The BTUI has a long experience dealing with time use policies. It continues with the legacy of the Catalan Initiative for Schedules Reform (Iniciativa per la Reforma Horària), created in 2013 and publicly presented at a ceremony on 29th January, 2014 at the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona. Its aim was to lay down the foundations, raise awareness and draw up a schedules reform in Catalonia within the period 2014-2017. For doing so, it
Javier Albares, Sleep Medicine Specialist (Teknon Sleep Clinic)
Assumpta Baig, Teacher (Health and Family Organization)
Sara Berbel, Social Psychologist (Barcelona City Council)
Salvador Cardús, Sociologist (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
Lluís Casado, Consultant (Grupo Mediterraneo Consultores)
Trinidad Cambras, Professor (University of Barcelona)
Núria Chinchilla, Professor (IESE Business School)
Anna Ginés, Professor (ESADE-Ramon Llull University)
Josep Ginesta, Labour specialist (Government of Catalonia)
Elvira Méndez, Director General (Health and Family Organization)
Fabian Mohedano, Labour specialist and Initiative Promoter
Jordi Ojeda, Profesor (University of Barcelona)
Mercè Otero Vidal, Professor (Ca La Dona)
Cristina Sánchez-Miret, Sociologist (University of Girona)
Esther Sánchez, Human Resources Manager and President (Advisory Board for The Time Use Reform)
Elena Sintes, Sociologist (Jaume Bofill Foundation)
The Catalan Government expressed its support towards such an initiative by approving a government agreement on 18th March, 2014. With such a support, the Initiative began working in reports on the use of time, with a main focus in Catalan schedules. Between 2014 and 2015, awareness actions and effectiveness of new schedules were tested in over 20 companies, organisations, and municipalities, reaching out even the Catalan Parliament — the first public institution to implement working hours proposed by the Initiative.
Schedules reform gained momentum afterwards, with the Catalan Government asking the Initiative’s Expert Group to become an Advisory Board for Schedules Reform (Consell Assessor per la Reforma Horària) within the Catalan Presidency Department, on 15th July 2015. The Board’s new mission was to steer a collective dialogue on schedules reform, which was carried out through different tools:
- Within the Catalan Committee for Labour Relations, a new framework for working times was adopted on 22nd September 2016: “Steering Labour Agreement for Schedules Reform. 10 objectives for collective bargaining” (Acord d’impuls laboral de la reforma horària. 10 objectius per a la negociació col·lectiva).
- Publication on 4th November 2016 of the “Inventory for Schedules Reform” (Inventari per la Reforma Horària), a self-assessment tool for organisations to check their use of time.
- Informative meetings, conferences, and participatory processes with social partners throughout the region, and specifically in twelve different municipalities.
- Creation on 18 January 2017 of the Cities and Towns Network for Schedules Reform, an organisation aimed at promoting changes in schedules from local governments point of view. Municipalities were recognised as key partners for promoting better working hours.
On 17th July 2017, organisations coming from civil society, key social stakeholders, and the Catalan Government signed the Agreement on Schedules Reform (Pacte per la Reforma Horària). With such a framework, 110 organisations were committed towards working together on implementing measures for reforming Catalan schedules and time use by 2025.
It was with a compilation of all such an experience that the BTUI was created. In 2019, the Initiative decided to follow its promotion for new time uses by working both at the Catalan and the international levels. The goal was clear: becoming the reference point for improved time-related policies that were able to create a more egalitarian, more sustainable, more efficient and healthier society. The Barcelona Time Use Initiative for a Healthy Society was finally born.