Privatisation

Quality public services are the foundation of democratic societies and successful economies. They ensure that everyone has equal access to vital services, including as health care, education, electricity, clean water and sanitation. When these services are privatised, maximizing corporate profits replaces the public interest as the driving force. Privatisation is a dangerous trend that must be reversed.

Unions call on World Bank to cease investments in low-fee private schools

26 April 2017

Union leaders and education advocates joined forces on 21 April in front of the World Bank in protest of its continued support of for-profit education agencies in general, and specifically, Bridge International Academies.

Brazil: Thousands take to the streets in preparation for the general strike

10 April 2017

Two weeks after massive marches on 15 March in protest against measures introduced by President Temer’s government, on 31 March workers all over the country came together again. The protests were seen as a precursor to the all-out strike planned for 28 April.

Privatization Watch - 03/2017

30 March 2017

An overview of global trends in privatization of public services. Privatization Watch - Issue 03/2017.

“Our Water, Our Right”, Lagosians insist

30 March 2017

22 March was marked as World Water Day in Lagos with a demonstration in defence of the right to water. The demonstration which drew about 500 persons was organised by the “Our Water, Our Right” coalition. It was a continuation of the struggle against privatisation of water by the state government which has yielded some results, with amendments to the Environment bill before it was passed into law on 1st March.

The Role of Public Service Trade Unions in achieving Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities

21 March 2017

This groundbreaking conference, organised by PSI with the support of ILO/ACTRAV and ILO/GED, marked the beginning of a new area of collaboration. PSI in partnership with the ILO explored the issue of workers with disabilities with a special focus on the role of the public sector and public services.

PSI berates Nigerian government’s privatisation programme

21 March 2017
Adeyemi Peters, vice-president of PSI

PSI has criticized the entire privatization exercise of federal government, describing it as unfavorable to workers. In a parallel development, the Lagos State Council of Trade Union Congress (TUC) has decried the recent bill passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly, denying Lagosians access to water.

Report slams UK's disastrous reliance on PPPs

20 March 2017

A new report released by the UK-based Jubilee Debt Campaign provides a scathing critique of the failure of PPPs across a range of sectors and serves as a warning against the use and abuse of PPPs the world over.

Tell the World Bank to stop promoting water privatization

16 June 2016
Photo: Kate Holt - Africa Practice - Creative Commons
PSI is working with a number of allies to put pressure on the World Bank to stop promoting water privatization under the disguise of public private partnerships (PPPs). Send a letter to the World Bank Executive Director representing your country asking that the World Bank end all support for water privatization!

Stand with the Pearson 100 and let your voice be heard

25 April 2016
Tell Pearson - Private Schools in Developing countries

Public employee and education unions have mobilized a global capital campaign in support of shareholders resolution at the Pearson PLC Annual General Meeting.

Water and Sanitation are Human Rights, NOW!

21 March 2016
logo

On 22 March, PSI celebrated World Water Day. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 requires that governments ensure universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. However, we are seeing a new push for public-private partnerships (PPPs). We know that PPPs fail to deliver social and environmental targets, and PSI will help affiliates block this approach. We call for a rights-based approach, with public finance and management in the interests of all.

India: Coalition unites to block PPP water privatization schemes

25 January 2016

According to Corporate Accountability International, groups plan a series of escalating events to expose the truth about Nagpur’s failed PPP water privatization scheme promoted by the Modi government and World Bank. A group of trade unions in India is addressing a global petition to the World Bank.

Sign the petition against water privatisation in India

23 December 2015

A group of trade unions in India is addressing a petition to the World Bank, calling on them to end their promotion and financial support of all forms of water privatisation and acknowledge the failures behind it.

Support PCS strike at London's National Gallery

21 August 2015

Staff at London's National Gallery, organised by PSI affiliate the Public and commercial services union (PCS), have been on strike since February 2015 following the Gallery's decision to privatise almost all staff, including those who look after the paintings and help the gallery's six million annual visitors.

The support for energy privatisation in Nigeria is not acceptable

23 July 2015
Nigeria stop privatisation

Millions of pounds of UK aid money has been used to support the privatisation of Nigeria’s electricity system. The result has been a disaster with escalating energy prices, job losses and declining quality of services. PSI has joined Global Justice Now and UNISON in their campaign to stop this privatisation.

