National awareness and training events
Few trade unions participate in standardisation – at national and international level. Standards however have become a policy instrument for the legislator. Trade union participation and the safeguarding of the workers’ interests in the standards writing process, in particular of standards which contain a social and societal dimension, is therefore essential.
Therefore, the ETUC organises national seminars to stimulate awareness and train experts to participate in the drafting process of standards (i.e. capacity building). These events are organised in the local language, with view to involve also interested trade unionists who may face language barriers.
In 2017, the ETUC co-organised two awareness-raising events with the local trade unions of Malta and Italy. The seminars in Latvia, Lithuania and the Netherlands in 2018 resulted in a new and renewed dialogue between local authorities, NSBs and national Trade Unions.
Icelandic Equal Pay Management System standard helps to bridge the gender pay gap
The Icelandic standard IST 85:2012 Equal Pay Management System – requirements and guidance was developed by the social partners and with the support of the Ministry of Welfare. The objective was to create a system that ensures that women and men working for the same employer are paid equal wages and enjoy equal terms of employment for the same jobs or jobs of equal value. To show how standards can be used in a social context and to bridge the gender pay gap, seminars took place at the EFTA Secretariat (Brussels) and the United Nations (New York). At the ETUC, Maríanna Traustadóttir of ASI – the Icelandic Confederation of Labour – provided background on the Icelandic standard. The Icelandic standard shows how standards can be used to improve the wellbeing of workers.
Respecting collective bargaining in healthcare standards
With the growing proportion of elderly people in our society and the increasing need to guarantee them a dignified lifestyle, age-friendly nursing and care has become paramount. CEN is currently developing standards on quality of care for older people and patient involvement in person-centred care.
CEN TC 449 is developing a standard on quality of care and support for older people. While the ETUC is critical towards healthcare standards, we are contributing to this work. We welcome the TC accepted our demand to ensure that many requirements are in compliance with collective agreements, if in place. Also good working environment and occupational safety of the workers are of high concern of the ETUC in this work and has been raised by us.
Building up capacity and competence
One of the objectives of the ETUC STAND project is to provide national trade unions with the knowledge to participate in standardisation. Since its launch in 2015, the project has built a up competence centre which is providing training and ongoing support to ETUC representatives in standardisation committees. Besides training on standardisation, we also provide our affiliates with news and information from the standardisation world. Starting from scratch, the ETUC is now participating in over ten different standardisation Technical Committees.