Our challenge for World Public Services Day
Every day, members of global union affiliates see vicious attacks on public service workers’ wages, working conditions, pensions, trade union rights, and on the vital public services themselves which support and sustain 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 these cutbacks and threats have now created an unprecedented opportunity.
Millions of people throughout the world are fed up with government cuts in services to people and the consequent undermining of their quality of life. They’re also fed up with paying for enormous bailouts to financial institutions and for ever more generous tax giveaways to the elite few.
As trade union organisations, we must seize the opportunity to galvanise communities into taking solidarity actions and speaking out together in favour of public services and public service workers around the world.
In this context, World Public Services Day on 23rd June provides a platform 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. 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. Please join your union colleagues across the globe in taking action. This is the opportune time to act together to support quality public services, fair taxes, and the rights of strong independent public service unions.
The primary focus of the day this year is fair taxes. As part of the Council of Global Union’s Quality Public Services—Action Now! campaign, unions around the world are invited 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 damaged societies around the world. A small tax on financial transactions would raise billions of dollars to help create good jobs in a sustainable economy, help to end growing inequality, lift millions of people out of poverty, improve vital public services, and strengthen the global fight against climate change.
Members of the Council of Global Unions are working in alliance with major civil society partners in the world-wide movement for a financial transactions tax. Though our joint actions at G8 events in Chicago in May, and G20 and Rio+20 meetings in June, we 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 of support for the FTT from around the world. Please encourage those tweeting to include #QPSActionNow and #FTT in their messages.
- Promote the Geneva Charter on Public Services. Ask your members and allies to sign the Charter at www.qpsactionnow.org/
- Visit the Quality Public Services – Action Now! website frequently, and sign up for email updates at www.qpsactionnow.org/
- 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.qpsactionnow.org/news/global-week-action-ftt
- Make a public statement on World Public Services Day in support of the financial transactions tax, and get other organizations to do the same.
- Organize media actions, news conferences and other public events on 23 June 2012 to highlight the value of quality public services to union members and our families in healthy, equitable communities.
- And please add your events or actions to the Quality Public Services – Action Now! campaign map at www.qpsactionnow.org/map
- Use the beautiful Quality Public Services – Action Now! posters in your local actions, available in many different languages at www.qpsactionnow.org/page/resources
IMPORTANT: Please help inspire 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 the Quality Public Services – Action Now! campaign coordinator email@example.com with related details, links or attachments.