Thursday, 14 June 2012

Age management: The trade union response


From Mon-Weds this week I spent an immensely rewarding time at the final dissemination event which marked the end of the GFTU's successful SAATT (supporting active ageing through training) project.

Representatives of the partners from the GFTU's SAATT project
at the Raseborg Institute 12-13th June 2012
We were hosted at the Raseborg Institute by the project's Finnish partners, the largest public sector union in Finland, JHL ( The Institute is an incredibly impressive educational and leisure facility owned by JHL and located in the south of Finland near the town of Karis.

Attending the event were representatives of all the project partners: EKA, the Athens Labour Centre, the Professional Staff Asssociation of the World Food Programme and COMMUNITAS the education and training arm of COMMUNITY.

At the heart of the project, funded by the European Commission's social dialogue strand, was a focus on the employment, economic and health needs of older workers facing retirement, employment past retirement age or a mixture of both. The project developed two training programmes one aimed at TU reps (including on online version) and focused on the primary collective bargaining areas around the concept of 'age management' and a programeme aimed at individual TU members which includes an element on diet and nutrition in later life.

The project is set within the context of an ageing Europe and where across EU member states the default retirement age is being withdrawn.

The project benefited from expert input from nutritional specialists from within the World Food Programme, and in particular Ann Callinan who spoke at the Finland event. So, whilst this particular project has concluded we are left with valuable training resources available to project partners and affiliates of the GFTU.

Tiina Saarelam of the Finnish
Institute of Occupational Health introducing
the FIOH approach to age power at work

Sirpa Puolakka of the WEA in Finland delivered
a session on the creation of well-being at work

A big thanks to Riitta Vehovaara of JHL for supporting
project activity in Finland and organsing the
June event
Ann Callinan of the WFP takes delegates through her resources
on diet and nutrition for trade union members

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