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A message to PSI affiliates from Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary

14 December 2012
Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary
Dear Colleagues,
It is with great humility, a lot of hope and some apprehension that I write my first letter to all affiliated unions as General Secretary of Public Services International.

We have big challenges ahead, and it is up to all of us, together, to create solutions. PSI affiliates at Congress in Durban, South Africa, delivered a strong mandate for the next five years. We have a lot of goodwill from around the world. Now, we need action.

Congress mandated PSI to do many things, too many things. We will have to make some choices. Our resources are not unlimited and our staff complement is not huge. In order for us to fulfil the Durban mandate, we must prioritise better, be more flexible and more focused, and combine our capabilities more closely with your strengths and your priorities. I am convinced that PSI will rise to the challenges when we can better integrate and include our unions in all that we do.

Although our staff have worked many months without rest to prepare Congress, I have asked them to continue their level of effort in order to support the immediate decision-making processes in our regions and at our global executive. We are preparing a discussion document to be used at the upcoming sub-regional advisory committees, the regional executive committees and the global Executive Board in May. This document will focus on the choices about priorities and dedicating staff time and resources to the most important actions. The outcomes from this process will have implications for the things we do, the way we work and how we resource our activities.

For the moment, I wish to draw your attention to a couple of extremely urgent issues:

From 5 to 20 June, the ILO will convene its annual conference, the ILC. One of the key issues of the conference is a report on Convention 151 (Convention concerning Protection of the Right to Organise and Procedures for Determining Conditions of Employment in the Public Service). We think that it is important for public service unions to be present and active for this year’s conference. Thus, we need affiliates to urgently petition the national trade union confederations to be included in their national delegation to the ILC. Depending on the country, this process can be complicated and requires that you act immediately. Should you need assistance or advice about this process please contact Sandra.Vermuyten@world-psi.org

From 26 to 30 March, the World Social Forum will meet in Tunis, Tunisia. At Congress in Durban, PSI supported a resolution asking that we get involved in this World Social Forum, in part to express support for our sisters and brothers in the Maghreb. We are already discussing initiatives in the following areas:

•    Violence against women
•    Youth and employment
•    Trade union rights
•    Healthcare
•    The right to water and sanitation
•    Energy and climate change

We will need early indication of unions willing to participate in these activities. We will also be looking for a number of unions to help sponsor the costs of some of the participants. Should you need assistance or advice about this process please contact David.Boys@world-psi.org

I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years.

May I take this opportunity to send my best wishes to you and your families for the year end and a happy and peaceful 2013!

Best regards,

Rosa Pavanelli
General Secretary

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