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Public Services International 30th Congress: Focus on ‘People over profit’

By Heather Sam

DENOSA Marketing and International Relations Manager 

MORE THAN 1500 representatives of Public Sector Unions met at the World Congress of the Public Service International (PSI) held at the Convention International Center Geneva (CICG), Switzerland, under the Theme: “PEOPLE OVER PROFIT” to discuss public sector worker issues, to consolidate the work at hand and to enhance programmes for the next five years.

DENOSA sent six delegates to the congress, namely: Simon Hlungwani (DENOSA President), Kwena Manamela (DENOSA Deputy General Secretary), Lindokuhle Zondi (DENOSA KZN Deputy Chairperson), Mzwandile Shongwe (DENOSA Mpumalanga Provincial Secretary), Nyameka Khumalo (DENOSA Gauteng Deputy Chairperson), Veronica Fransman-Hendricks (DENOSA Free State Provincial Secretary). 


PSI General Secretary who has been re-elected for the second term, Rosa Pavanelli, outlined the major themes of the Programme of Action (POA) for 2018-2022. Pavanelli highlighted the Tax Justice campaign as one of PSI’s priority programmes, which articulate the challenges of rising inequalities, changes in the labour markets and the Fight against Privatisation of Public Services, particularly the waver of PPP. 

Summary of Key Points

The PoA will build on the current political priorities of PSI. It will outline:

-          The international threats and opportunities that PSI and its members face. It reminds us that the struggle cannot be separated from the broader struggles of all workers, and the struggles of democracy, human rights and justice for all. It further outlines the threats of corporate power;

-          Rising inequalities, increased racism and xenophobia and unique place that public service workers and unions occupy in the current global turmoil; 

-          Building the Power to Create the World We Want, this will identify Organising Workers;

-          Growing our unions and projecting our power as crucial to our success. PSI’s power relies critically on the size, unity and activity of its affiliates; 

-          Respect and Dignity for All, this will include the new sections on migrant and refugees, racism and xenophobia, LGBTQI workers, indigenous people and disabled workers.

-          It acknowledges PSI Women Committee’s lead role for gender mainstreaming, but that men must play a critically important role. 

-          It commits to expand the support for Young Workers in PSI decision making and their central in PSI actions; 

-          A Just Global Economy: This section deals with Tax Justice, Debt, Trade, Corruption, Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Pensions and Digitalization.

-          Trade Union Labour Rights: Outline the role PSI plays in defending the trade union rights of its affiliates, against unprecedented attacks, particularly on Collective Bargaining and the right to strike in public services;

-          Fighting Privatisation; PSI’s commitment to quality public services and their role in assisting the most vulnerable and needy in society;

Making Sectors Stronger: This section of the PoA sets out how PSI will strengthen its sector network and organised to defend its affiliates and their members, and list specific actions for  each of the PSI’s Five sectors.

IMG-20171108-WA0002 IMG-20171108-WA0001

The successful, lively, action filled congress concluded on Friday 3rd November2017.