Newsletter I - March 2016

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Welcome to the first 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. 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.
KICK-OFF MEETING, 21 January 2016
On the 21st of January, the third phase of the PESSIS project was launched in a kick-off meeting organised by EASPD. Project partners gathered together in Brussels to plan all the activities and discuss responsibilities.
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ACTION 1: Extending the research on social dialogue in the social and health services sector to 5 additional countries
The extend mapping of research will focus on the state of social dialogue in social services sector in 5 additional countries not covered by the previous PESSIS projects*: Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and the United Kingdom. Each country researcher will be developing a case study of social dialogue in the social services sector in their respective country.  The main research questions are:
1. What is the size of the social services sector, both in terms of workforce and of employers in aggregated value?
2. How well represented is the sector in terms of number of employers and workers covered by collective agreements?
3. How many employers of the sector are involved in social dialogue and at what level?
4. What are the key labour issues dealt with and at what level?

The draft reports due mid-May with final reports by July 2016. This research will also contribute updating the European report.

*17 country case studies are being researched in PESSIS and PESSIS II projects: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands.
ACTION 2: Establishing capacity-building with employers in 3 selected countries and discussing the participation in European Social Dialogue
Focus Group in Czech Republic,
24th February 2016

The first national meeting of the project PESSIS III took place on 24th February 2016 in Praga. Jiří Horecký from APSS ČR, UZS ČR (Employer Union) welcomed participants and briefly summarised the outcomes of  PESSIS II project. Conny Reuter from SOLIDAR first acquainted the participants with the history of PESSIS project and reasons that led to its implementation. The aim was to explore the employers' interest in the participation in the European social dialogue. The results showed that this interest exists. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss tha main issues related to working conditions, qualification of staff, job creation and job retention in social services sector.
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National meeting in Spain,
17th February 2016

The Confederation of Special Employment Centres (CONACEE), which brings together more than 65% of Spanish Sheltered Employment and over 4.000 workers with disabilities, organised the first national meeting to present PESSIS III project. The event took place on 17th February in the headquarter of the "Escuelas Católicas- Educación y Gestión" and gathered prestigious organisations as Católicas- Schools Education and Management (FERE-CECA), Spanish Confederation of Schools (CECE), LARES Federation. Spanish unions as FSS-CCOO and FSP-UGT were also involved.

All Spanish Social Sector Entities supporting the establishment of European Social Dialogue in social services sector are invited to join us in this process.
ACTION 3: Organising Social Partner negotiations at EU level

Project partners in France (FEGAPEI), Austria (Volkshilfe) and Germany (AWO) organised in their own country the first meeting with employers to discuss and coordinate their participation in the European Social Partner meetings. The national meeting in Belgium organised by UNIPSO will take place on 21st March 2016 in Brussels.
German social partners gathered together in Berlin on 23rd February 2016

In Germany, the third phase of PESSIS “Promoting employers’ social services organisations in social dialogue” was launched by AWO (Arbeiterwohlfahrt Bundesverband) in Berlin on 23rd February. The national kick-off meeting gathered relevant German employers of social services organisations, trade union representatives and IAT (Institut Arbeit und Technik). The meeting aimed at fostering a better understanding of the added value of European Social Dialogue for the social services sector and setting the basis for the participation of the present stakeholders in third phase of the PESSIS project.
Volkshilfe Österreich met major welfare organisations in Vienna, Austria on 4th March 2016

The national meeting in Austria took place on March 4th 2016. The project coordinator Volkshilfe Österreich invited representatives of Sozialwirtschaft Österreich and other major welfare organisations (BAG). As a basis for discussion a briefing paper was sent to all participants in advance. A brief overview of recent developments and processes of the two previous projects PESSIS I and PESSIS II was given before the participants entered into discussion about the pros and cons of social dialogue on the European level and a realistic assessment of influencing policy at EU level.
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French social partners discuss opportunities for social dialogue on EU-Level

On 7th March, three French trade union representatives and members of EPSU met in Paris 6 employers’ organisations from the social sector to discuss their priorities for a future social dialogue in the social services sector at European level. Trade unions shared their experience on social dialogue at the EU level and presented topics that should, in their opinion, be treated in a EU sectoral committee. The employers will discuss and determine with Belgian, Austrian and German PESSIS project partners  what topics will be a the centre of the dicussion at the Brussels meetings. Topics on the top of the French list are:  transversal topics as professional ethics, gender equality, work-life balance and career path.
For more information about PESSIS III project, please visit Social Services Europe website
or contact the project coordinator EASPD at

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