European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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21 June 2017

Time for change: European trade unions join together to stem the rise in psychosocial risks

The Fourth European Trade Union Workshop on Psychosocial Risks at Work, organised by the ETUI on 23 and 24 May 2017 in Brussels, provided a forum for 35 trade union representatives from 16 different European countries to discuss a range of topics centring around this year’s theme of ‘Psychosocial risks and collective action’, which was selected in response to the worrying year-on-year rise in the number of workers exposed to psychosocial risk factors.

The two-day workshop featured a mixture of plenary discussions and smaller group sessions exploring the idea of collective action in relation to the problem of psychosocial risks at work. A presentation by Carl Roper, from the UK Trades Union Congress (TUC), discussed the principles of trade union mobilisation, while Elisa Bruno, Communications Officer at the ETUI, gave an overview of the various social media channels and how they can be mobilised for collective action. Participants in a brainstorming session led by Esther Lynch, Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), looked at the ETUC’s future plans for a political campaign on psychosocial risks at work.

The discussions on the second day of the workshop focused on existing trade union initiatives in this field. Sarah Lyons, from the UK National Union of Teachers (NUT), explained the NUT’s programme of ‘action short of strike action’, which is aimed at tackling the problem of excessive teacher workloads in the UK. José Fernandez Aviles, representative of the Spanish trade union confederation UGT, talked about the different methods which can be used to mitigate the psychosocial risks associated with new information and communication technologies. Slavica Uzelac highlighted the lobbying efforts undertaken by Eurocadres – the Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff – to raise awareness of psychosocial risks at EU level. Finally, participants at the final session of the workshop heard updates on the studies and projects which had been worked on over the past year by Cyrille Duch and Maryvonne Nicolle (CFDT-EPSU), Christian Nardella (UIL), Rosa Andres López (ISTAS-CCOO) and Eduardo Nadal (ETUCE).




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