EPSU and PSI have successfully applied for funding from the European Commission for an 18 month project on trade union training on the internalisation/remunicipalisation of public services. The project runs from August 2022 to January 2024 and provides funding for EPSU and PSI to work with a training provider to develop an online training course for affiliates based on the PSI guide . Reclaiming our public services internally. The final version of the course will be translated into several EU languages and EPSU and PSI will consider funding for other non-EU languages. We start by looking for talented union educators and online training website designers.
The specifications are presented below and in the attached pdf. The deadline for submission is October 14, 2022.
The work is part of project 101048787 supported by the European Commission and presented by EPSU (European Federation of Public Service Unions) and partner PSI (Public Services International).
EPSU and PSI are the European and global union federations representing public service workers and as part of this joint project they want to work with trade union education experts to develop an online course on insourcing – putting services back under public control and management – for the benefit of their local affiliates, their members and the many communities they serve. Some of the key issues to be addressed are addressed in “The Labor Dimension of Remunicipalisation” and Reclaiming our public services internally.
For many years, public sector workers faced the prospect of transfer to the private sector as a result of privatization and outsourcing. Public sector unions have taken steps to monitor and regulate this process and provide training and information to their members so that they are able to protect, as far as possible, their pay and employment conditions. Testimony of the Transnational Institute (The future is public) and the database maintained by the University of Glasgow (Public futures) indicate that there is a tendency to (re)internalize public services for a wide range of reasons. These may include the need for more flexibility and control over the provision of services at no additional cost to the public; continuity of service and resilience in times of crisis (e.g. Covid pandemic); ensuring the quality and equity of services, as better value and universal access can best be achieved through the direct management and provision of services.
Public service workers with decent working conditions are best placed to deliver quality services to users and communities. The transition process whereby the return of outsourced or privatized services to public ownership and management raises a number of challenges and opportunities for public service unions with regard to the preparation and implementation of any outsourcing and what it will mean both for workers’ jobs, pay and terms of employment and the quality of service delivered.
Object of the contract
The main purpose of this contract is for the contractor(s) (joint bids from organizations cooperating to deliver the training and online elements will be considered) to develop an on-demand online training course to support the work of affiliates of EPSU and PSI in relation to the internalisation of public services. The training course will incorporate material from a range of resources (see examples on page four, below), making relevant content available, accessible and usable by unions and workers. The training structure and the system hosting the content must be easy to update so that the online training is sustainable, long-lasting and reaches a maximum of beneficiaries.
Tasks to be performed by the contractor(s)
In consultation with representatives of the EPSU and PSI secretariats – as well as a steering group of their affiliates and allied experts – the contractor(s) will draft a training course based on a range of resources to make it easy for trade unionists to understand the process of internalising and develop strategies that cover lobbying, campaigning and negotiations and tackle key challenges, while strengthening the role of trade unions and ensuring working conditions decent conditions and quality services during the transition.
The aim will be to focus on elements that can be addressed internationally while allowing affiliates to adapt the course to incorporate national specificities relating to their industrial relations systems and legal frameworks.
EPSU and PSI will provide relevant sources of research and information on internalising their own work and that of their affiliates. They will expect the contractor(s) to use the PSI report as a particular reference, Reclaiming our public services internally, which is based on over 50 case studies and provides an analysis of the context of insourcing as well as the process itself and its impact on the quality of service as well as the job quality of workers providing the service. The guide features a 57-point checklist, divided into nine sub-headings that can help structure the training course covering: privatized service mapping; breach of contract versus non-renewal; build political and community support for internalization; launch a campaign ; managing the public service; building a shared vision of internalized public services; dealing with private companies; preparing for a just transition for workers; and ensuring longer-term internalization.
The online course should also reference and link to Public Futures, the only global database on the deprivatization of public service delivery established through a partnership between the Transnational Institute and the University of Glasgow, as well as to the collaboration of PSI Global Union. Water remunicipalisation cases began to be collected by TNI and a global network of partners from 2007 to 2015. The project then expanded to collect cases in other sectors between 2016 and 2020. Since inception of the Public Futures Database, which was publicly launched in February 2021, activists and researchers from a total of sixteen organizations were involved in the data collection process. These are then checked by the database team.
