector at European level. Project partners at national and European level are working hard to achieve this objective.

For more information about PESSIS II outcomes, please consult the briefing papers available here.
For more information about the project, please visit the PESSIS III project section in the Social Services Europe website.
ACTION 1: Extending the research on social dialogue in the social and health services sector to Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Slocakia and United Kingdom
Part of the research to inform PESSIS III has involved the development of five case studies of social dialogue in the social services sector in five Member States: Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. The research has found that there are both similarities and differences between the five countries.

Almost all countries are undergoing change in their social services sectors, with the future of long term funding posing specific problems for planning and maintaining a high quality workforce. The sector is characterised in all countries by low pay, shortage of workers, lack of training and problems with recruitment and retention. The future of the social services sector depends on finding solutions to these issues.
Read more
ACTION 2 Establishing capacity-building with employers and discussing the participation in European Social Dialogue in Czech Republic, Spain and Ireland -
National meetings in Ireland
29th February 2016
26th September 2016

The first national capacity meeting took place in Dublin, Ireland, on 29th February 2016. Hosted by the Disability Federation of Ireland, the meeting was attended by a mix of employer and trade union representatives. There was an overall interest in Social Dialogue for the sector and an agreement that there is a social services sector gap. Employer representatives agreed they would be interested in having a second meeting again later in the year.

The second national capacity meeting, which was this time restricted to employer representatives, took place in the Disability Federation of Ireland on the 26th of September 2016.

Over the coming weeks a number of bi-lateral meetings will take place with employers to measure their willingness to engage in the PESSIS process. A date at the start of February has been pencilled in for the final national capacity meeting.  However, this will only go ahead if  it becomes clear over the next month, in the bi-laterals, that there is sufficient interest among employers to participate.
Second national meeting in Czech Republic,
8th June 2016

The second national meeting of the project PESSIS III took place on June 8, 2016. Jiří Horecký from APSS ČR, UZS ČR (Employer Union) welcomed all and briefly summarised the outcomes of the previous national  meeting for new participants.
A the meeting were discussed the following issues:
  • The necessity of strengthening social dialogue on the EU level and enabling the participation of the particular national representatives.
  •  A possibility of realising a joint project (employers and Trade Unions in social services in the Czech Rep.) with particular aims:
    • Strengthening the national structures
    • Starting a membership in EU Employers institutions (like HOSPEEM, etc.)
    • Involving public services as a whole, thus also education
    • Monitor suitable calls and start project frames (employers and Trade Unions).
  • Topics and open matters for the third meeting planned on 1st December 2016.
The meeting was attended by: APSS ČR, UZS ČR (Employer Union); Diakonie ČCE; APSS ČR (Employer Union); OSZSP ČR (Trade Union); UZS (Employer Union); UZS (Employer Union); APSS ČR (Employer Union).
Second national meeting in Spain,
9th June 2016

The Spanish confederation of Special Employmet Centers (CONACEE) which includes more than 65% of the special employment centers in Spain and more than 20.000 employees with disabilities, hosted the third meeting of the partners of the project PESSIS III. The project aims at promoting recognition at the European level for the socials services sector to participate in social dialogue as employers.

To achieve a real impact on European policies, a minimum representation of 50% of the social sector is needed. The European social sector represents 10, 7 € of the active population in the EU and has not been involved in the Europe 2020 strategy until recently. The European social dialogue is sectoral and inter-sectoral, including 43 sectors with sectoral committees that represent the 80% of the active population in the EU.

The second national meeting was held in Spain on the 9th of June. During this meeting, participants presented the strategy and recommendations for the Spanish social sector. These key recommendations will be debated until November to unify between all Spanish partners a common Declaration coming from the social sector that will be presented at the European Parliament. In parallel, the same exercise will be followed in other European countries participating in PESSIS III.

