PSIRU Review of 2022
We are happy to share PSIRU’s Review of the year- a broad summary of everything we have been working on in 2022. You can read about the key issues in public services our research has focussed on: waste and circular economy, energy, central government and consultancy and remunicipalisation and nationalisation, and further information about our ongoing research projects. All our reports, publications and news articles can be found on our blog, at: blogs.gre.ac.uk/psiru/. Below, we’ve chosen some of the highlights:
CONFERENCES and SEMINARS
We organised the international shifting narratives conference in partnership with UCL and financed by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), that partners with universities in Ghana, Argentina and India and brings together academics and various stakeholders. It was a conference that specifically aimed to enhance impact of academic research.
We have also been part of the Programme Committee for a leading international conference on public services in Santiago, Chile in December 2022.
We have hosted several seminars on public sector pay with economists and trade unionists as speakers and also on minimum wages in a cost of living crisis with an international perspective during 2022.
WASTE and CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Our research on waste management and the circular economy has received academic esteem and public recognition. In December 2020 PSIRU’s Dr. Vera Weghmann was interviewed as a ‘leading expert’ by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA) for their study to understand developments in the Circular Economy and their impacts on occupational health and safety (OSH) in the European Union. Vera has subsequently been asked to be co-facilitate (together with Future Impact) four stakeholder EU OSHA to shape future with policies on health and safety in the circular economy.
We have written a study on waste management for the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) that is about to be published later this year.
We presented on energy liberalisation and the energy crisis in the European Parliament in March and September 2022.
PSIRU’s Prof. Steve Thomas presented his work in Nuclear Energy Conference in May 2022 in Czechia; to the Nuclear Free Local Authorities in Caernarfon, Wales in July 2022; a European Commission Response to the Energy Crisis to 2022 to the European Public Services Union (EPSU) in October 2022; and to EPSU again on a new design for wholesale electricity markets in December 2022
We also presented our work at the Standing Committee of the European Federations of Public Service Unions (EPSU) in September 2022.
We took part of a panel discussion on the Energy crisis at the University of Vienna, Austria in January 2023.
We have written a report on the Energy Crisis for The Left in the European Parliament that is due to be published early this year.
REMUNICIPALISATION and NATIONALISATION
We were part of a global expert workshop hosted by the University of Glasgow on remunicipalisation in Glasgow in April 2022.
PSIRU’s Prof. David Hall’s paper titled Designing Future Public Ownership was published looking at the series of plans developed by the UK Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn between 2016 and 2019 for re-establishing public ownership and operation of services and infrastructure which had been privatised over the previous 40 years.
We conducted a field research on the struggles for democratisation in German post-remunicipalisation processes with the University of Glasgow. We presented our findings at the international SASE conference and will publish them later this year.
PSIRU IN THE NEWS
The provision of public service utilities has increasingly become a major public concern over the last few months, from droughts in the summer, to raw sewage dumping, to rising electricity and gas prices, and electricity generation for the future.
PSIRU has done much work in these areas, and is being picked up by the media.
The Guardian published a story about the renationalisation of England’s water provision, and cited Prof David Hall of PSIRU twice in this story.
The Financial Times published an article in its ‘Big Read’ series entitled ‘After years of false dawns, can Britain realise its nuclear ambitions?’ This article quotes Emeritus Prof Steve Thomas of PSIRU.
Public Sector Strikes
PSIRU director Prof. Sian Moore has been interviewed extensively on industrial disputes within the public sector, and the ongoing industrial action. Sian has been interviewed by LBC and on BBC Newsnight talking about profits, strikes, and pay negotiations. You can watch on the BBC iplayer. Sian’s interview starts at 12.30. She was also a panelist on the BBC4’s flagship programme The Bottom Line. The series is hosted by Evan Davis, and focuses on business conversations with people at the top of their professions, giving insight into important business, organisational, and economic issues of the day.
Central government and consultancy
Weghmann, V. And Sankey, K. (2022) Hollowed out: the growing impact of consultancy in public administration. EPSU.
Moore, S. Burns, C. Carter, N., Clamp, C., Martin, W. and Amendah, E. (2022), Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy Amongst Frontline Workers, https://werugreenwich.files.wordpress.com/2022/05/understanding-vaccine-hesitancy-amongst-frontline-workers.pdf, The British Academy.
Thomas, S. and Ramana, M.V. (2022), A hopeless pursuit? National efforts to promote small modular nuclear reactors and revive nuclear power, WIREs Energy and Environment, https://wires.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/wene.429
Thomas, S. (2022), A perspective on the RIIO formula: Old wine in new bottles, Utilities Policy, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095717872200114X?dgcid=author
Thomas, S. (2022) European Commission response to the energy crisis of 2022. Discussion Paper. Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), University of Greenwich, London. https://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/37893/
Thomas, S. (2022) A new design for European wholesale electricity market. Discussion paper, European Public Services Union, Brussels, https://www.epsu.org/sites/default/files/event/files/EPSU_New%20market%20design_v2_clean.pdf
Sankey, K. (2022), Civil Aviation: Employer Responses to Covid-19 in the Aviation Industry, https://www.itfglobal.org/en/reports-publications/civil-aviation-employer-responses-covid-19-in-aviation-industry, The International Transport Workers Federation.