Racism? Not for us!

22 March 2014

Speak out and take a stand against racism and xenophobia! On the eve of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March 2014, Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of the global union federation Public Services International affirms that “our commitment to fight racism and all forms of discrimination is guided by respect for human rights and basic union principles: social justice, equality, collective action and collective responsibility”.

Peru water privatisation - stop robbing workers and citizens of their rights

16 March 2014
Water

The global union federation Public Services International and our affiliate unions in Peru call on supporters around the world to send a strong message to the Peruvian government: ‘Don’t sell off Peru’s public water and sanitation services for private profit!’

Letter to Thessaloniki water bidders

01 July 2013
water drop

Please support the letter to the investors and companies that wish to partake in the privatisation of the water company of Thessaloniki. We ask them to withdraw their bid as they are not wanted in Thessaloniki.

PPPs and the SDGs: Dont believe the hype!

30 March 2017

This study, written by Jeff Powell of the Public Services International Research Unit at Greenwich University, draws on extensive research and outlines a range of issues with PPPs which are often ignored including the lack of real efficiency gains, higher long term costs and the rife opportunities for corruption.

Statement from the "Public-Private Partnership and the Right to Health" seminar

28 March 2017

At the initiative of PSI and in conjunction with the National Federation of Public Service Unions of Togo, a sub-regional seminar on "Public-Private Partnership and the Right to Health" was organised from 7 to 8 February 2017 at Jesse House Hotel, in Lomé, TOGO.

Report: The Role of Public Service Trade Unions in achieving Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities

21 March 2017

PSI, with ILO/ACTRAV and ILO/GED support, held a meeting 8-9 of December 2016, on "The Role of Public Service Trade Unions in achieving Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities" in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting built on a survey conducted by PSI and ILO of PSI affiliates’ initiatives on disability inclusion, and on ILO research giving a global overview of trade unions actions on disability inclusion.

Presentations: The Role of Public Service Trade Unions in achieving Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities

21 March 2017

These presentations were made at the PSI meeting held 8-9 December 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland with ACTRAV and GED support. The meeting builds on a survey conducted by PSI and ILO of PSI affiliates’ initiatives on disability inclusion, and on ILO research giving a global overview of trade unions actions on disability inclusion.

Privatization Watch Newsletter - All issues

23 January 2017

This PSI bulletin provides an overview of global trends in privatization of public services and is part of PSI’s global campaign against privatization.

New Forms of Privatization

12 January 2017
Photo: Cambie Clinic, nominated for 2015 Privatization Scam of the Year - NUPGE

PSI affiliate, The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), Canada, has released an update of a report on privatisation and emerging threats to public services—New Forms of Privatization. While privatisation schemes may be changing, the motivation has not. “Privatisation is still about helping wealthy corporations or individuals make a profit at the public’s expense,” said Larry Brown, NUPGE President

Policy brief EB-148 : International Financial Institutions (IFIs)

04 October 2016

This policy brief on International Financial Institutions (IFIs) was produced for the PSI Executive Board EB-148 held at the ILO in Geneva (Switzerland) on 19-20 May 2016. Its objective is to inform EB-148 of progress in IFI work. The brief is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish and Japanese.

Overview of proposed privatization of Electricity Sector in Ghana

22 June 2016

This recent analysis by PSIRU shows the influence of the US government and its Millennium Challenge Corporation in the planned energy privatization in Ghana.

Public ownership of the UK energy system – benefits, costs and processes

18 April 2016

A new report by Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) and the UK NGO We Own It, calls for a return to public ownership and management of key elements of the British energy system. The report builds on years of research that demonstrate the excess costs of privatization, the negative impact on energy workers and on UK households, and the distortions of UK energy policy.

Canada & USA North America Binational Meeting Report

24 March 2016

The PSI North America Binational meeting was held on March 4, 2016 in Ottawa and hosted by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). Robyn Benson (PSAC), the Canadian titular, and Candice Owley (American Federation of Teachers-AFT), the United States titular, co-chaired the meeting. This meeting followed the Canadian SUBRAC and the United States SUBRAC, both held on March 3, 2016.

Report: Protecting the Public Interest from Predatory Privatization and Outsourcing

17 March 2016

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.

