zoom webinar

Abstract

Date
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Location
Zoom webinar

For many years, and especially with the emergence of the financial crisis, in most European countries, the public sector has been under pressure to reduce expenditure and increase efficiency. This has had profound effects on the number and quality of jobs in this sector. The consequences of these austerity policies have become painfully apparent in the current COVID health crisis. That is why we have chosen as topic for this first ETUI Webinar to talk about the findings and conclusions of the recently published ETUI book Working under pressure edited by Maarten Keune, Nuria Elena Ramos Martín and Mikkel Mailand.

Speakers: Maarten Keune, professor of Social Security and Labour Relations at the AIAS-HSI institute of the University of Amsterdam, Marta Kahancová, senior researcher and managing director at the Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI) in Bratislava and Mikkel Mailand, head of research and associate professor at the Employment Relations Research Center (FAOS), Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen

Comments:  Richard Pond, Policy Officer European Public Service Union (EPSU)

Briefing: For many years, and especially with the emergence of the financial crisis, in most European countries, the public sector has been under pressure to reduce expenditure and increase efficiency. This has had profound effects on the number and quality of jobs in this sector.

The recent ETUI book Working under pressure edited by Maarten Keune, Nuria Elena Ramos Martín and Mikkel Mailand will be presented at the occasion of this joint ETUI-EPSU Monthly forum, analyses the evolution of employment, job quality and labour relations in the public sector since the 2008 crisis in nine EU Member States: Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, and the UK, and this in three subsectors: primary education, health care and municipalities.

It shows that public sector workers have frequently had to shoulder the burden of budgetary pressures not only through declining employment levels and job quality, but also through stagnating or declining (real) wages and the intensification and ‘extensification’ of work. The authors discern several broad trends in public sector labour relations such as the turn of governments towards greater unilateralism in the initial crisis years, and the emergence of new industrial relations actors. There has also been a widespread increase in strikes, protests, campaigns and other forms of industrial action by public sector workers. Finally, the erosion of the quality of public services has become a central issue in the demands of trade unions and new social actors.

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