The second roundtable, on Local public service continuation and workers’ safety in times of COVID-19 was introduced by Daria Cibrario, Policy Officer for Local and Regional Governments, PSI. It opened with Jon Richards, Head of Local Government, UNISON the UK’s Public Service Union, who argued that the flexibility of local governments had allowed for fluid communication among workers and institutions, and called for securing funding for local governments to build back better after the crisis. Mi-Jeong Park, Senior Specialist of Goyang City, in the Republic of Korea, highlighted how the local government had worked to reduce the spread of the virus, and carried out emergency dialogues with hospitals and collected opiniona from workers to ensure their safety despite all the challenges. Bernard Dreno, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist, French Democratic Confederation of Labour, argued that the crisis has made it possible to learn by setting up organisations that could become sustainable and to enrich the role of institutional and administrative players. Mauricio Zanin, Advisor of the Confederation of Municipalities of Brazil, highlighted the response from mayors in a country in which the pandemic was not widely recognized, by ensuring funds for health, social assistance, and even funeral care. Makrem Amaria, General Secretary of the Tunisian General Labour Union for Municipalities, argued that securing financial resources for local governments, and strengthening the capacities of municipal actors and local elected officials and guaranteeing public services would be critical for the recovery phase. This was echoed by Carlos Carrión Crespo, Public Service and Utilities Specialist of the ILO, who also argued that local and regional governments need to take measures to protect those that are most vulnerable.
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