Protecting the Public Interest from Predatory Privatization and Outsourcing: A Call to Action

01 December 2015

Joint statement by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Public services International (PSI) for the meeting discussing the global push for privatization, linking unions' national campaigns to regional and global dynamics taking place in Washington, D.C. on 2-3 December.

What lies beneath? A critical assessment of PPPs and their impact on sustainable development

09 July 2015

This report by Eurodad, the European Network on Debt and Development, looks at the empirical and theoretical evidence available on the nature and impact of PPPs, and analyses the experiences of Tanzania and Peru. It critically assesses whether PPPs deliver on the promises of their proponents and gives concrete recommendations for policymakers.

Publication: Why Public-Private Partnerships don’t work

17 March 2015
Why Public Private Partnerships don’t work

The new report Why Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) don’t work: The many advantages of the public alternative contains a combination of 30 years of research by David Hall, former Director of Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) University of Greenwich, UK.

Privatising Power: UK aid funds energy privatisation in Nigeria

17 March 2015

This new research, released on 17 March, by campaign group Global Justice Now shows that since 2002, £140 million of UK aid money has been spent by the Department for International Development (DfID) on projects to support the privatisation of Nigeria’s energy system, with disastrous consequences for people in Nigeria.

Event: The Role of Public Service Trade Unions in achieving Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities

07 November 2016

Achieving Decent Work for All, and realising the Sustainable Development Goals, requires focussed work to include persons with disabilities. This PSI meeting, with the support of ILO Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) and the Gender, Equality and Diversity branch (GED), is an opportunity to develop knowledge, awareness and advocacy relevant for a range of actors in their governance, actions and aims.

Civil Society Policy Forum (IMF/World Bank 2016 Annual Meetings)

28 September 2016

The Civil Society Policy Forum (CSPF) has become an integral part of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group Spring and Annual Meetings, providing an open space for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to dialogue and exchange views with World Bank Group and IMF staff, their peers, government delegations, and other stakeholders on a wide range of topics.

Public meeting on neoliberalism and healthcare in South Asia

22 September 2016

The healthcare sector in South Asian countries has seen significant restructuring with an increase in private sector participation in provisioning. The discussion will explore the linkages between neoliberal reforms and informalisation of employment; explore the trends in employment patterns in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka; as well as look into some of the trade union responses to this growing phenomenon.

The People's Inquiry into Privatisation

05 September 2016

Australian affiliates have come together and asked an independent panel to investigate the impact of privatisation on workers and their communities. The Panel will also investigate what sort of services people want and need into the future. This inquiry seeks to hear from workers and the communities who rely on these services.

PrepCom3 on Habitat III

20 July 2016
PSI side event at PrepCom3

On 26 July, during the third session of the Preparatory Committee of the Habitat III Conference, PSI is organising with ICRICT and PSIRU a side event called “Financing and investing in urban public services: The key to inclusive cities”. PrepCom3 will be held in Surabaya, Indonesia, from 25-27 July at the Convention and Exhibition Hall Grand City Convex Surabaya.

World Social Forum 2016 (Montreal, Canada)

13 July 2016
WSF2016

The World Social Forum is the largest global gathering of civil society to find solutions to the problems of our time by building concrete alternatives to the neoliberal economic model and to politics based on the exploitation of human beings and nature.

Sovereign debt, a global problem: international experiences and the situation of Puerto Rico

29 February 2016

The seminar “Sovereign debt, a global problem: international experiences and the situation of Puerto Rico” will be taking place on 30 March 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the Verdanza Hotel

Protecting the public interest from predatory privatization and outsourcing

27 November 2015
AFSCME

For two days union leaders and policy leaders from the World Bank, the IMF and the U.S. Government led by Treasury, will discuss the global push for privatization, linking unions' national campaigns to regional and global dynamics.

PSI/EPSU-ILO Roundtable on Labour Migration and Trade Union Rights

23 November 2015

The PSI/EPSU-ILO Roundtable on Labour Migration and Trade Union Rights is taking place in Yerevan, Armenia on 24-25 November. This meeting will be held in English, Russian and Armenian with the participation of PSI/EPSU affiliates, ILO Moscow ACTRAV and invited guests, experts and PSI staff.

Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3)

13 July 2015

As negotiations for the Post 2015 Development Agenda draw to a close at the United Nations, Member States are discussing means of implementation and financing. PSI is taking an active part in this process together with other trade unions and civil society partners.

