PSI affiliates across the world are participating in a series of activities today as 957 events are being held in 152 countries to mark World Diabetes Day (WDD) 2016. The theme of this year’s WDD is “Eyes on Diabetes.” This underscores the need for greater awareness by all and sundry on the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis, particularly of type 2 diabetes, and treatment needed to minimize the possibility of aggravated complications.
As trade negotiators representing 50 countries meet behind closed doors to try and finalise the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) before the end of the year, the ITUC has released a new analysis of leaked information about the deal "All about TiSA: Everything you didn't know about the Trade in Services Agreement".
PSI is holding this meeting with major affiliates in the health and social services sector to review and renew the PSI health and social services strategy, and to collect views and develop a consensus on the actions that affiliates and PSI should pursue with regard to the major issues that we have provisionally identified for the sector.
On 17 October a platform for a EU-wide whistleblower protection was launched by 44 organizations calling on the European Commission to urgently take action on bringing forward proposals on EU-wide legislation on whistleblower protection with a broad scope of groups and areas of activities protected.
Over 60 PSI affiliated union representatives from the local and regional government sector (LRG) and from 30 countries worldwide gathered in Brussels, Belgium, last 19 September for a PSI and EPSU convened global LRG/municipal sector-wide conference, to share and identify common challenges, joint priorities and good practices.
PSI provided input to an assessment from the water justice network of development cooperation support for the implementation of human rights. Development partners, including the World Bank, have violated human rights, including with their conditionalities for private sector participation. We call for the suspension of grant and loan programs which implicitly or explicitly promote PPP schemes. The implementation of Sustainable Development Goal #6 on water and sanitation presents opportunities to improve the practices of development partners. We point to the examples of public-public partnerships (PUPs), which are gaining in popularity but have not received adequate support from development partners – in part, because PUPs are not-for-profit. We also call for more rigorous measures to ensure that all rights holders can participate in decision-making.
A Public Services International Leadership Meeting held on 2-3 December 2015 in Washington, D.C. USA and hosted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The objective of this PSI leadership meeting was to explore ways to work together to strengthen the fight against the global push for privatization, linking national campaigns to regional and global dynamics.
In 2015, the World Women's Committee (WOC) decided to make Equal Pay the main theme of its celebration of International Women's Day in 2016. PSI has already achieved a lot on this issue, as is widely recognised. It took the lead in calling on its affiliates, the global union federations, the ILO, governments and women's organisations to defend economic rights. PSI is now internationally recognised as a union that defends women's rights at work and in society in general.
Greece has agreed to cut up to 40,000 public workers over the next two years, in return for continued financial assistance. The global union federation Public Services International joined Greek workers who took to the streets in a general strike on 6 November 2013 to protest continued cuts to decent jobs and public services imposed by the 'Troika'.
Under forced austerity measures, the Greek government is cutting education funding by almost half, laying off staff and privatising remaining services. For months, there have been no classes, no new enrollment and no exams at Greece's oldest university, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and its partner school, the National Technical University of Athens, as administrative workers strike to protect public education and stop cuts to vital services including libraries and technical support.
Public workers who deliver water services in Athens and Thessaloniki are working with community allies, including “Save Greek Water,” and EPSU - the European arm of Public Services International, to keep public water systems in public hands. The government is trying to privatise and sell off these vital services under austerity measures.
The Elliniko community health clinic has become a symbol of solidarity for people in Greece who are being denied access to universal healthcare. The free municipal clinic has served more than 15,000 patients since it opened in 2011. Though a valiant initiative, run through donations and volunteers, is it a sustainable long-term solution to the pains caused by austerity and privatised health services?
David Boys, Public Service International’s (PSI) deputy general secretary, talks to Akvo's Mark Charmer and challenges theories that market-based financing is the right approach for financing water utilities around the world at the Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance’s (GWOPA) global forum that took place in Barcelona from 27-29 November 2013.