Communication from the General Secretary

Dear Colleagues, 

I hope you are all well. Before the summer We were locked in our homes to try to stop the contagion of this terrible virus that was causing high mortality in Europe and the world, especially among the elderly and especially among those living in nursing homes.  

In the months leading up to the summer, the pandemic affected European countries unevenly. This gave rise to a debate within the Union on the measures to be taken to contain the spread of the contagion. Some countries argued that the ‘lockdown’ was too drastic a measure, which would have affected the European economy and individual countries too severely. 

However, most of us were convinced that in order to overcome the pandemic, it was necessary to respect the rules issued by individual countries. We faced the period of closure with such determination and solidarity that we hoped that what was happening would not be repeated.  

However, what we hoped for did not happen: we are experiencing the second wave, the virus is spreading all over the world and is also strongly affecting those countries that had doubts about the lockdown in the spring, demonstrating that to defeat the virus we need a united Europe with solidarity.  

Now more than ever we must not let our guard down. So I invite you to live your days with caution and attention, to continue to face this period with determination and solidarity, leaving no room for resignation or anger, which is what is happening in many countries. 

Given the economic resources made available by the European Union, we must continue to demand strong investment in public health and services, long-term care, home care, in order to have efficient and quality services, support and care for all citizens, especially the most vulnerable such as the elderly. It is also necessary to secure and reform social and health care residential facilities for the elderly.  

We must also reject proposals for forced confinement of older people at home or in nursing homes as a measure to prevent the risk of contagion, as older people have the same rights as other citizens and should therefore be protected with all the care they need. Moreover, forced confinement would not only exacerbate the sense of loneliness that already exists among older people living alone, but it would also increase the risk of falling ill with other diseases, without the possibility of receiving appropriate care.  

Care must also be taken to ensure that the severe economic damage that the pandemic is causing does not affect older people and their pensions. We must reject any attempt to reduce social and welfare spending.  

In November , after the technical problems of connection and translation have been solved, after 11 months we will be able to meet again, even if only virtually. It will be an opportunity to exchange our experiences over the last few months; to try to define a path that can strengthen Ferpa role; to develop targeted demands towards the European institutions that can be useful to individual organisations.  

Dear colleagues, we hope that this ugly and long period will soon be over so that we can see each other in person, because in our work as trade union leaders, personal relationships are an indispensable factor. 

Jessica, Henri and I send you a big hug. 

Agostino SICILIANO 

General Secretary

Let’s break the silence! 25/11/20

Letter from Mireille Paume, President of the Women Committee, on the occasion of November 25th, International Day against Violence against Women.

Dear Colleagues,

This year, how can we make our voices heard to speak out against violence against women?

This 25 November should not be without a demonstration to alert, demand and raise women’s voices, reminding us that violence has never been more present than during this pandemic.

Eradicating violence against women must become a major cause. We are not only a population at risk because of COVID, we are also a population at risk because of the violence that women suffer.

The measures taken are not up to the challenge, given the increase in violence.

Since we can’t get together or go out in the streets to demonstrate or hold conferences, let’s use social networks to continue the fight.

I suggest that you post the attache post on your facebook, instagram or any other medium at your disposal and add the post from your respective countries.

Via social networks, let’s make November 25th a great day of European demonstration.

Photograph – you with signs, demands and say STOP to violence and say YES to a European charter to deal with violence against women everywhere in the world.

Let’s be inventive so that women’s voices are heard.

Relay the initiatives in your countries.

Sincerely yours,

 

Mireille PAUME

President of the FERPA Women’s Committee”

Solidarity message from Ferpa General Secretary, Agostino Siciliano to the Secretary General of Epsu, Jan Willem Goudriaa

Solidarity message from Ferpa General Secretary, Agostino Siciliano to the Secretary General of Epsu, Jan Willem Goudriaa

Dear General Secretary ,Dear Jan,

The Federation you represent will carry out a mobilization action in the last week of this month in order to claim the right of health and social services workers to have efficient and safe working conditions and an increase in their salaries in a sector that has suffered at great cost from the austerity policies promoted in recent years by Europe and the governments of the various countries. 

FERPA, the European Federation of Retired and Elderly People, is in solidarity with the mobilisation of EPSU, which will take place during the current strong recovery of contagion in several European countries. We believe that, in addition to the applause received during the first phase of the pandemic, the workers in health and social services now deserve the right recognition for their important work, which they do every day giving health care to millions of people, especially the elderly, who are the most vulnerable category.

Ther FERPA-EPSU joint signature letters we sent to the European institutions, in which we denounced what was happening in Europe to health care workers and the elderly, particularly those living in nursing homes, because of the pandemic, have had some interesting responses that we will use to support our claims. Efficient public health care, even long-term, residential and home care, with adequate investment and economic resources, is to be considered a universal right, as it is a fundamental sector for health protection.  For this reason we express all our solidarity with your claim. We agree with you, in order to face this second wave of pandemic, it is necessary to have motivated health and social workers who can continue to carry out their work in safe conditions and with adequate remuneration, eliminating the gender pay gap in female-dominated sectors, in order to offer all European citizens and especially the elderly quality care and services.

At the ETUC EXCO on 23 September, I too spoke highlighting the initiative of the FERPA/EPSU letters to the European institutions and the replies received and asked the ETUC to pay more attention to this important sector. Following my speech, Secretary General Luca Visentini undertook to involve FERPA and EPSU directly whenever the ETUC addressed these issues. Please extend our solidarity to all the trade union organisations that are members of your Federation.

I hope to see you soon.

Best Regards,

Agostino SICILIANO

General Secretary of FERPA

 

Joint letter from Ferpa and Epsu to the Council of Europe

Brussels, 17 June 2020
Dear President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Dear Mr. Rik Daems
Dear General Secretary, dear Mrs Marija Pejčinović Burić
The pandemic has caused havoc in Europe with many people infected and hospitalised. Mortality
has been high and especially among the elderly as well as among those workers providing care. Continue reading Joint letter from Ferpa and Epsu to the Council of Europe

Letter from Ferpa’s General Secretary and Women’s Commitee President to Ursula von der Leyen

Ferpa’s General Secretary Agostino Siciliano and Ferpa’s Women’s Committee President Mireille Paume have written a letter to the President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in an attempt to bring to the attention of the Commission the consequences that a delay on the implementation of the Pay Transparency Directive would cause on Gender Equality: Continue reading Letter from Ferpa’s General Secretary and Women’s Commitee President to Ursula von der Leyen

Davide Sassoli President of the European Parliament: “It’s essential for Europe to guarantee autonomy and social participation for the elderly” 5-6 december 2019

European Parlament President Davide Sassoli couldn’t participate at the Ferpa’s Executivee Comittee due to important institutional commitments, Continue reading Davide Sassoli President of the European Parliament: “It’s essential for Europe to guarantee autonomy and social participation for the elderly” 5-6 december 2019