“Social dialogue is always the first victim”. TUNED delegation assesses impact of crisis

On June 20th, the TUNED delegation (Trade union delegation composed of CESI and EPSU representatives) met with EUPAN (the informal network of Directors General responsible for public administration in EU countries and the European Commission)in Athens within the framework of the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

“Social dialogue is always the first victim”. TUNED delegation assesses impact of crisis

During the meeting, the TUNED delegation presented the outcomes of the sectoral social dialogue committee, together for the first time with representatives of EUPAE (European Union Public Administration Employers). Participants were informed of the current EU project on a quality service for vulnerable people and had the opportunity to closer at the Strategy for strengthening human resources by better anticipating and managing change. The joint presentations (of employers and trade unions) demonstrate the great achievements made by the committee.

Representatives from TUNED Ireland and TUNED Greece underlined the impact of the Troika on public sector human resources, as well as on social dialogue. ‘Social dialogue is always the first victim of an economic crisis’ the delegation said. The case of Ireland shows that public and private sectors were both hit; the latter mainly through jobs cuts in sensitive sectors such as construction, while public employees faced pay cuts of up to 20%.

In Greece, social dialogue has been particularly badly hit. TUNED Greece took the occasion of the meeting to have the first direct contact with the Greek central administration employer for a very long time. While this demonstrates the ability of the European level discussions to build bridges at national level, such a situation should not be tolerated. Social dialogue is a means of successfully exiting the crisis by allowing solutions to be found and implemented together.

Prior to the meeting, EU Directors General met to discuss, among other topics, the selection of public managers and structural reforms within public administration.