More information - PESSIS III
From left to right: Jesús Cubero, Iván Hodar, Mar Barbero, Albert Campabadal,
Jose María Alvira, Jose Alberto Echevarría.
ACTION 3  Organising Social Partner negotiations at EU level

Two joint meetings in Brussels: steps forward in the development of the European Social Dialogue

On 11th May and 4th October, national employers’ representatives from Austria,Belgium, France and Germany, trade unions representatives and all project partners seated together  in Brussels to develop and agree on a Joint Declaration and a Sectoral Agreement on a European social dialogue in social services. The two documents and the intentions expressed in will be discussed publicly next year in a dedicated hearing at the European Parliament (March 2017).

By then, the European report drawing together the mapping of social dialogue in the social services sectors from each of the 17 national reports published so far, will be updated with 5 additional country-studies: Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and the United Kingdom.

Read more
German employers’ social services organisations support further steps within PESSIS III to build a future European Social Dialogue

German employers’ social services organisations believe that European Social Dialogue is an important instrument to strengthen social services and to address future challenges of the sector such as the increasing impact of digitalisation. In their point of view, building a European Social Dialogue would be a unique opportunity for the sector to take part in European policy initiatives. Before each European Social Dialogue meeting in Brussels, representatives of the employers’ organisations of AWO (Arbeiterwohlfahrt), Caritas and Diakonie met in Berlin to discuss the draft Common Declaration.
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Belgian employers' social serivces organisations support PESSIS III project and the development of a European Social Dialogue.

As part of the third phase of the PESSIS project, UNIPSO (Union des entrerprises à profit social) organized a meeting on 21st March 2016 with Belgian representatives of employers from the social services sector (support and housing for people with disabilities, health care, home care Services, day care for children, youth help services etc) to reflect on relevant issues for the social services sector to deal with the European Social Dialogue.

The exchange between the participants was very interesting and made it possible to identify certain points of attention and reflection that UNIPSO wishes to include in the Joint Declaration which will be presented at a meeting with representatives of the European Parliament in 2017.
Read more
EPSU Working Paper Social Services and Social Dialogue

The EPSU Working Paper "Common guidelines for EPSU members in view of the development of social dialogue at EU-level with relevant and representative employers‘ organisation" provides a common perspective on trade union priorities for the sector of social services and on topics that could - at a later stage - be addressed at European level in the context of social dialogue.

The document should in particular support the EPSU affiliates in Austria, Belgium, France and Germany, but also in the Czech Republic, Ireland and Spain that are currently involved in the PESSIS III Project when they participate in national discussions on the potential, usefulness and limites of EU social dialogue in the field of social services and when they are asked to react to papers elaborated by national employers’ organisations in this regard.

The document sets out aims of the trade unions affiliated to EPSU in the social dialogue in the social services sector (cf. section 2). They should help should help achieving in particular three goals:
1) to preserve and further develop social services that are organised and financed on the basis of solidarity, which allow unfettered access to high-quality provision of these services for all people, irrespective of their social status and their financial possibilities;
2) to secure the funding and the innovation capacity of social services and their further development, with a view to making a contribution to the stabilisation of the European Social Model and
3) to develop proposals aiming at a reduction of staff shortages and at the continuous improvement of working and pay conditions as well as of the quality of the services and of the jobs in the social services sector, to the benefit of both social service users and the workforce in the sector.

The common guidelines are available in EN, FR and DE on EPSU website
Read more
News from other European sectoral social dialogue

HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Declaration "CPD and LLL for all health workers in the EU"

After more than one year of work and negotiations, involving a number of members from both employers' organisations and the trade unions, HOSPEEM and EPSU on 2 June 2016 - in the context of a meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital/Health Care Sector - on the Joint Declaration on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Life-long Learning (LLL) for all health workers in the EU. Final adaptations were made in the months up to October 2016, after consultation with the affiliates respectively. Read the HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Declaration on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Life-Long Learning (LLL) for All Health Workers in the EU - in EN, FR, DE, ES and SV available on EPSU website
Read more
For more information about PESSIS III project, please visit Social Services Europe website
or contact the project coordinator EASPD at

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