Angered by the continuing attacks on public services and the workers who provide these services, distressed by the rising inequality across the world and the failure of the current economic system to provide jobs, particularly for young people, the Steering Committee reiterated its commitments to the 2013-2017 Programme of Action “Social Justice through Quality Public Services” and endorsed priority actions for 2014.
The Vice-Presidents of Public Services International (PSI) met on 11 and 12 November as the PSI Steering Committee to assess progress since the last Executive Board and to decide on further priorities and activities.
The Steering Committee noted the increased visibility of PSI actions across the globe including:
- The important solidarity mission to Guatemala to pressure the government to halt assassinations and intimidation of trade union activists;
- The appointment of PSI’s General Secretary to the UN High-Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters;
- PSI’s leadership in the emerging global tax justice movement;
- The EPSU-PSI Communicators’ Action Network highlighting the struggles of Greek affiliates;
- The strong PSI delegation to the 2013 UN Commission on the Status of Women;
- Fighting trade agreements that attack public services and labour rights;
- The ongoing focus on sectoral work.
Building on this work, the Steering Committee endorsed a range of actions; highlights include:
- The renewed focus on organising and growth to build union power in everything we do;
- Strengthening sector work, particularly in health and social services and education, media and culture and defending the rights and interests of workers in these sectors;
- Support for the United Nations staff unions who have recently had their collective bargaining rights removed, and calling on affiliates to raise the issue with their national governments;
- Solidarity support for our Philippine affiliates and Filipino workers and families affected by the recent storms, and pledging support for disaster response workers around the world who selflessly place themselves in harm’s way to save lives and rebuild our communities;
- Global campaigns on tax dodging and corruption;
- Fighting harmful trade agreements, particularly where they undermine public services
- Ensuring that workers’ capital held in pension funds supports public services.
The Steering Committee adopted the 2014 budget and noted the ongoing work on the five year plan for financial stability that will enable us to resource our activity.
The Steering Committee noted the recent changes to staffing in PSI and across the regions and welcomed the appointment of new PSI Deputy General Secretary, David Boys, and the appointment of an officer with responsibility for the new Education, Culture and Media sector. Minutes will be made available to all PSI affiliates on the PSI website in the near future.