Many unions use 23 June, the United Nations Public Service Day, to draw attention to the struggles of public service workers. Public service workers deliver 24/7, independent of who the employer is. We are caring for nearly 750 million people in Europe alone, every day. Our work is not about filling the coffers of private equity firms or helping remote shareholders fatten their bank accounts. Public service workers take pride in working for all of us - often in difficult and dangerous circumstances. To recognise this contribution to our communities, the UN celebrates this every year. This year EPSU affiliates will recall that many workers - especially those in hospitals and care - were and are on the frontline of the pandemic. One such celebration is in Brussels, where we have invited Members of the European Parliament to join us at the statute to honour workers – an occasion that can not be missed.
Other unions will use the day to resist the privatisation and cuts in public services. Across Europe several unions in health joining their local communities to protest the closure of emergency wards in certain regions. The closure would leave large groups of people without rapid access when emergency care is most needed. UK’s GMB union reports on how understaffed ambulance services have become. The union points out the link with underfunding of social care increasing pressures throughout the health and care system.
Yet more unions will demand a need for public funding and increases in salaries to both compensate for inflation and value the work of public service workers appropriately. There are many actions and strikes across Europe. We look forward to your pictures. Please do not hesitate to use the materials.
And as we prepare our actions, we think of public service workers in the Ukraine. They and workers in other situations of conflict and war show the difficult and dangerous work to keep public services going. Strength and courage to all.
We look forward to a successful day.