The meeting welcomed new Executive Board members including the 8 new young workers’ representatives, the election of a new Women’s Committee Chair, Irene Nonhlanhla Khumalo, Swaziland, and welcomed the election of a young workers’ representative, Rodrigo Daniel López, Argentina, to the Steering Committee. The meeting also welcomed 23 new affiliates.
The Board voiced strong concerns about the rise of right wing populism including the actions of Donald Trump in the USA and the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. The Board passed an emergency resolution expressing solidarity with Brazilian workers and trade unions, women and the many other minority groups confronting the rhetoric and actions of intolerance and hate. EB noted the US election including so many women from diverse backgrounds elected to the House of Representatives, a positive sign for the fightback. EB also expressed support for the struggle of the Kurdish workers and undertook to continue monitoring the situation and providing solidarity and assistance where possible.
PSI work on migration and refugees was discussed, including the progress of the Global Compact. EB heard reports of vilification of migrants and refugees and passed a resolution reaffirming PSI’s commitment to protecting the human rights of migrants and refugees.
EB-153 noted the success of PSI Congress 2017, received an evaluation of the event and adopted priorities for action over the mandate in the document Putting People Over Profit: PSI’s Priorities for 2018-2022. EB also adopted new constitutional Annexes outlining the process for conducting the elections of regional executive committees under the new constitution adopted by Congress.
The next five years will be an important opportunity for public sector unions to regroup and continue to build the power necessary to create a better world. EB-153 heard updates on PSI’s priority work areas. The Board:
- Reviewed Motyrõ, PSI’s new digital toolbox which will enhance communications between PSI and its affiliates. It will allow affiliates to build their own websites and newsletters and launch campaigns. PSI will send a video tutorial to all affiliates in the new year.
- Reviewed PSI’s new website and invited affiliates’ communications and IT staff to contact PSI to learn more about the new functionalities of the website including the enhanced ability to promote PSI affiliates’ own work.
- Received a report on the progress of PSI’s digitalisation work, the regional consultations to take place next year and invited all affiliates to forward examples of how public sector unions are dealing with the effects of digitalisation.
- Debated the impact of debt on workers and public services and noted the materials for affiliates PSI is producing.
- Heard an update on the development of the POP platform and was informed that invitations to affiliates to register will be sent in the next two months.
The meeting approved the PSI finance report 2017, as well as the updated budget for 2018. It fare-welled longstanding EB members Isolde Kunkel-Weber, Germany, Noor Shyma Abdul Latiff, Singapore, and John Leirvaag, Norway, and thanked them and Juneia Batista, Brazil, outgoing WOC chair for all their hard work and commitment.
The minutes will be made accessible to all PSI affiliates on the PSI webpage in due course.
The next meeting of the Board, EB-154, will take place in November 2019 and the Women’s Committee will meet prior to the EB. The Steering Committee will meet on 27-28 May 2019.
PSI General Secretary