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Building Trade Union Capacities and Quality Public Services for a Just Transition to Climate Change (Jamaica)

Date: 
4 December, 2018 to 5 December, 2018
Time: 
09.00 - 17.00
Location: 
Kingston, Jamaica
Event type: 
This meeting is part of the 5-year project (2018 – 2022) "Climate Change: Building Trade Union Capacities and Quality Public Services for a Just Transition" supported by Swedish Trade Unions - Akademikerförbundet SSR, Vision and Kommunal. Participating countries are Zambia, Tunisia, Kenya, Perú, Jamaica and Tonga.

Helene Davis-Whyte explains the role of unions in Jamaica in dealing with climate changeFor the vast majority of the developing world without strong and progressive interventions from the public sector much of the agendas set by the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) or SDG 13 will not be possible. This is therefore an ideal opportunity for PSI and public services trade unions to promote a stronger public sector as the key mechanism to addressing climate change and a just and green transition.

The five-year project supported by Swedish affiliates Akademikerförbundet SSR, Vision and Kommunal is designed to build upon the intervention points made in the 2017 workshops held in Jamaica with the participation of affiliate leaders in Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda. All three Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have had to deal with the chaos as a result of climate change: two back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes in late 2017 in Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica, and extremely adverse weather conditions in Jamaica from 2015 to present.

The project will also enhance public sector trade unions’ understanding of the challenges posed by climate change for the world of work and sustainable development. The project is expected to contribute towards public sector trade unions’ technical and organisational capacities for effective social dialogue for policy development on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Veronica Montufar and Judith Wedderburn discuss gender and climate changeWith the multiplicity of actors, the varying interests and real threat of private sector take over, it is crucial that trade unions build their knowledge, not necessarily or only of the science behind climate change, but also be able to critically analyse the policies and road maps being proposed and the actions being contemplated. Trade unions must be able to use social dialogue and collective bargaining to propose alternatives and more practical and sustainable strategiesto  protect workers, societies and the planet.

This meeting continues the work of developing a practical toolkit that will build the capacities of activists in public services unions, with a clear emphasis on the unique situations of Caribbean SIDS.

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