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Our challenge for World Public Services Day and beyond: Commemorate 23 June 2012 with action!

18 June 2012
This is a time of both crisis and opportunity. The members of Public Services International affiliate unions see it every day. You are not alone. The danger is worldwide – ferocious attacks on wages, working conditions, pensions, public service unions, and the vital services we provide to our communities. In the day-to-day struggle to defend public services and the rights of union members, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we also have an unprecedented opportunity.

Millions of people have had enough. The 99% are fed up with the erosion of public services, and the threat to our living standards. We’re fed up with paying for enormous bailouts to financial institutions and ever more generous tax giveaways to the elite few who already have everything.
We must seize the moment. We must respond to the dangers and opportunities by taking action and speaking out in solidarity in communities and nations around the world.

This is our opportunity to reinforce the message that quality public services are the key to building civil societies where people work together for the benefit of the whole community, not the wealthy. Quality public services, free of corruption, are essential to provide equal access to health care and education, to ensure equal opportunities for ordinary people, and to support a sustainable economy in a sustainable environment.

On World Public Services Day, 23 June, please join your union sisters and brothers across the globe in taking action. This is the time to act to support quality public services, fair taxes, and the rights of strong independent unions.

Our primary focus this year is fair taxes. Public Services International is calling on union members around the world to speak out in support of a global financial transactions tax, also known as the Robin Hood tax. The unregulated greed of financial institutions has harmed people around the world. Big banks should help repair the damage they’ve done.
A tiny tax on financial transactions would raise billions of dollars to help create good jobs in a sustainable economy, end growing inequality, lift millions of people out of poverty, improve vital public services, and strengthen the global fight against climate change.

PSI is working in alliance with the Council of Global Unions, affiliates and major civil society partners in the world-wide movement for a financial transactions tax. Our joint actions at recent G8 events and upcoming G20 and Rio+20 meetings continue to raise awareness of the need for fair taxation.
Please take action now to support quality public services:

  • Promote the Quality Public Services – Action Now! campaign with a mass Twitter action on 23 June. Help to generate thousands of tweets ofsupport for the FTT from around the world. Please encourage those tweeting to include @psiglobalunion and #FTT in their messages.
  • Promote the Geneva Charter on Public Services. Ask your members and allies to sign the Charter at http://www.world-psi.org/en/issue/quality-public-services
  • Visit the Quality Public Services – Action Now! website frequently, and sign up for email updates at http://www.world-psi.org/en/issue/quality-public-services
  • Distribute information to union members and your communities about how a financial transactions tax (FTT) would work, and how the funds raised could address inequality, poverty and climate change if it is invested in quality public services. For more details, visit www.world-psi.org/en/global-week-action-fair-taxation
  • Make a public statement on World Public Services Day in support of the financial transactions tax, and get other organisations to do the same.
  • Organise media actions, news conferences and other public events on 23 June 2012 to highlight the valuable work that public service union members do to build healthy, equitable communities.
  • And please add your events or actions to the Quality Public Services – Action Now! campaign map at http://www.world-psi.org/en/issue/quality-public-services
  • Use the Quality Public Services – Action Now! posters in your local actions, available in many different languages at http://www.world-psi.org/en/issue/quality-public-services

IMPORTANT: Please help inspire PSI activists around the world by letting us know what actions your union is planning to take on 23 June, World Public Services Day. Send an email to campaign coordinator morna.ballantyne@world-psi.org with related details, links or attachments.

Listen to PSI General Secretary Peter Waldorff talking about Public Services Day on RadioLabour

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