Resolution on the Role of the ETUC 2015/2019 – follow up: ETUC reorganisation
Adopted at the ETUC Executive Committee on 28-29 October 2015
Document on the role of the ETUC for the next mandate 2015-2019
The ETUC Congress in Paris endorsed a Document meant to set priorities and proposals for action, in order to renew and strengthen the role of the ETUC.
The Executive Committee is called to adopt any necessary resolutions for its implementation.
On the basis of the Document, a Spring School to be organised in 2016 will discuss a more comprehensive Action Plan, gathering all adopted resolutions, setting further initiatives for action, and exploring the need for possible changes to the ETUC Constitution and/or for adoption of an internal Regulation for its enforcement.
Furthermore, the Congress mandated the Executive Committee to set up a specific 'ad hoc' working group, to go through such possible changes and/or Regulation, and submit them to the Mid-Term Conference in view of the 2019 ETUC Congress.
According to such premises, this resolution focuses on the implementation of those parts of the Document, linked to ETUC internal reorganisation, and in particular:
- Executive Committee/Steering Committee/Working Groups reorganisation
- Constitution Review/Ad Hoc Committee
- Organising/Ad Hoc Committee
Executive Committee/Steering Committee/Working Groups reorganisation
The Document states that the ETUC should reconsider the functioning of its statutory bodies, to make them more effective and better involve trade union leaders in ETUC life.
Concerning the Executive Committee, it has to be a strategic body. Discussions in the Executive Committee have to mainly deal with top political priorities, leaving to permanent committees and working groups the task of delivering resolutions and positions on specific topics for endorsement by the Executive Committee, after well prepared discussion. Trade union leaders will thus be encouraged to attend the meetings if normally the first day will be devoted to discussion on relevant political decisions.
The Steering Committee’s role has to be improved, by focusing on emerging political and internal topics, in order to properly prepare the meetings of the Executive Committee in advance and to involve trade union leaders in open discussions on particularly relevant and critical matters. Steering Committee meetings should be convened also to deal with extraordinary/urgent issues that arise between scheduled Executive Committee meetings.
The ETUC Secretariat and President are committed to ensure that Executive Committee’s and Steering Committee’s agendas are set consistently and meetings are chaired accordingly. Documents for discussion should be delivered at least one week in advance.
External speakers can be invited to ETUC bodies, and particularly to Steering Committee’s and permanent committees' meetings. Specific trade union seminar/schools can be convened for free and more in depth discussion on significant topics.
These options imply more commitment from the affiliates to ensure and mandate their representation in ETUC permanent committees. Representatives from affiliates should ensure full participation to the meetings, be the relevant person responsible within their own organisations for the topics addressed by the permanent committees, be able to get specific mandate for decisions to be taken, and ensure effective coordination with members of the Executive Committee/Steering Committee of their own organisation.
In order to ensure such a coordination and proper preparation of the Executive Committee’s decisions, minutes of permanent committees’ discussions and conclusions have to be delivered.
All former ‘standing committees’ and ‘working groups’ shall now be referred to as ‘ETUC permanent committees’. The distribution of topics and the scope of former committees and working groups is revised according to the priorities set by the Congress, and in particular:
- The Women’s, Youth and IRTUCs’ Committees and the FERPA Executive Committee remain Statutory Committees
- The Social Dialogue Committee and the Ad Hoc Group (now Committee) on Macroeconomic Dialogue remain as they are (but two new Ad Hoc Committees will be organised – see below)
- The Press and Communication Working Group becomes the Press, Communication and Campaigns Committee
- The Economic and Employment Committee becomes the Economic Committee (dealing with economic policies, investment policy, financial market regulation, tax coordination etc)
- A new Employment and Labour Market Committee is set-up
- The Collective Bargaining Coordination Committee becomes the Collective Bargaining and Wage Coordination Committee
- The Workers Participation Working Group becomes the Workers Participation and Company Policy Committee (including restructuring and digitalisation)
- A new Health and Safety Committee is set-up
- The Economic and Social Cohesion Working Group becomes the Economic and Social Cohesion and Regional Policies Committee
- The Lifelong Learning Working Group becomes the Education and Training Committee
- The Sustainable Development Working Group becomes the Sustainable Development, Energy and Climate Change Committee
- The Social Protection Working Group remains as it is (Social Protection Committee)
- The Labour and Internal Market Legislation Working Group remains as it is (Labour and Internal Market Legislation Committee)
- The Migration and Inclusion Working Group becomes the Mobility, Migration and Inclusion Committee
- The Trade, Globalisation and Decent Work Working Group becomes the International Matters, Trade and International Development Committee (Decent Work goes to the Employment Committee)
- A new Standardisation Committee is set-up
The Deputy General Secretaries, Confederal Secretaries and policy advisers in charge of the respective dossiers will ensure the coordination of these permanent committees.
Internal rules for the functioning of permanent committees, revised according to this resolution’s provisions, are in attachment.
Constitution Review/Ad Hoc Committee
As previously mentioned, the Document on the role of the ETUC claims for exploring the need for possible changes to the ETUC Constitution and/or for adoption of an internal Regulation for its enforcement.
In this framework, the Congress mandated the Executive Committee to set up a specific 'ad hoc' working group (now Ad Hoc Committee on Constitution Review), to go through such possible changes and/or Regulation, and submit them to the Mid-Term Conference in view of the 2019 ETUC Congress.
The Executive Committee decide that such Ad Hoc Committee corresponds to the ETUC Steering Committee, chaired by the ETUC President and steered by the ETUC General Secretary.