The contractor(s) will develop the structure and content of the course and provide the technical support and platform for its use. The contractor(s) will provide a fully accessible online course ready for use by local trade unionists. The type of platform will be agreed with EPSU and PSI after discussion between the parties. EPSU and PSI will have the possibility to continuously evaluate and adapt the platform and the educational content to ensure that they meet the objective of the project. The contractor(s) will be responsible for the technical development and uploading of the online course.
The contractor(s) will be required to demonstrate experience in designing online training courses for a multilingual international trade union audience within budget and timeframe.
The aim will be to name the contractor(s) by the end of October 2022 and development work on the course is expected to start no later than early December 2022. Initial development work is expected to run from December 2022 to June 2023 when a series of meetings will be organized with EPSU/PSI affiliates to evaluate and test the training course. Depending on the exact timing of these meetings, the contractor(s) will then have time (at least two months, September and October 2023) to make revisions so that the final version of the course is available from November 2023, which will allow time for translation before the end of the project in January 2024.
EPSU and PSI will be in regular contact with the contractor(s) throughout the project and will require updates and adaptations on progress to ensure that the timetable is respected and that the project objectives are achieved.
The maximum funding for this work is EUR 50,000 (all taxes included). The travel and accommodation costs of the contractor(s) to attend any of the project events and meet the project partners will be covered separately from the overall project travel and accommodation budget.
EPSU will sign a contract with the contractor(s) and payments will be made in three instalments depending on which contractor(s) carry out the relevant stages of the work in accordance with the contract.
The first payment of 20% of the contract value upon signature of the contract, a further payment of 40% of the contract value upon completion of the first draft of the course which is expected to be available for evaluation from June 2023, and a final payment of 40% on completion of the works, due in November 2023. The second and third payments will depend on the contractor(s) delivering the course upon approval by the project steering committee.
The contract will be awarded to the tenderer whose offer represents the best value for money – taking into account the criteria indicated above under the heading Expertise required. The principles of transparency and equal treatment to avoid any conflict of interest will be respected.
Content and presentation of offers
Tenders must be written in English. Tenders should clearly indicate under specific headings how the contractor meets the selection criteria – the ability to produce e-learning material for a multilingual trade union audience on time and within budget. Tenders should be submitted to EPSU ([email protected]; cc [email protected] and [email protected]) by 14 October 2022.
This list includes examples of the type of material that will help shape the content of the training course and is in addition to the sources mentioned (with links) in the text above.
Cibrario, D, Nagata, M., Local Public Services and Trade Unions through the Covid Pandemic: The Case of Welfare Care – Kempen (Belgium), PSI (2022)
Cibrario, D, Nagata, Local Public Services and Trade Unions through the Covid Pandemic: The Case of the Community Call (Ireland), PSI 2022
Rossetti, M. De Ferreira, N, et al, LOCAL PUBLIC SERVICES IN CRISIS MODE: ADAPTATION OF GOVERNANCE MODELS TO EXCEPTIONAL TIMES Emergency Governance for Cities and Regions, UCLG-Metropolis-LSE Cities (2022)
Cibrario, D. Remunicipalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic, PSI 2021
Pearson, B., Paul, F., Cumbers, A., Stegemann, L., Public Futures Database Report, March 2021
Cibrario, D Strong public and social housing services: a key asset in curbing global pandemics, PSI (2020)
APSE, Rebuilding capacities. The Case for Insourcing Public Contracts, UK (2019)
Cibrario, D, Ciambra, A., SDG 11 – Addressing the Challenges of Global Urbanization: Flagship Local Government Initiatives to Achieve the SDGs, PSI-UCLG 2019
UNITE Better Public Services: A Unite Toolkit for Insourcing in Local Government (2019)
Satoko, K. et al Reclaiming Public Services: How cities and citizens are turn back privatisation, TNI, PSI, PSIRU etc., (2017)
Columbia Institute/CUPE, COMING HOME: Why local governments are bringing services home (2016)
Hall, D., WHY PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS DON’T WORK. The many advantages of the public alternative, PSIRU-PSI (2015)