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Resolution 24: Austerity and Privatisation

30 November, 2012

The 29th World Congress of Public Services International (PSI),
meeting in Durban, South Africa, on 27-30 November 2012


The European Commission and the European Union response to the economic crisis is to adopt approaches which are causing serious economic damage across Europe and unease among trade unions and global federations. Many of the initiatives being agreed or proposed would have the effect of making workers pay the costs of an economic crisis which they did nothing to cause.

Congress deplores the fact that all over Europe governments target public sector workers, pensioners, unemployed and the public services as a scapegoat for a crisis caused by the financial markets.

Congress recognises and condemns the policy of some European governments to transfer public services to “any willing provider”, and that one of the reasons that public sector pensions are attacked is to make it easier for large scale privatisation.

Congress welcomes the Public Services International (PSI) / European Federation of Public Service Unions' (EPSU) “No to Austerity” campaign, and supports EPSU’s call for a change in European Economic Policy; No to Austerity; and for Jobs, Public Services and Social Rights.

Further NOTING that

Congress is encouraged by the shows of solidarity in the UK and across Europe, and welcomes initiatives aimed to better co-ordinate future action across Europe in furtherance of countries’ anti-austerity campaigns.

CALLS UPON the PSI Executive Board to:

  • SUPPORT co-ordinated activities and take forward any campaign on austerity issues that have an impact on members, and consult with affiliates to seek to co-ordinate days of global action in opposition to austerity.
  • DEVELOP and share with affiliates a better understanding on austerity issues and the need to campaign together against what is happening in Europe and worldwide.
  • ENCOURAGE affiliates to build and develop bilateral links with key unions in those countries worst affected by austerity measures and the economic crisis.
  • CAMPAIGN with the widest possible alliances with trade unions and other organisations to challenge the policies of bodies such as the IMF and the World Bank; to promote the case for public ownership, and to support and assist union campaigns to protect public services.


See all Congress resolutions including the Program of Action and the Constitution.


Also see