Since 1992, the European Trade Union Federation for Services and Skills, UNI Europa, and CoESS are actively involved in the European Sectoral Social Dialogue for the private security services sector. They discuss dossiers of mutual interest and importance and take joint action at European level. This has allowed them to build up mutual trust and confidence and, more importantly, to regard each other as genuine and representative partners with a common interest in moving the sector forward in a way that benefits both companies and workers.
UNI Europa is the European trade union federation uniting trade unions organising in services and skills sectors in 50 different countries. It is part of UNI Global Union. With over 320 affiliated trade union organisations, UNI Europa represents 7 million workers.
Based in Brussels, UNI Europa is the European trade union sectoral social partner for various service sectors including: cleaning, private security, commerce, finance, gaming, graphical and packaging, hair and beauty, IT and services, media, entertainment and arts, post and logistics, social insurance, sport, telecom, tourism and temp and agency workers. The members of UNI Europa are the national trade union organisations, which have members in these fields of activity.
UNI Europa’s mission includes the exchange of information and coordination between trade unions, developing Social Dialogue with employers’ organisations at European level, facilitating contacts between trade unions and European Institutions and promoting the development of Social Dialogue at company level through European Works Councils (EWCs). There are over 800 EWCs in operation, with 14.5 million employees. Around 200 of them are wholly or jointly coordinated by UNI Europa.
UNI Europa’s priorities for the private security services sector include: continuous development of the training of workers, improvement of health and safety standards and of career opportunities, definition of decent social standards in all European countries, conciliation between private and working life and development of negotiation at all levels on questions related to the modernisation of the organisation of work.
DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion – European Commission
Social Dialogue and consultation are key elements of the European model of society. The European Treaties recognise this since they mandate the European Commission to promote Social Dialogue and provide for consultation moments and procedures with the European social partners on social initiatives.
This partnership approach is evident both at cross-sectoral and at sectoral level, including in the private security services sector. Positive outcomes have been achieved in 36 branches throughout Europe.
For the European Commission, Social Dialogue is the required procedure for managing change at all these levels. Focal point is employment, where it – together with the European social partners – seeks new ways of striking a balance between flexibility and job security in the labour market focusing on key issues such as lifelong learning and training, prerequisites for the further development of a knowledge-based society, and anticipating changes which will affect all companies and sectors.
In a concrete way, the European Commission provides logistics for the European Sectoral Social Dialogue meetings (meeting room, translation, reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses) and allows European social partners to benefit from subsidies in order to develop and implement actions and initiatives.
Operation of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue
At regular intervals, both UNI Europa and CoESS meet in Brussels in the framework of their Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee, presided by the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion). These meetings can be plenary meetings with a full representation of the majority of UNI Europa’s and CoESS’ affiliates, working group meetings (restricted meetings on specific issues) or Secretariat meetings. The agenda of each of these meetings is jointly set and approved.
The Social Dialogue has inherent mechanisms and progresses along a well-established pattern. Upon the initiative of one of the parties, a specific issue is set on the agenda. Political discussions then take place. If a joint understanding can be reached on the issue, a common vision is put into place and elaborated through (a) specific action(s). This process is politically and financially supported by the European Commission.
Joint CoESS/UNI Europa Working Programme
The European Sectoral Social Dialogue Plenary Meeting jointly agrees on a Working Programme, which identifies a number of priorities and objectives to be pursued. Please click to consult the latest Working Programme for 2012-2013 EN ES FR IT
Since the start of their European Sectoral Social Dialogue, CoESS and UNI Europa have adopted an impressive list of joint texts and declarations on a series of important issues for the sector. Negotiating these texts has not always been straightforward. Nevertheless, CoESS and UNI Europa have always been able to reach a common understanding.
Below, please find an overview of the texts that have been developed and adopted so far. To consult documents in PDF format, you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader© programme. In case you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader© software installed on your system, please click here to download the most recent version.
General documents: formal issues
Agreement between CoESS and Euro-FIET (now: UNI Europa) with a view to setting up a Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the private security sector (15-12-1998) EN
Joint declaration on the mutual recognition of CoESS and Euro-FIET (now: UNI Europa) and the Social Dialogue (10-06-1999) EN
Rules of procedure of the Social Dialogue Committee in the private security sector (15-12-2006) EN
General documents: basic principles
The challenges and results of the Social Dialogue in the private security sector (May 2002) EL EN ES ET FI FR HU LT NL PT SV
Joint declaration by CoESS and UNI Europa ‘Towards a European Model of Private Security’ (15-10-2004) DA DE EN ES FR IT
Vocational training in the European security industry (25-09-1996) DE EN FR
European Educational Toolkit for three Private Security Activities/Profiles: Mobile Patrolling, Alarm Response Centres, Airport Security (November 2006) EN RO
Joint CoESS and UNI Europa European Autonomous Agreement on the Content of Initial Training for CIT Staff carrying out Professional Cross-Border Transportation of Euro Cash by Road between Euro-Area Member States (24-11-2010) EN
Organisation of work
Memorandum of CoESS and Euro-FIET (now: UNI Europa) on the award of contracts to private security companies in the public sector (10-06-1999) DE EN FR
Joint CoESS and UNI Europa Best Value Manual: ‘A Manual for Organisations Awarding Contracts for Guarding Services’ (10-06-1999)
UNI Europa and CoESS joint position against undeclared work in the private security sector (06-04-2006) EN FR
Joint declaration by UNI Europa, EFFAT, ETUF-TCL and CoESS, FERCO, EFCI and EURATEX ‘Towards responsible awarding of contracts’ (18-04-2008)
Joint statement by CoESS and UNI Europa on Socially Responsible Public Procurement (30-06-2011) EN
Health and safety
Preventing Occupational Hazards in the Private Security Sector (manned guarding and surveillance services) (July 2004) EN FR HU
Joint declaration by CoESS and UNI Europa on work-related stress (09-06-2008) EN
- Joint declaration by EPSU, UNI Europa, ETUCE, HOSPEEM, CEMR, EFEE, EuroCommerce and CoESS ‘Multisectoral Guidelines to Tackle Third Party Violence and Harassment Related to Work’ (30-09-2010) DE EN ES FR RU SV
Joint declaration by CoESS and Euro-FIET (now: UNI Europa) on the future enlargement of the European Union to include the Central and Eastern European Countries (11-06-1999) DE EN FR
Appeal of the social partners to the National Administrations of the Baltic Countries (22-03-2006) EN ET LT LV
Joint projects, conferences and initiatives
CoESS and UNI Europa have also elaborated an important number of joint projects and initiatives resulting in the development of (training) manuals, toolkits and other materials to the benefit of the sector as a whole. They have organised a large number of awareness-raising conferences and campaigns aimed at further promoting the outcomes of these initiatives.
Please find an overview of the projects, conferences and initiatives that have been organised and/or developed and adopted so far in the events section.
The members of the CoESS Working Committee Social Dialogue are experts in their field and have been delegated by their respective national CoESS member federations to partake in this Working Committee. The Working Committee Social Dialogue prepares the different dossiers both UNI Europa and CoESS discuss and elaborate in the framework of their joint European Sectoral Social Dialogue for the private security services sector.