The lives of health workers in Gaza must be protected
All work has dignity, and all workers deserve to be treated with respect by their employers. Trade unions play a decisive role in improving working conditions, safety and wages – yet some governments and employers systematically abuse the right of workers to join existing unions or form new ones. PSI works actively to support the right of workers to free collective bargaining, and to help stop abuses when they occur.
PSI launches video series featuring 16 stories from nine countries – Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, USA, Chad, Lebanon, Guatemala and Brazil - to praise the work of public servants around the world.
PSI joined a solidarity action organized by IndustriAll, and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), who expressed their concern about a new wave of serious violations of fundamental labour rights in Belarus. The unions, representing more than 200 million members, call on the Belarus government to stop persecuting independent trade unions and fulfill their ILO obligations.
Latest update: 72 members of the public sector union were released from jail on 10 April, some after nearly ten months of detention. The bad news is that the charges were not dropped and they all need to appear in court again in July. Another 15 union leaders, all of them women, are due to appear in court on 18 April.
Kim Jungnam, President of the Korean Government Employees’ Union, a PSI affiliate, launched a hunger strike on 15 January in the streets of Seoul outside the offices of the Presidential transition committee and vowed to continue his hunger strike until the issues facing his union are resolved.
Three trade union leaders in Chad have been sentenced to 18 months in prison after denouncing the situation in the country. Another unionist was sentenced to three months in prison for having smiled in the courtroom. These PSI affiliate members are now asking for support from unions around the world.
The government of Swaziland is cracking down on public sector workers across the board. Civil servants, nurses, teachers and transport workers are all under threat. In support of their affiliates in Swaziland, Public Services International, Education International and the International Transport Workers' Federation have organised a joint protest action on Labourstart.
London's bus workers have won a huge victory. Now, it's the cleaners' turn.
Just three days before the opening of the Olympic games in London, London's bus drivers have won a big victory. As their union Unite reported, the workers "overwhelmingly voted to accept an offer of an Olympic award, meaning most workers will get £577 for the massive increase in workload over the Olympics.”
The harassment and intimidation of trade unionists in Turkey continues: in the early morning hours on June 25, the Turkish police raided offices and houses of trade unionists in Turkey. 71 were detained, and eight of these are still under arrest, including the President of PSI-affiliated KESK, Lami Özgen.
After 18 years of negotiations behind closed doors, Russia is expected to ratify and sign the WTO accession in July. PSI expresses deep concern about Russia's situation. In many countries the experience of members joining the WTO is narrowed access to public services, including through privatization, job losses, and deterioration of infrastructure and skills.
At the meeting of PSI's Health and Social Care Services Task Force in Geneva on 20 April 2012, Public Services International released the attached statement demanding the release of physicians and nurses and cancellation of charges against health personnel in Bahrain.
Earlier this year the government of Botswana categorically stated that there will be no collective bargaining for the period 2012/2013 for financial reasons. Now the government has withdrawn the letter.
On 13 February 2012, 15 women union leaders and activists belonging to PSI and EPSU affiliates SES (Trade Union of Public Employees in Health and Social Services), Tüm Bel Sen (Union of All Municipality Civil Servants) and BES (Trade Union of Public Administration Employees); as well as to Education International (EI) affiliate Egitim Sen and to the Confederation of Civil Servants Trade Unions, KESK, (affiliated to the ITUC), were arrested and dragged from their homes in early morning raids. The police also invaded the unions’ head offices as part of a so-called police investigation.
Several thousand public servants, mainly in the health and public administration sectors were recently arbitrarily dismissed leaving Ecuador’s health and central administration services in disarray. Many of those dismissed are members of PSI’s affiliates.
The following PSI document describes the current situation in Peru, especially with regards to trade unionism. It gives information on the new Civil Service Law approved on 4 July 2013 and on how this new legislation will affect workers.
For PSI, defending the rights of our affiliate trade union members in Guatemala is our top priority – and it will remain so until the situation for trade unionists and workers in this country improves.
Public Services International (PSI) welcomes the report and the excellent work done by the Committee of Experts, considering that this is the first time that collective bargaining in the public service is being addressed in a General Survey. Trade union rights remain the top priority for public sector unions around the world. This is certainly a timely report that exposes many of the challenges that trade unions face in the public sector.
The main focus of the ILO General Survey is on collective bargaining rights in the public administration. It also covers a number of other subjects, including consultation, the civil and political rights of public sector employees, the facilities to be granted to trade union representatives, protection against acts of discrimination and interference, and dispute settlement mechanisms. However, Convention No. 154 applies not only to the public administration, but also to the whole of the public and private sectors. This explains that while the Survey focuses on the public administration for the subjects mentioned, it also refers more generally, and in less detail, to the situation in respect of law and practice in the private sector.
The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations is an independent body composed of legal experts charged with examining the application of ILO Conventions and Recommendations by ILO member States. The annual report of the Committee of Experts covers numerous matters related to the application of ILO standards.
This excellent ILO Manual seeks to provide examples on how different countries have developed successful mechanisms to prevent and resolve disputes in labour relations in the public service. It showcases effective ways to develop collective bargaining systems and provides approaches and formulas for dispute resolution.
Public Services International had the strongest global union presence at the World Social Forum 26-30 March 2013 in Tunis, Tunisia. PSI hosted and co-sponsored numerous events on trade union rights, youth, water, women’s issues, tax justice, energy and climate change.
The 2012 PSI World Congress provided a framework for Public Services International's discussions and decisions. However, it is necessary to focus priorities. This document presents a detailed implementation plan for PSI's mandate in 2013 and beyond.