LRG Thematic Working Groups: Local Public Service Funding (Workshop #1)

12 May 2022 Geneva, Switzerland 12 May - 12 May

LRG Thematic Working Groups: Local Public Service Funding (Workshop #1)

  • 12 May - 12 May
  • Geneva, Switzerland

13:00 - 16:00 CEST

This is the first of the two workshops scheduled in 2022 for the PSI Global LRG Network’s Working Group on Local Public Service Funding. The following workshops will look at three levers of LRG public funding and at how these can be used by LRG unions: (1) municipal & regional public banks; (2) social value public procurement; (3) community wealth building (CWB).

The second workshop will take place on 28 September 2022 – please save the date.

This activity is carried out in completion of the Action Plan for PSI’s LRG Network 2022-2027. Please see the LRG Sector Calendar - Activities & Events 2022 for a full list of activities consider engaging your union’s expertise in the priority topics identified in the programme and Action Plan by writing to: PSI LRG and Municipal Services lrg-municipal@world-psi.org.

Agenda

1-2pm - Local public banks: how can unions make them work in the public interest?

Public banks (PBs) are state-owned or controlled financial institutions that should aim to deliver on public policy objectives to support economic development in a country or region. They exist at all levels of government and have played – and continue to play – a key role in supporting infrastructure investment and socio-economic development virtually in all world’s countries, including Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Germany, Turkey and the USA among others. To these should be added those private financial institutions that were rescued with public assets in the wake of the financial crises (e.g. Royal National Bank, ABN Amro, Belfius/Dexia etc.). A 2020 estimate counts 910 public banks worldwide totalling combined assets of 48.71 USD trillion. PBs can also be used to work against common goals, workers' interests, and community development. This is why the democratisation of PBs should be a key concern for trade unions globally.

 Opening contribution:

  • Thomas Marois, Reader in Development Studies, SOAS/University of London

Following:

  • Exchange and consultation with WG1 members followed by plenary discussion

  • Conclusions and WG1 actions

Download a PDF of Thomas Marois presentation

Video

Public banks (PBs) are state-owned or controlled financial institutions that should aim to deliver on public policy objectives to support economic development in a country or region.

Local public banks: how can unions make them work in the public interest?

2-3pm - Socially Responsible Public Procurement: what opportunities for LRG unions?

In 2018, public procurement amounted to 11 USD trillion out of global GDP of nearly 90 USD trillion, 12 percent of global GDP. Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) are major public procurement agents, accounting on average for almost 50% of public procurement OECD countries. This figure goes up to 62% in federal countries. LRG procurement contract chains for goods public institutions need to operate (e.g. computers, phones, medical products, textiles, and some foods) stretch globally across continents and have the potential to be a powerful, transformative lever to promote the respect for human & labour rights and the protection of the environment. LRG public procurement can also be used strategically to fuel backyard economies, shorten supply chains, benefit local communities, and generate decent employment opportunities in cities, town and territories, including rural ones. Even at times of crises, austerity or bankruptcy, major local institutions such as schools and hospital need to procure vital goods and services linked to local public service delivery. Public procurement contract specifications are powerful tools to ensure that public money is used in a way that promotes, enables and strengthens social and environmental objectives, including freedom of association and collective bargaining. 

Opening contribution:

  • Adrian Kane, Divisional Organiser Public Administration & Community Division, SIPTU, Ireland

Following:

  • Exchange and consultation with WG1 members followed by plenary discussion

  • Conclusions and WG1 actions 

Download a PDF of Adrian Kane's presentation 

Video

In 2018, public procurement amounted to 11 USD trillion out of global GDP of nearly 90 USD trillion, 12 percent of global GDP. Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) are major public procurement agents, accounting on average for almost 50% of public procurement OECD countries.

Socially Responsible Public Procurement: what opportunities for LRG unions?

3.15-4pm - Community Wealth Building: a strategic tool for strengthening communities & municipal budgets

Public services are intrinsically related to the health of local economies. As such, policymakers, public service unions and civil society have an opportunity to envision and promote a more holistic and creative approach about the role that public services can play in inclusive local economic development and communities. Specifically, while local public services around the world already play a major role in fostering inclusive, sustainable local economic development, they can be more intentionally linked to an emerging, progressive paradigm in economic development called Community Wealth Building (CWB), which has the potential to strenghten municipal fiscal systems, local public service funding ,all while enabling decent work creation.

Opening contribution:

  • Thomas H. Hanna, Research Director, The Democracy Collaborative

Following:

  • Exchange and consultation with WG1 members followed by plenary discussion

  • Conclusions and WG1 actions

Download a PDF of Thomas Hanna presentation

Video

Public services are intrinsically related to the health of local economies. As such, policymakers, public service unions and civil society have an opportunity to envision and promote a more holistic and creative approach about the role that public services can play in inclusive local economic development and communities.

Community Wealth Building: a strategic tool for strengthening communities & municipal budgets

Guidance questions and background resources

§1 - Public Banks (PBs)

  • What are municipal and regional PB? How can they be found and/or established?

  • How can they be strategically used to strengthen subnational funding systems, invest in public infrastructures, foster equitable access to local public services, fund social/environmental/progressive policies? How can they help fund LRG services and jobs?

  • Why are they relevant for local public service workers and their trade unions? How can it be used to benefit workers conditions, engage local government authorities and employers? 

 

 

§2 - Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP) in LRG services

  • How can public procurement specifictions be influenced by unions to work for human & labour rights, social & environmental justice & sustainability?

  • What good practices do we LRG unions have at hand that can be replicated and scaled up elsewhere?

  • What are the opportunities and obstacles in this process?

  • How can we recruit and organise LRG public procurement officials around this strategic issue?

§3 - Community Wealth Building (CWB)

What is CWB? How does it work and what are the tools it encompasses? 

Why is it relevant for local government authorities and services? Why is it relevant for local public service workers and their trade unions?

How can it be used to organize workers, engage local government authorities and employers? How can it help build progressive, transformative community alliances?

Why and how does it strengthen communities, help create quality jobs, make public procurement work for people and planet, strengthen municipal fiscal systems?