Global Day of Action for Care: Education unions join global call for increased investment in the care sector

published 26 October 2020 updated 28 October 2020

On 29 October, the Global Day of Action for Care, Education International will join in the global trade union call for decent working conditions and fair pay for care workers. This global call recognises the enormous contribution to society being made by workers across the health, care, and education sectors, whether working in hospitals, hospices, schools, care homes, private homes or as domestic workers, whether in the public or private sector. Education International invites member organisations and concerned citizens to follow two webinars that will address these issues.

Health and care central to our wellbeing and existence

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the devastating effects of decades of under-investment in public health and care systems and the harmful politics of austerity.

While many countries were ill-prepared to deal with the scale and rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, millions of care and health workers, mostly women, were left without access to essential personal protective equipment and other health and safety measures.

The pandemic has underlined the centrality of health and care to our wellbeing and existence.

On 29 October, trade unions will stress that the need for adequate investment in equitable, quality public health and care systems is more apparent and urgent than ever.

Trade unions act for a caring economy

Education International invites its member organisations and concerned citizens across the globe to join the Global Day of Action on Care by calling on governments to invest in care. This means:

  • Investing in public health and care – including mental health, childcare, early childhood education, elder care, and other social care services to ensure job creation, fair wages, decent working conditions; and to close gender gaps in labour force participation.
  • Ensuring decent pay and working conditions, including equal pay for work of equal value, training opportunities and occupational health and safety for workers in health and care services, including home care and domestic workers.
  • Ensuring equity and non-discrimination in recruitment, retention, access to training and promotion opportunities for workers across the health and care sectors.
  • Ensuring that the rights to freedom of association and to collective bargaining are respected for all workers in the health and care sectors, whether in the formal or informal economy.
  • Funding universal, gender-responsive social protection accessible by all workers regardless of employment status or migrant status, racial or ethnic background, disability, gender, identity expression or sexual orientation, and inclusive of workers in the informal economy.
  • Ensure accessibility for all to quality public health and care services, including refugees and migrants, regardless of status.

Webinar series “Invest in Care, Now!”

A webinar series, supported by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, will feature the voices of health and care workers on the frontlines and highlight what adequate investment in care would mean for gender equality, equitable societies, sustainable development, and economies that work for all people.

The first webinar, “Invest in Care, Now!”- voices from Asia Pacific”, will be held on 28 October from 08.00 to 09.30 CET. It will feature key trade speakers from Australia, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The second webinar, “Invest in Care, Now!”, will take place on 29 October from 16.00 to 17.30 CET with the participation of trade unionists from Canada, Chile, Nigeria, Tunisia, and the USA.

Both events will be livestreamed on the International Trade Union Confederation Facebook page.

More information and materials are available on the International Trade Union Confederation website: https://www.ituc-csi.org/invest-in-care