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PSI Executive Board 150 Communiqué

27 April, 2017
The PSI Executive Board EB-150 met on 20–21 April to assess progress since its last meeting and prepare for the PSI World Congress, taking place on 30 October to 3 November 2017 in Geneva. The meeting heard a comprehensive report of global and regional activities in a challenging political context and welcomed 28 new affiliates.

The meeting voiced strong concerns about political developments worldwide, including the actions of Donald Trump in the USA, mass dismissals of public sector workers in Turkey since the failed ‘coup’, Brexit in Europe, and the situations in Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina. An emergency resolution was passed, supporting the general strike in Brazil on 28 April, which will protest against labour and social security reforms, as well as outsourcing of public services.

EB-150 expressed concerns about the trend of right-wing populism that is exploiting peoples’ anger and frustration about growing inequality, unemployment, tax evasion, secretive trade agreements and dismantled public services.

The EB noted a range of encouraging developments: the most positive was, that on the occasion of 8th March, a strong women’s movement had risen worldwide, claiming equality and the end of violence against women; in South Korea, street protests and worker mobilisation had contributed to support the impeachment of a corrupt president; the defeat of the right-wing populist party in the Netherlands; significant victories in achieving maternity rights in Mexico and India, and the Indonesian court declaration that privatisation of electricity in the country was unconstitutional. EB noted that global resistance was building up in the form of rallies, demonstrations and strikes being organised by trade unions together with civil society, to counter anti-democratic, anti-union, conservative and capitalist forces which pursue no other interest but their own profit.

EB-150 noted that PSI Congress 2017 will be an important opportunity for public sector unions to regroup and continue to build the power necessary to create a better world. the Board then:

  • Endorsed the Programme of Action (PoA) entitled People Over Profit for release to affiliates;
  • Endorsed constitutional amendments for debate at Congress that will strengthen the organisation and enhance internal democracy;
  • Received 50 affiliate resolutions for Congress, noting that this was an excellent indication of affiliate participation and engagement in Congress debates and decision-making;
  • Noted the report from the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) meeting, including work in progress on the draft Congress agenda
  • Reviewed the Congress webpage which is up and running in English (Spanish and French to come), and where individual on-line registration is now possible: http://congress.world-psi.org.

EB-150 was updated on the PSI Health for All Campaign that was launched in December 2016 to create a global movement to attain Universal Public Health Care (UPHC). The campaign will integrate trade union rights, fighting privatisation and tax justice and will build coalitions with other Global Union Federations, non-affiliated unions, national trade union centres and civil society allies to:

  • Enhance PSI affiliates’ ability to campaign for improved funding for health services;
  • Stress the role of the State to ensure that the human rights concept includes universal access to health;
  • Build public consensus against the commodification of health care;
  • Expand the corpus of evidence-based research on universal public health care;
  • Strengthen PSI influence on global governance, to accelerate implementation of SDG target 3.8 (Universal Health Coverage) and the Action Plan on the Report of the UN High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (ComHEEG).

EB-150 discussed preparations for the International Labour Conference and noted that:

  • Despite good response to PSI’s call at EB-149 for solidarity with the unlawfully-dismissed Liberian colleagues, the case is not settled yet;
  • PSI together with its affiliates will advocate in cases of trade union rights’ violations that will be presented to the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS): Algeria, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Turkey;
  • The right to strike issue with ILO remains unsolved, even if the monitoring system is being revised;
  • PSI will soon send a circular to find out which affiliates will attend the ILC, to coordinate joint work.

EB-150 endorsed a solidarity statement in response to a request from the Palestinian Health Trade Union in Gaza, for 6,500 Palestinian detainees (among them 300 children) who marked 14 April, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, with a hunger strike that is still going on.

The meeting also approved the balanced PSI finance report 2016, as well as the updated budget for 2017. It welcomed the appointment of two new vice-presidents, Mette Nord (Fagforbundet, Norway) and Thomas Kattnig (younion, Austria), and nominated two Congress election officers: Morna Ballantyne, PSAC, Canada, and Tomio Ishihara, JPSU, Japan.

The minutes will be made available as soon as possible to all PSI affiliates on the PSI webpage.

The next meeting of the Board, EB-151, will be on 30 October (pm). Prior to this will be SOC on 19-20 July and 29 October (pm) and the Women’s Committee on 30 October (am).


Rosa Pavanelli
PSI General Secretary


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