The Social Dialogue Committee Work Programme 2015 - "Mobilising Social Partners in a new context Project"
The SDC 2015 Project in a nutshell
Programme area: EC Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG
Contract number: VS/2015/0054
“Mobilising social partners in a new context” Project is funded by the European Commission Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG. This project is conducted by the Social Dialogue Committee (SDC) under the PostEurop Corporate Social Responsibility Activities circle (CSR-C) and is a follow-up to the project “Developing a quality postal service in the digital age” conducted in 2013-2014 which enabled the Committee to better understand the evolution of the work organization in key postal activities including traditional and new ones.
The project has two main objectives - to enable the work to go deeper into the practices of collective agreements for supporting change management at national level. At the same time, a prospective dimension which aims at better understanding the key new activities developed by postal operators that have been touched upon in the framework of former projects. This project therefore brought considerable input to the social partners’ reflections on the postal sector evolution.
Moreover on a wider perspective, the project contributes to the following objectives:
- Analyse how the collective agreements negotiated by social partners can contribute to find the right balance between increased efficiency, keeping up with competition and adaptability of the work organisation and quality of employment as underlined in the EU 2020 strategy.
- Study in-depth the role of social partners in the change management process and as a lever of innovation in new services in relation to the European Commission’s Communication on The European social dialogue, a force for innovation and change.
- Support the Commission Communications towards a job-rich recovery by reflecting on the job development potential in the sector, in particular through new services, and the role of social partners in this context.
In the framework of this project, the two-day training seminar on e-commerce and new proximity services organized on 17-18 November 2015 in Brussels was particularly attractive to SDC members as it focused on growing activities for the postal sector. The seminar was an opportunity for interactive discussion and learning on initiatives being developed within the postal industry in the areas of new services and particularly the e-commerce area which are of importance to the sector.
The final conference of the project was organized on 24-25 May 2016 in Bucharest with the support of Romanian social partners. The objective of this meeting was to present the results of the collective labor agreements’ analysis signed within 16 selected European postal operators to support their change management. The target group was all the social partners of the 28 EU Member States. Based on the outcomes of the ECORYS consultant’s analysis, the conference was organized around seven sessions: Main social evolutions in the postal sector, Employment, Wage policies, Work organization, External and internal mobility, Career planning and training and Searching for a new social and economic equilibrium. The conference enabled to share the project’s findings and provided the opportunity for a constructive discussion between the European social partners on the social transformation strategies of the European postal operators and the role of social dialogue to support the change process.
The final booklet of the project has been published in three languages English, French and German in order to enable a wide dissemination within and outside the sector. The booklet is disseminated to the postal operators and trade unions of all the 28 EU Member states. It includes the main learnings from the project as drafted by the social partners as well as a detailed report drafted by ECORYS. The ECORYS report provides key elements on the social transformation levers used by postal companies and a transversal analysis of the main social evolutions in the sector.
The project overall provides tools to the European social partners to better understand the evolution of the sector and identify possible future developments. It has shown that numerous collective labour agreements are signed and cover a wide range of measures such as employment, working conditions, wages as well as employees’ status. These measures have been used diversely and to different extents by postal operators and trade unions and result from trade-offs; they depend on the stage of the operators’ transformation and their overall strategy. Eventually the project has observed that there is a real need for raising the awareness of social partners on new activities in the sector, in particular digital and e-commerce services. The project thus led to the signature on December 2016 of a “Joint declaration on the role of social dialogue in the transformation” which enabled to formalize the common view of social partners based on the project main outcomes.