PSIRU went to PSI’s 31st world congress in Geneva in October 2023, which was attended by over 1000 trade unionists from across the world. At the congress PSIRU launched its study ‘Mental Health and Public Sector Healthcare: International Case Studies’, which makes the link between the global healthcare staff shortages crisis, mental health, and insufficient quality of care. Prior to the PSI world Congress, the PSIRU team joined a protest by health and care workers from across the world to protest at United Nations in Geneva to highlight the global stuff crisis in health care.
The PSI world congress was truly inspiring. It was a global place of learning as trade unions from across the world shared their stories and offered lessons that can be learned. There are too many to mention, so to name just a few: Activists from Nigeria showed what can be learned from the success of the “Our Water, Our Rights” movement in Nigeria against water privatisation. In a panel on remunicipalisation we heard from examples from across the world on how a shift from private to public control can be achieved. In a lively debate on trade union organising, we heard from effective campaigns in Kenya of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dental Union (KMPDU), in Australia of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, and in India from the Temporary Health Employees Union.
The congress also highlighted the challenges associated with digitalisation and introduced PSI’s collective bargaining hub that provides real-world bargaining clauses, union guidance and framework agreements so that unions from across the world can learn from each other.
Last but not least, the PSIRU team also congratulates Daniel Bertossa who was elected as the new General Secretary of PSI and Britta Lejon PSI President who became its new President.