WISUTIL (2010 – 2011)

Project name: WageIndicator support for trade union bargaining in Europe
Lead Partner: University of Amsterdam / AIAS (NL)
Partners: EPSU (BE), FORBA Vienna (AT), WageIndicator Foundation (NL)
Associate partners:  - 
Funded by: European Commission - Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue Program, Budget Heading (No. VP/2010/001/0182)
Duration: 01 November 2010 - 01 November 2011
Aims: The WISUTIL project aims at collecting a wide range of data on pay and conditions in the energy, water and waste utilities across Europe. The project is being co-ordinated by the AIAS institute at the University of Amsterdam who will be responsible for compiling a report analysing the findings from the data collection.
Publications: WISUTIL Final Project Report
Outcomes: Based on the WageIndicator web survey, wages in utilities in three of 13 countries (Italy, Spain, UK) turn out to be widely dispersed. In all 13 countries covered the median wages are highest for energy, followed by water, and lowest for waste, though the differences between the sub-sectors vary largely by country. Apart from Spain, median wages in utilities are higher in the private sector than in the public sector; also the private-public differences vary largely by country. Not unexpectedly, the median wages of the group managers, professionals and technicians are higher (5 to 40%) than those of the group craft workers, operators and unskilled workers, but it may be surprising that in 10 of 13 countries the median wages of the latter group were higher (2-17%) than those of the group clerical staff and sales persons.
Events: * WISUTIL final conference, 39 participants, Vienna, 26-27 September 2011


The WISUTIL project, in collaboration with FORBA, organized a conference in Vienna on 26-27 September 2011; to discuss the findings of the project. 

These documents are related to the conference:

 Conference information:


Do you work in the energy, water or waste sectors?

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WUSITIL Project overview

WageIndicator support for bargaining in the utilities sector (WISUTIL) is a joint project of the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), the research institutes University of Amsterdam/AIAS and FORBA/Vienna, and the WageIndicator Foundation. It is a one-year project, funded under the EU budget heading Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue. It ran formally from November 1, 2010 - October 31, 2011. Before the formal start, EPSU affiliates were required to undertake some promotional activities.

The WISUTIL project aims to clarify the impact of current developments in the utilities sector, notably market liberalisation, privatisation, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and technological change, on wages, working conditions, occupational structures and skills, and workers’ representation in the European Union. The project covers employment in both public and private companies in the electricity, gas, water and sewerage and waste sub-sectors. The continuous WageIndicator web-survey allows WISUTIL to conduct cross-country analyses on these issues, focusing on 21 EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. In many of these countries, WageIndicator websites have already been in operation for some years; in the remaining countries they were operational by mid-September 2010. In all these countries, the websites and the web-survey are in the national language(s).

The EPSU affiliates in the countries mentioned above have been requested to promote the web-survey among their membership in utilities, and of course among all others working in this industry. When visiting the WageIndicator website in the country at stake, visitors are invited to complete the survey. The survey contains questions on occupation, wages and benefits, working hours, working conditions, and workplace characteristics, as well as a few personal characteristics, such as education, age, gender, and household composition. The survey includes a question on the name of the company; here the web-visitor is presented a list of large utilities companies in the country at stake, as well as an option “Other, .....” and an option “Prefer not to say”. A large response to the company question has allowed specific analyses on wages, working hours and working conditions across companies.

It is of vital importance for the success of WISUTIL that the national websites attract as many utilities workers as possible. Therefore the EPSU affiliates have been requested to draw attention to these websites as often as possible, and to use the variety of media at their disposal on this behalf. The promotion period is from October 1, 2010 – July 31, 2011. The survey data coming in until July 31, 2011, has been analysed. The results have been presented and discussed at the conference held in Vienna on 26 & 27 September 2011. Of course, all results are posted on the WageIndicator website. The contact persons of the EPSU affiliates have been informed monthly about the number of completed questionnaires in the respective countries.

For more information about WISUTIL, please contact Maarten van Klaveren, researcher at the University of Amsterdam/AIAS,

WISUTIL documents

WISUTIL newsletter 1 Sept 2010 (pdf 115 kB)

WISUTIL newsletter 2 Jan 2011 (pdf 170 kB)

WISUTIL newsletter 3 March 2011 (160 kB)

WISUTIL events

The results of the WISUTIL project have been presented and discussed at a conference held in Vienna on 26 & 27 September 2011.

The first meeting of the partners to discuss the outline of the project was held in Brussels on 8 December 2010. The second meeting took place in Amsterdam on 12 May 2011.

WISUTIL national questionnaire websites



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