PSI Congress 2017 : People over profit

Change requires power. In the last five years, PSI has identified global threats and risen to meet them, rebuilding our capacity to fight and win, relentlessly advocating for public
services, human rights and democracy. Ultimately, our power comes from the size, strength and unity of our affiliates. Each worker who joins the struggle makes us stronger. Our ability to project our power to make change, whether at the workplace or in the UN, relies crucially on how we mobilise our members and allies to influence decision-makers.

Organising workers to build union power starts in the workplace. Unions must build strong relationships with members and potential members by identifying the issues that matter and demonstrating that union activity can make a difference. Unions must identify and train workplace leaders and activists, strengthen local branches and recruit new members.

Successful organising and mobilising of workers requires their involvement and ownership. Unions must be open, participatory and democratic, and reach out to organise outsourced and temporary workers, the informal sector, women, young workers, migrants and refugees. We will fight against racism, xenophobia and gender inequity in the workplace, and all forms of discrimination. Unions grow when workers feel unions are powerful, are addressing the issues they care about and when they are given the opportunity to participate in democratic decision-making and action. Unions must actively provide opportunities for workers to participate in action that strengthens collective power, including joining the union.

All PSI activity will reinforce affiliates’ organising and growth strategies and provide
opportunities for affiliates to act in ways that attract more workers to become union
members. PSI will provide the tools for affiliates to educate members and activists on issues that matter to workers. PSI activity will assist affiliates to identify and train activists and recruit new members. Our actions will reinforce the power of collective action and encourage hope. PSI is uniquely placed to map power across borders, help affiliates to educate members about how to challenge this power, co-ordinate action and share knowledge amongst affiliates about best practices.

The post-financial crisis period has been difficult for public service unions and PSI has
consolidated its membership. However, the significant gains PSI has made over the last five years in policy, advocacy and profile have not been matched by commensurate membership growth. Ensuring every independent union contributes to our strength and vision is the shared task of all affiliates and PSI secretariat. We must do more in the years to come.

You can find all the documents of the PSI Congress “people over profit” here.