Ensuring a Just Transition of the Private Security Services: CoESS and UNI Europa adopt new Work Programme

Ensuring a Just Transition of the Private Security Services: CoESS and UNI Europa adopt new Work Programme

With their new Work Programme, CoESS and UNI Europa do not only continue their 30 year long relationship of trust and collaboration in European Sectoral Social Dialogue for the Private Security Services. They commit to tackle today’s most pressing challenges to the sector jointly. While skills and labour shortages are clearly high on the agenda, the Social Partners continue to address systemic challenges to the sustainability of the industry – empowering national Social Partners to manage the manifold drivers of change and their impact on workers and businesses.

 The new Work Programme of European Sectoral Social Partners in the Private Security Services, CoESS and UNI Europa, stands in the light of anticipating and managing change for workers and businesses.

The past years have shown a growing recognition of private security as an essential service – most recently during the Covid-19 pandemic, which further pushed market demand for the integration of technologies in traditional services.

Unfortunately, the industry faces in many EU Member States a lack of translating this recognition in better regulation and procurement practices that reward quality working conditions over lowest cost.

What comes on top is the economic pressure on entire business segments, such as the ongoing “War on Cash” on Cash-in-Transit and the Covid-19 pandemic’s repercussions on aviation and event security.

These issues, which could be solved in many countries by regulatory action of competent authorities and better implementation of EU procurement law, exacerbate challenges such as growing labour and skills shortages.

With their new Work Programme, CoESS and UNI Europa commit to jointly address these challenges with the ultimate goal of strengthening national Social Partners.

Our new Work Programme will support national Social Partners in shaping a just transition of the private security services during times of change, serving both workers and companies”, comments Eduardo Cobas Urcelay, Chairman of the CoESS Social Dialogue Committee. “I’m thankful to our members and UNI Europa for the continued joint commitment to tackle structural challenges in the sector and Social Dialogue: translating the recognition of private security as an essential service in better public procurement practices, EU policies and national regulation for the benefit of high-quality services and working conditions. Only together can we develop just solutions for developments that impact the future sustainability of our sector – such as low-cost focused procurement, labour shortages and integration of new technologies in services. Our ambitious Work Programme is a witness of the highly productive European Sectoral Social Dialogue and collaborative relationship with UNI Europa. With this roadmap, we will continue to strengthen Social Partners at national level and promote quality in our industry.

Mark Bergfeld, Director of Property Services at UNI Europa adds: “The current Work Programme of the Social Dialogue in Private Security is the product of more than twenty years of cooperation, trust building and above all mutual recognition. The Covid-19 crisis has strengthened this partnership and has enabled us to address some of the most pressing issues of the day, such as undeclared work, low-cost public procurement and the war on cash. It is our hope that this Social Dialogue Work Programme will help us to create a direct positive impact on workers in the sector and create an equal playing field for companies.”

The new Work Programme builds on past activities, such as the Cash Roundtables, and the EU-funded Social Partner projects of CoESS and UNI Europa – particularly in the fields of skills and procurement (see the EU-funded Best Value Guide, the Anticipating Change Study, as well as ongoing projects such as INTEL and PROCURFAIR).

CoESS and UNI Europa further commit to continue work on occupational health and safety – including an evaluation of the OiRA-tool which they jointly developed a few years ago. Also, joint engagement with EU institutions on ongoing legal dossiers, such as the Directive on the Resilience of Critical Entities, remains on the agenda.

The new Work Programme can be found here.


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