'"Our involvement at the international level is an important part of our labour leadership and activism." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Geneva (31 Oct. 2017) — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is a proud member of Public Services International (PSI). Public Services International brings together more than 20 million workers, represented by over 700 unions in 154 countries and territories. It is a global trade union federation dedicated to promoting quality public services in every part of the world. PSI members, two-thirds of whom are women, work in social services, health care, municipal and community services, central government, and public utilities such as water and electricity.
People over Profit at the 2017 PSI World Congress
110 years after PSI’s very first Congress, workers from across the world will gather in Geneva, Switzerland, from October 30 to November 3, to reject the privatization of people's lives, to unveil the untruths of corporate ideology and the chaos of market failure, to construct alternatives based on the power of organized labour, and to fight for the firm belief: People Over Profit! As part of the Canadian delegation, NUPGE has sent 4 union leaders to participate in the key discussions that will outline PSI's global action plan for the next 5 years.The delegation includes Larry Brown, NUPGE President, Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer, Stephanie Smith, President of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE), and Mike Parker, President of Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE).
Brown is also the PSI's Canadian Titular, a PSI board member and head of the Canadian delegation.
'"Our involvement at the international level is an important part of our labour leadership and activism," said Larry Brown, NUPGE President. "The issues we are fighting in Canada are the same issues workers are fighting around the world. We can learn a lot from our colleagues, and we have a lot of experience to share as we work to create a better world for future generations."
NUPGE shows leadership on international stage
Stephanie Smith, NUPGE National Executive Board member and President of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) addressed the Congress on NUPGE's motion expressing our solidarity with migrants and the sanctuary movement. It asks that PSI encourage and support affiliates to call on all levels of government to provide access without fear to vital public services for all residents, even those with precarious immigration status. The motion also asks PSI to support the movement to create Sanctuary Cities in municipalities that have adopted a policy of protecting and providing for all residents, regardless of immigration status. Smith also argued that PSI, along with affiliates, must lobby for humane and generous refugee asylum policies and establish pathways to residency and citizenship for all migrants at the international and national levels.
A major issue that NUPGE has been working on for the last decade is the growing use of part-time and precarious jobs to replace permanent, full-time positions. The NUPGE resolution asks that PSI will continue to support the creation of good jobs with a living wage and develop bargaining strategies to reduce the occurrence of precarious work. The resolution also asks that PSI encourage and support affiliates in lobbying their governments for reform of collective bargaining and employment standards laws, ensuring that workers in precarious employment have the same rights and protections as full-time employees.
The NUPGE delegation has also put the issue of workers with mental health injuries on the agenda at PSI. The motion recognizes how trauma in the workplace can be far-reaching and enduring for workers, especially first responders, health care workers, correctional workers and other workers that experience traumatic events on a regular basis. The resolution asks that PSI work with its affiliates to lobby governments to recognise PTSD as a workplace injury and lobby law makers at all levels to provide coverage to emergency first responders, health care workers and corrections officers without the need to prove a causal link between PTSD and a workplace event.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE