The “Post-Corona Starts Now!” massive open online course (MOOC), which is supported by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), is a space for trade unions to contribute to the determination of a better world. PSI supports this effort, which is in line with our priorities and perspectives. It is also supported by the international trade union movement and civil society organisations.
The new coronavirus pandemic is the most devastating global crisis since World War II. It is a public health emergency which has thrown the world economy into turmoil.
The roots of this devastation can be found in decades of a neoliberal consensus foisted on the world in the wake of the 1973-75 recession which brought the Post-World War II order to an end. The crisis shows the weakness of the current system.
Austerity measures and long-term under-investment in public services have starved health systems and public infrastructure, leaving them unable to meet the scale of the pandemic, while hugely inadequate coverage of social protection for almost half of the global population renders them vulnerable to the crisis. The context of increasingly precarious and low-waged, inadequate housing, poor water and sanitation means a large number of working-class people cannot cope with the added blows of the crisis
Healthcare workers in understaffed health facilities and low-paid workers are now considered as essential workers who are applauded, including by policy makers whose ideologically driven neoliberal policies had left them with inhumane working and living conditions.
The time to fight for systemic change is now. Trade unions across the world have been engaging with governments and employers to mitigate the immediate economic impact of the general crisis on workers. We must seize the moment for systemic struggle that could help ensure that the world which emerges from this crisis is a better one, based on a new global consensus which puts people before profit.
Some of the issues which the course will critically address are; the need for public infrastructure, rebuilding a broader tax base which ensures more even distribution of wealth, the problem of deepening (social, economic, gender and regional) inequalities, wage structures that actually reward those really doing important work, strengthening social protection systems and quality jobs for workers, potential and preferred changes of global value chains, the role of the state in building more equitable, inclusive and democratic societies, international collaboration instead of international competition, the climate and ecological crisis and building a global coalition of labour and civil society to fight for the future we want.
The course is structured into four chapters,
Chapter 1: Resilient health systems: Responding to pandemics and beyond
Chapter 2: Income support and social protection for all workers
Chapter 3: Securing emergency funding and financing recovery
Chapter 4: Redirecting the economy towards a socially and environmentally sustainable future
The course team is drawn from the academia and international trade union movement:
Baba Aye, Dr. Jeremy Anderson, Prof. Dr. Mark Anner, Leo Baunach, Marlese von Broembsen, Ruth Castel-Branco, Dr. Bruno De Conti, Aleksandra Draganic, Prof. Dr. Trevor Evans, David Francis, Mirko Herberg, Dr. Frank Hoffer, Prof. Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Herr, Dr. Praveen Jha, Tendai Makanza, Dr. Sulakshana Nandi, Dr. Nicolas Pons-Vignon, Angelo Salento, Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherrer, Prof. Dr. Martina Sproll, Prof. Karel Williams, Prof. Dr. Markus Wissen and Dr. Edlira Xhafa
Watch the trailer here
Watch Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary on the “Post Corona Starts Now!” course here