Mission impossible: Development without Public Services

08 July 2015

In the run up to the Third UN Conference on Financing for Development (FFD) in Addis Ababa, PSI, together with eight civil society organising partners, is holding an event to raise concerns on the effects of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in health, education and water and sanitation and propose alternative policy options that are more compatible with social development.

Forum: Privatisation - Alternatives in the Public's Interest

23 June 2015

A one-day forum for public sector unions and their allies

PSI Union Development and Strategy and Planning Workshops for the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU)

07 November 2014

1.    One-day workshop for executive members of the young workers’ group and young activists. November 18, 2014 at DPSU headquarters – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Main aims

Asia Pacific Forum on trade union rights: It is time for ACTION NOW!

30 October 2014

The Asia Pacific Regional Forum on Trade Union rights will come up with an Action Plan for the region for 2015. PSI affiliate leaders will share experience on campaigns for freedom of association, collective bargaining and the right to strike. Special attention will be devoted to the impact of privatisation and precarious forms of employment in the public sector, fire-fighters’ right to organise and campaigning for the ratification and implementation of international labour standards.

PSI participates in ILO meeting in Peru

15 October 2014
Part of PSI delegation members

PSI has just taken part, with a delegation of 48 members, in the 18th American Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO) held in the capital of Peru, Lima, from 13-16 October.

Video: #ThisIsACoup

11 January 2016

A four-part documentary series telling the story of the European Union's confrontation with the Greek Syriza party in 2015 and how the European Union destroyed the first radical left government in modern history.

Video: Brazil - cuts and privatisation damaging health and other public services

01 June 2015

In this video, Juneia Batista, WOC Chair, talks about the situation in her home country, Brazil. She says that 2015 has started poorly, with the government introducing new measures to allow foreign capital into the Brazilian health system.

Video: Many jobs need to be revalued in terms of status and salary, says Isolde Kunkel-Weber, Ver.di, Germany

29 May 2015

Representatives of PSI affiliates met in Geneva on 27-28 May 2015 for the PSI Executive Board meeting. In this video, Isolde Kunkel-Weber, Ver.di, Germany, says that her union is confronting cuts to public services. But even when services are privatised, the union makes its voice heard and demonstrates how important public services are for society. Ver.di is actively campaigning to demonstrate that kindergarten workers’ jobs need to be revalued in terms of status and salary, highlighting the importance of their role in caring for and educating children. (This video is in German)

Video: In Nigeria, faced with rocketing electricity costs but no electricity, unions and the public demand end to privatisation

28 May 2015

Representatives of PSI affiliates met in Geneva on 27-28 May 2015 for the PSI Executive Board meeting. In this interview, Adeniyi Peters Adeyemi, Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU), Nigeria, speaks about privatisation, reforms and Ebola. He explains how Nigerian people have suffered under privatisation, and how in view of the consequences of privatisation, they are now joining in the unions’ opposition and asking the government to fix the problems. He also explains how Nigeria achieved good results in tackling the Ebola crisis.

Video: Why PPPs don't work (UNCSW)

18 March 2015

PSI released a new report on 18 March 2015 "Why Public-Private Partnerships don’t work: The many advantages of the public alternative” at the “SDGs for Workers”, a Parallel Event sponsored by Global Unions at the NGO CSW Forum during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).

Video: Why Public-Private Partnerships don’t work

16 March 2015

In this video, PSI Deputy General Secretary David Boys introduces the new publication “Why Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) don’t work” by Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU).

Video: Water and power: are public services still public?

10 February 2015

This new video by the Municipal Services Project examines the question of corporatisation and how it can affect public services, specifically in the energy and water sectors.

Video: Stop water privatisation in Nagpur

15 December 2014

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation Employees Union is running a major campaign against the privatisation of water in the City of Nagpur as explained by Brother Jammu Anand, President of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation Employees Union, in a video.

Video: The fightback against austerity

07 July 2014

Public Services International (PSI), the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), together with our affiliate unions, ADEDY, and allies in Greece brought together a team of expert union journalists and communicators. This solidarity exchange enabled PSI communicators from other countries to learn more about the issues facing Greek trade unionists and share this understanding with their union members and communities around the world.

Video: Something's up with the water

04 March 2014

New advertising campaign taps into public support to keep water as a public good