ORPEA and UNI Global Union sign an international agreement on ethical employment, social dialogue, collective bargaining and trade union rights



ORPEA and UNI Global Union sign an international agreement on ethical employment, social dialogue, collective bargaining and trade union rights

– The agreement, which covers 70,000 employees in 23 countries, aims to improve the working conditions of employees and the quality of care provided to residents and patients at ORPEA through enhanced social dialogue and union rights

– It includes strong commitments on employees’ rights, the conditions for productive social dialogue, the fundamental freedoms of trade unions and collective bargaining.

PARIS, April 8, 2022-The ORPEA Group and UNI Global Union met today at the OECD headquarters in Paris for the signing ceremony of a landmark agreement that makes strong commitments to upholding the rights of ORPEA’s 70,000 employees, to the fundamental freedoms of trade unions, as well as to the ability to create the conditions for productive social dialogue and collective bargaining.

This “Global Partnership Agreement on Ethical Employment, Social Dialogue, Collective Bargaining and Trade Union Rights” is the first global agreement of its kind in the healthcare and private retirement facilities sector.

It is based on the mutual recognition that decent working conditions, good training, good wages and respect for workers’ rights have a direct impact on the quality of care offered to residents and patients in the Group’s facilities.

Indeed, the ORPEA Group and UNI Global Union share the conviction that working together with all stakeholders, and in particular with union partners, can help improve working conditions, fight against the shortage of care professionals, and more generally, bring to light new ways of thinking about how to provide better care for residents and patients.

The commitments in the agreement are reinforced by binding arbitration and by securing UNI’s role as a stakeholder in ORPEA’s due diligence process.

“This agreement will unquestionably help thousands-of-workers’ organize for better jobs. Its strong commitments and accountability mechanisms make transforming ORPEA’s labour relations possible,” said Christy HOFFMAN, General Secretary of UNI Global Union. “The long-term care industry is in dire need of reform, and achieving this agreement, in cooperation with ORPEA’s global leadership, is a critical part of that change.”

“This global agreement with UNI is the first building block in social matters of the new ORPEA that we are building. In order to fulfill its essential social mission, ORPEA must ensure the well-being of the people who place their trust in it, as well as that of its employees, and this is what all the Group’s managers are working towards, at all levels of the company.

“This agreement, the first of its kind in the world in our business sector, includes strong commitments. It will help give us new ways to progress. It will enable us to go even further, by sharing more thoughts with our employees, by maintaining and strengthening social dialogue with the social partners in the various countries where ORPEA operates, as well as at a supranational level. This will also call for an evolution of social dialogue in France, the founding country of our Group” said Philippe CHARRIER, Chairman and CEO of the Group.

About UNI Global Union

UNI Global Union is an international trade union federation that brings together workers from more than 150 different countries in the service economy to win better jobs and a better life. It has a long-term commitment to empowering care workers and has supported worker organizing at ORPEA since 2015. UNI has signed more than 50 global agreements and protocols.

About Orpea

Founded in 1989, the ORPEA Group is one of the world’s leading providers of comprehensive care for the elderly (retirement homes, assisted living facilities, medium-term care and mental health clinics, home care).

For more information: matthew.painter(at)uniglobalunion.org. 

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