Education International
Education International

PSI World Congress

published 28 September 2007 updated 28 September 2007

The world must not stand aside, but must act in support of a free and democratic Burma. That is the message from the World Congress of the Public Services International, taking place in Vienna from 24 to 28 September.

Delegates there strongly condemned the recent violence and abuse against the Burmese people.

The Congress, which celebrates the hundredth birthday of PSI, also discussed new strategies to counter privatization and deregulation of public services.

"Our organization is beginning to win the argument that only high quality, responsive public services can meet the challenges of privatization, corruption and poverty," said outgoing General Secretary Hans Engelberts to the 1,500 participants from 160 countries.

Equality issues, particularly pay equity for women, also figured prominently on the agenda. Women make up 70% of PSI’s 20-million membership. The Congress was preceded by a forum jointly sponsored by Education International and PSI on Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender rights.

"PSI and EI are the equality internationals," said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen, speaking on behalf of the Council of Global Unions. "Our work is fundamental to democracy. For equity in the provision of services underpins democracy. And good governance means good government with quality public services."

Peter Waldorf

In a contested election, the PSI World Congress chose Danish trade unionist Peter Waldorf from HK-STAT as its next General Secretary.

To mark its centennial PSI published a book on its history entitled “Fighting for public services: better lives, a better world.” It can be obtained through PSI for 22 Euros per copy. For more information, see: www.world-psi.org