ETUC affiliates that are represented in the Steering Committee can decide to appoint to the Ad Hoc Committee experts replacing the Steering Committee members. President and General Secretary can propose to the Ad Hoc Committee to invite to its meetings experts from the ETUC Secretariat.
The Ad Hoc Committee will meet at the occasion of the Steering Committee’s meetings.
The Document on the role of the ETUC already sets some principles and objectives that can be at basis of the discussion of the Ad Hoc Committee.
For instance the Document refers to the role of the ETUC at international level, its relationship with PERC, with ETUFs, with FERPA, with EUROCADRES, with other ETUC related networks and structures, including the ETUI; but also to the need to better ensure proper representation of women, youth, particular categories of workers, and to rebalance internal geographical representation and affiliates’ voting rights in the ETUC statutory bodies and Congress.
Concerning the latter, the need to revise or better implement the Congress procedures was raised during the Congress in Paris.
The Ad Hoc Committee will be in charge of implementing the resolution ‘Improving Gender Balance in the ETUC adopted by the Congress in Paris, by introducing the needed amendments to the ETUC Constitution, to be endorsed by the Midterm Conference.
Organising/Ad Hoc Committee
At its Congress in Paris, the ETUC adopted the following commitments on trade union organising as part of the document on the role of the ETUC for the next mandate 2015-2019.
“32. Trade union growth and increased union density must become a political priority. A strong membership base is a prerequisite for a powerful and representative trade union movement. So we need to grow again in terms of membership, improve the coverage of our bargaining and thus make our demands carry more weight. The ETUC can be engaged in providing a platform for exchange and coordination of national organising and membership campaigns, and should support affiliates’ requests and initiatives in this field and share best and innovative practice. Specific meetings and a working group on organising should be considered. The trade union movement has to become more attractive for all workers. Young, female, precarious, atypical, undeclared and migrant workers should be specifically targeted for better protection and unionisation actions, as well as new professions and highly skilled workers.”
Affiliates have very different roles, and no doubt also structures, in relation to membership and organising. Any ETUC activity in this area will be voluntary for those affiliates who wish to participate.
ETUC is not the trade union entity that recruits members but could be an added-value in European trade unionism as a kind of think-thank or think-and-do tank on innovative organising practices.
The ETUC Secretariat has already started a process of discussion with those involved in membership and organising to explore how ETUC can best support such activity, and who should be involved.
The Executive Committee agree the setting up of an Ad Hoc Committee on Organising. The ETUC Secretariat is actively exploring all options for bringing together those responsible to discuss ETUC support.
The ETUC Secretariat will explore all avenues to enable all affiliates wishing to participate to be able to do so.
The ETUI has long been involved in training activities in this area, and the ETUC Secretariat will draw from their experience and expertise.
The sharing of best practice is one possible first step (through meetings and/or virtual platforms) to discuss, as is a mapping out of the common challenges and opportunities in organising and membership. On the basis of that work, ETUC could then propose further initiatives to provide support and tools to affiliates.
This work will be coordinated by Confederal Secretary Thiébaut Weber, with support from Julian Scola, Ignacio Doreste, and Antonio Moreira.
The ETUC Secretariat would welcome from affiliates:
· Information on what role the affiliate has in membership and/or organising
· Contacts of those involved in or responsible for membership and organising
· Views on how ETUC can best support trade union growth and increased union density
RULES OF PROCEDURE
OF PERMANENT COMMITTEES
OF THE EUROPEAN TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION
(approved by the ETUC Executive Committee at its meeting on 28 and 29 October 2015)
1 - APPOINTMENTS:
a) Permanent Committees are made up of one full member and two alternates per country or group of countries concerned, from the European Trade Union Federations, and from the Women’s, Youth and IRTUCs’ Committees, according to the grid adapted to each Permanent Committee.
b) The appointments in question shall be made on the basis of an understanding between the organisations from the country/group of countries (based on the grid in question) and will take into account the gender balance.
c) Any appointment not made on the basis of point 1b) will not be taken into consideration.
d) Any change of appointment must be notified in writing, on the basis of consultation of the other organisations of the country/group of countries, to the ETUC Secretariat.
2 - INVITATIONS AND FOLLOW UP:
a) Only members and alternate members of a Permanent Committee shall receive with the invitation an appropriate participation form, which must be returned duly completed before the cut-off date. Alternate members can participate in meetings, but their costs will be reimbursed only if they replace a full member who is unable to attend.
b) All organisations and federations shall receive a copy of minutes and relevant documents and decisions, at the latest two weeks after the meetings have taken place.
c) The invitations and working documents, as well as minutes and decisions, apart from the participation form, will be placed on the web.
d) Meetings of the Permanent Committees shall be held, as a general rule, twice a year for one day.
e) Additional meetings of Permanent Committees, within budget limits, are determined by the Secretariat in terms of the European agenda and implementation of the action programme and its priorities.
f) Interpretation will be provided, within budget limits.
3. LIST OF PERMANENT COMMITTEES:
1. Women’s Committee
2. Youth Committee
3. IRTUCs’ Committee
4. Social Dialogue Committee
5. Press, Communication and Campaigns Committee
6. Economic Committee
7. Employment and Labour Market Committee
8. Collective Bargaining and Wage Coordination Committee
9. Workers Participation and Company Policy Committee
10. Health and Safety Committee
11. Economic and Social Cohesion and Regional Policies Committee
12. Education and Training Committee
13. Sustainable Development, Energy and Climate Change Committee
14. Social Protection Committee
15. Labour and Internal Market Legislation Committee
16. Mobility, Migration and Inclusion Committee
17. International Matters, Trade and International Development Committee
18. Standardisation Committee
19. FERPA Executive Committee