EPSU-PSI Call for tender: online training on in-sourcing public services

PSI and EPSU are launching a call for tenders to provide an online training course on the impact on workers and services of insourcing public services.

EPSU and PSI have successfully applied for funding from the European Commission for an 18-month project on a trade union training on the insourcing/re-municipalisation of public services. The project runs from August 2022 to January 2024 and provides funds for EPSU and PSI to work with a training provider to develop an online training course for affiliates based on PSI's guide Taking our public services back in house. The final version of the course will be translated into several EU languages and EPSU and PSI will consider funding for additional non-EU languages. We are starting out by looking for talented labour educators and online training web-designers.

The tender specifications are set out below and in the attached pdf. The deadline for submissions is 14 October 2022.

 Background

The work is part of project 101048787 supported by the European Commission and introduced by EPSU (European Federation of Public Service Unions) and its partner PSI (Public Services International). 

EPSU and PSI are the European and global trade union federations representing public service workers and in this joint project they want to work with experts in trade union training to develop an online course on insourcing – the bringing of services back under public control and management – to the benefit of their local affiliates, their members and the many communities that they serve. Some of the key issues to be addressed are covered in “The labour dimension of remunicipalisation” and Taking our public services back in house

Over many years public sector workers have faced the prospect of transfer to the private sector as a result of privatisation and outsourcing. Public sector trade unions have taken steps to monitor and regulate this process and provide training and information to their members so that they able to protect, as far as possible, their pay and employment conditions. Evidence from the Transnational Institute (The future is public) and the database maintained by the University of Glasgow (Public futures) indicates that there is a trend towards bringing public services (back) in-house for a wide range of reasons. These can include the need for more flexibility and control over service provision at no extra cost to the public; service continuation and resilience at times of crises (e.g. the Covid pandemic); ensuring quality and equity of service because better value and universal access can be best delivered through direct management and provision of services. 

Public service workers enjoying decent working conditions are best placed to deliver quality services to users and communities. The transition process that the return of outsourced or privatised services to public ownership and management raises a number of challenges and opportunities for public service trade unions in relation to the lead up to and implementation of any insourcing and what this will mean both for workers' jobs, pay and employment conditions and for the quality of service provided. 

Purpose of the contract

The main aim of this contract is for the contractor or contractors (joint bids from organisations co-operating to deliver the training and online elements will be considered) to develop an online training course on-demand to support the work of EPSU and PSI affiliates in relation to the insourcing of public services. The training course will incorporate material from a range of resources (see examples on page four, below), making relevant contents available, accessible and usable by trade unions and workers. The training structure and system hosting the content should be easy to update so that the online training is long-lasting, sustainable and will reach a maximum audience of beneficiaries.

 Tasks to be performed by the Contractor(s)

In consultation with representatives of the secretariats of EPSU and PSI – together with a steering group of their affiliates and allied experts – the contractor(s) will draft a training course based on a range of resources that enables trade unionists to easily understand the process of insourcing and develop strategies that cover lobbying, campaigning and negotiating and that tackle key challenges, while strengthening the role of trade unions and ensuring decent working conditions and quality services in the transition.

 The aim will be to focus on those elements that can be addressed at international level while allowing space for affiliates to adapt the course to integrate national specificities relating to their industrial relations systems and legal frameworks. 

EPSU and PSI will provide relevant sources of research and information on insourcing from their own work and that of their affiliates. They will expect the contractor(s) to use as a particular reference the PSI report, Taking our public services back in house, which is based on over 50 case studies and provides analysis of the background to insourcing as well as the process itself and how it can impact on the quality of service as well as the quality of employment of the workers providing the service. The guide has a 57-point checklist, divided into nine sub-headings that can help provide a structure to the training course covering: mapping the privatised service; contract termination versus non-renewal; building political and community support for insourcing; running a campaign; running the public service; building a shared vision for insourced public services; dealing with private companies; preparing a fair workers’ transition; and ensuring insourcing for the longer term.

 The online training should also refer and link to Public Futures, the only global de-privatisation database on public service provision established through a partnership between the Transnational Institute and the University of Glasgow, as well as the collaboration of PSI Global Union. Cases of water remunicipalisation began to be gathered by TNI and a global network of partners from 2007 until 2015. The project then expanded to collect cases in other sectors between 2016-20. Since the establishment of the Public Futures Database, which was launched publicly in February 2021, activists and researchers from a total of sixteen organisations have been involved in the data collection process. These are then verified 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 deliver a fully accessible online course, ready to use by local trade unionists. The type of platform will be agreed with EPSU and PSI upon discussion between the parties. EPSU and PSI will have opportunities to assess and adapt the platform and the pedagogical contents on an ongoing basis to ensure it meets the objective of the project. The contractor(s) will be responsible for the technical development and upload of the online course.

 Expertise required

The contractor(s) will need to demonstrate their experience of designing online training courses for an international, multi-lingual trade union audience within budget and on time.

 Timetable

The aim will be to appoint the contractor(s) by the end of October 2022 and work should start on developing the course no later than the beginning of December 2022. The initial development work should run from December 2022 to June 2023 when a series of meetings will be organised involving 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 (a minimum of two months, September and October 2023) to make revisions so that the final version of the course is available from November 2023, allowing time for translation before the project ends 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 adhered to and the project targets met.

 Price

The maximum funding for this work is EUR 50.000 (all taxes included). The travel and accommodation expenses for the contractor(s) to attend any of the project events and meet with the project partners will be covered separately from the overall travel and accommodation budget of the project.

 Payments

EPSU will sign a contract with the contractor(s) and payments will be made in three instalments depending on the contractor(s) carrying out the relevant stages of the work in accordance with the contract.

 The first payment of 20% of the contract value on the contract's signature, a further payment of 40% of the contract value on completion of the first draft of the course that should be available for evaluation as of June 2023, and a final payment of 40% upon completion of the work, due in November 2023. The second and third payments will depend on the contractor(s) delivering the course to the approval of the project steering committee.

 Award criteria

The contract will be awarded to the tenderer whose offer represents the best value for money – taking into account the criteria indicated above under Expertise Required. The principles of transparency and equal treatment to avoid any conflict of interest will be respected.

 Content and presentation of the bids

Tenders must be written in English.  The bids should set out clearly under specific headings showing how the contractor meets the selection criteria – the ability to produce online training material for a multilingual trade union audience in time and on budget. The bids should be submitted to EPSU (ppanzeri@epsu.org; cc rpond@epsu.org and daria.cibrario@world-psi.org) by 14 October 2022.

 Relevant resources

This list includes examples of the kind 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.