CESI Trade Council ‘Health’: A further fair mobility agreement for healthcare workers

Today, CESI's Trade Council 'Health' - CESI's internal forum of debate and deliberation for EU health policy - convened for its annual meeting in Brussels. Next to policy discussions on a variety of health-related topics, a new agreement for collaboration for the benefit of mobile workers in the healthcare sector was signed between two of CESI's member organisations: The Dutch CNV and Spanish SATSE trade unions. With almost 40 participants, this trade council session was outstandingly well attended.

CESI Trade Council ‘Health’: A further fair mobility agreement for healthcare workers

The agreement foresees mutual collaboration between CNV and SATSE when it comes to support measures for mobile workers in the healthcare sector in Spain and the Netherlands respectively. In this way, the agreement responds to the increasing levels of social and occupation-related abuses of mobile workers by employers in many EU member states: After all, one of the particular complexities mobile workers often face is a lack of information about the social and labour right conditions they enjoy in their host country – Employers often exploit this unawareness. 

A second CESI-struck deal on fair labour mobility in the healthcare sector

The agreement follows a previous similar deal struck by CESI between its member organisations dbb (Germany) and SATSE. CESI Secretary general Klaus Heeger said: “I am more than happy that we managed to conclude a further collaboration agreement for a fair labour mobility of healthcare workers. Having not only Germany and Spain on board but now also the Netherlands is of significant importance, given that a large part of the EU’s labour mobility in the healthcare sector occurs between those three countries. We now have to implement the new agreement together with our partners.”

Retention of professionals, integrated care, ageing at work: A full agenda on EU health politics

Further deliberations were held at the trade council session on a variety of topical subjects related to the EU’s health politics and policies:

• Agathe Smyth, health policy advisor at CESI, presented the third health programme and European Commission’s priorities for health, which include social investments, the reduction of risk-factors and cross-border crisis management. She also notified the trade council of a new consultation of the Commission on a preliminary opinion on the equity of access to health services in the EU;

• David Smith, networks and operations manager at the European Health Management Association (EHMA), gave an expert presentation on the recent Commission report on the recruitment and retention of health professionals. He stressed that the success of recruitment and retention interventions depends to a large extent on partnerships among local economic, political, legal, cultural and organisational environments and that a more developed EU approach to investment in research and dissemination could stimulate and support more innovation in health staff recruitment and retention; 

• Amanda Massey, health policy strategist at Health First Europe, presented the Community Care Model launched in 2014 by Health First Europe. She reported that extending community care was a key topic on the agenda of the recent Latvian Council Presidency and that Health First Europe is currently lobbying the Commission to receive more funding on community care and for an activity on this topic;

• Brenda O’Brien, head of EU-OSHA’s Brussels liaison office, presented on well-being and ageing at work. She focussed in particular on an introduction to EU-OSHA’s ‘Healthy Workplaces Campaign’ which is to increase awareness about the importance of ensuring sustainable work throughout working lives in order to maintain a healthy workforce over time. CESI has been a long-standing implementation partner of the campaign.

The next ‘Health’ Trade Council will take place on April 28 2016.