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PSI General Secretary addresses world mayors: “You have a responsibility to be fair employers”

29 January 2018
On 25 January 2018, Rosa Pavanelli joined many mayors of world cities in Barcelona, including local Ada Colau, where the third United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) Annual Retreat and Campus took place.

Speaking on the panel on “Local Partnerships for Global Development”, Pavanelli addressed the many challenges PSI and UCLG share, including leading in the implementation of global policies with direct impacts on local governments and cities such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda and the Addis Ababa financing for development Agenda.

Decent work: the most effective way to make cities inclusive

The most effective way to make cities inclusive is to create decent work opportunities in urban and local communities” said Pavanelli. Reminding that PSI members operate cities on a daily basis through their work, she added: “as mayors and local government leaders you have the responsibility to be fair employers”.

She called upon UCLG and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to jointly tackle the global employment data gap for local and regional government workers also in a view to identify the professions, skills and training needs that are so critical in tackling the many challenges of a rapidly changing and worldwide growing urbanization.

Emergency workers living and working in dignity keep our cities safe and resilient

Addressing climate change, disasters and emergencies, the PSI’s General Secretary recalled how PSI emergency services members are at the forefront in the rescue and emergency service. From the terrorist attack in NY to the Ebola epidemics; from the aftermath of hurricane Irma in the Caribbean to the earthquake of Pedernales in Ecuador, municipal and local government emergency workers are the key to the safety and resilience of our cities. Many pay a heavy toll for their service to cities and local communities. “It is good to celebrate emergency services workers as hero after disasters strike. Yet, we do not want dead heroes: we want emergency workers adequately equipped to keep our cities safe and we want them to work and live with dignity,” Pavanelli said.

Finally, touching on the critical issue of municipal and local government financing, she called upon mayors and local government leaders “to raise our voice together about tax justice, denouncing that tax avoidance and dodging have a direct impact on local government capacities to serve their local communities. It is high time we collectively demand the adequate resources we need to make our cities inclusive, sustainable and resilient.

She highlighted the wave of public services remunicipalizations that is happening across the world, and which can bring new lessons and innovations in government public service management, not only in terms of financing, quality and delivery but also transparency and citizen participation.

At its third edition, the UCLG Retreat is a strategic event where mayors, local government elected representatives, allies and strategic partners gather to look at the forthcoming challenges and opportunities ahead for local and regional government constituencies and to work together in their common interest of urban and local communities. It is the first organised under the new UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz.

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