A new report by Jane Lethbridge, Ian Greer, Lefteris Kretsos, Charles Umney, and Geoff White has been published by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions (EUROFOUND). In ‘Industrial relations in central public administration: Recent trends and features’, we provide a 27-country comparison of strains on industrial relations across Europe’s public sector. We find that austerity has not only put pressure on workers terms and conditions of employment but also produced a deterioration in the quality of social dialogue.
The report maps current developments in industrial relations systems in the central public administration sector in all EU Member States except Croatia. The report explores to what extent there is formal industrial relations processes within the sector, including the organisation of unions and employer representatives, and the role of collective bargaining and consultation. It also examines the specific features of the sector in terms of both industrial relations processes and worker outcomes and charts reforms that have been carried out since 2008: changes in collective bargaining and in the balance of negotiation versus unilateral imposition of change by the employer, and the responses of trade unions. Finally, the report addresses the role of the social partners regarding the outcomes for employees of the recent austerity measures on issues such as wages, job security, working time and pensions.