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Resolution 21: On public services

30 November, 2012

The 29th World Congress of Public Services International (PSI),
meeting in Durban, South Africa, on 27-30 November 2012

NOTES the following:

PSI affiliates issue a reminder that the defence and improvement in the employment situation and working conditions of civil servants and public sector workers must be at the heart of our demands.

The PSI and its affiliates lead the fight to promote social justice and basic rights, and against social dumping and the exploitation of workers. They contest and condemn ultra-liberal economic policies, their anti-social character and the dogma of the free market. All these elements promote and accelerate the privatisation of public services.

The present crisis is a crisis of the capitalist system. It highlights the irresponsibility of the world of finance and the negligence and omissions of state regulation and condemns millions of workers to unemployment and ruin.

The PSI and its affiliates denounce the aim of governments to make workers pay for the crisis. The elimination of jobs, combined with destructive reforms, is gaining momentum in the public services. Civil service jobs, wages, pensions and services have become budgetary adjustment variables.

The most serious threats and dangers are to the basic principles of public service and the rights of civil servants. The equal access of citizens to public service and the impartiality of the civil service are in question.

For all these reasons, the PSI and its affiliates condemn these policies, which destructure the state and transfer public services to the private sector.

Whether they are caused by the crisis or not, the PSI and its affiliates oppose:

  • The counter-reforms introduced by governments at the request of international trade and financial institutions and which dismantle public services and social regression.
  • All attempts to subject our demands to economic and budgetary convergence, drastic reductions in public expenditure or public deficits.

Therefore, in opposition to these policies, which are destroying the public service, Congress PROPOSES to:

  • MAINTAIN and DEVELOP job and career guarantees for civil servants and other public sector workers in order to protect them from pressure groups and preserve their impartiality in the fulfilment of their duties;
  • MAINTAIN and PROMOTE high quality non-commercial public services that are accessible to ALL, to preserve and strengthen economic and social solidarity;
  • INCREASE wages, improve workplace health and safety conditions;
  • FIGHT against precarious work;
  • PROMOTE gender equality;
  • FIGHT all forms of discrimination;
  • PROMOTE young people’s access to sustainable quality public sector jobs;
  • PUT IN PLACE a redistributive tax system that guarantees adequate funding for public services.

The effective application of International Labour Organization conventions and the defence of collective rights remain the priorities for the PSI and its affiliates.

Solidarity, international cooperation and the mobilisation of workers will allow us to win these battles.


See all Congress resolutions including the Program of Action and the Constitution.


Also see