PSI Executive Board 147 Communiqué

2 June, 2015
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PSI
PSI Executive Board
The Executive Board of Public Services International (PSI) met on 27 and 28 May to assess progress over the past year and to decide on future priorities and activities. The Board endorsed an aggressive and far-reaching programme, the success of which will require participation from all unions.

The Board paid tribute to Hans Engelberts, former PSI General Secretary for 26 years, who died in April, and approved the creation of the Hans Engelberts Fund.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder outlined the many challenges facing workers and unions. Ryder laid out his proposals for the ILO and took questions from Board members.  PSI will address our core issues during the upcoming International Labour Conference. 

Ansu Rashid Kallon, General Secretary of the Sierra Leone Health Workers Union, told of the death and disaster that Ebola had inflicted on the countries of West Africa, made much worse by the lack of staff and equipment in the health system.  Alex Kentikelenis from Cambridge University showed analysis from their extensive database of IMF deliberations to demonstrate how the IMF policies and practices undermined provision of public health care systems in these countries.  PSI’s Ebola Trade Union Intervention Strategy supports trade union campaigns to improve working conditions of health and related workers, promotes worker involvement in Ebola containment planning and campaigns for improvement and expansion of public health systems in West Africa.       

Executive Board 146 in June 2014 heard that PSI had established itself as a global leader in fighting privatisation, harmful trade agreements and multinational corporations dodging taxes as well as taking a strong position on the attack on the right to strike in the ILO. This Board noted extensive work in these areas including:

It also noted work in other important priority areas such as:

  • PSI participation in the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in Sendai, Japan, and recommendations for further work in the area of emergencies and disasters
  • Extensive corporate mapping of the health sector in preparation for organising campaigns in targeted countries in each region
  • Establishment of the Education Support and Cultural Workers network and the convening of the first meeting in Argentina
  • Success in forcing UN Women to withdraw its partnership with Uber and attracting widespread media coverage of Uber’s poor labour practices
  • Report on a successful Inter-Americas Regional Conference - IAMRECON – including meetings of ten sector networks and approval of a continental strategic plan.

PSI is well positioned to make input to the important global summits that will take place this year, including the UN General Assembly’s finalisation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Financing for Development Leaders’ meeting, the COP 21 climate summit in Paris, the G20 in Turkey and finalisation of the OECD’s work on corporate tax avoidance.

The Board noted PSI’s growth by over 300,000 members (net) over the last year, strengthening the voice of public sector workers on the global stage. PSI is on track to achieve the 1 million new members target by Congress 2017. The Board received the audited accounts and noted that PSI returned to surplus in 2014. The Board adopted the 2015 budget.

PSI has published several videos of Executive Board members who were interviewed during the two-day meeting. Minutes of the meeting will be made available to all PSI affiliates on the PSI website in the near future.

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