SIPTU has called for people to reflect on the need for well-funded and dynamic public services which has been starkly illustrated by their response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for the Public Service, John King, said: “Today, (Wednesday, 23rd June) is United Nations International Public Services Day. It is an opportunity to acknowledge and reflect on the importance of public services to individuals and society. Public services make a crucial contribution to sustainable economic growth.
“Rather than being a cost, public services are drivers of productivity. They are key to promoting equality and social solidarity. They boost living standards and underpin how communities and states are built.
“In SIPTU, and the wider trade union movement, we are committed to creating public services that will provide the basis of economic growth and a good society. Through the ‘More Power to You’ initiative, we are campaigning, alongside colleague trade unions, for a greater role for local authorities in the delivery of public services in order to enhance their accessibility and accountability as well as bringing their control closer to communities.
“In the crucial area of childcare, the Big Start campaign has made giant strides towards organising a low-paid and often undervalued workforce to demand reforms that will benefit children, working families and society as a whole. Elsewhere, we work to ensure public procurement is both transparent and efficient while pushing for the creation of the patient-centred healthcare system envisaged in Sláintecare.”
He added: “So today, as we slowly emerge from a once-in-a-century crisis which has starkly illustrated the importance of public services, the job of trade unionists is to shape and build a new dynamic economy with a prosperous society underpinned by properly resourced public services. There can be no going back to the days when public services and public service workers have been undervalued and under-resourced. The reality is that public service workers want to leave the legacy of austerity and negativity behind them. They want to work in a well-funded, properly resourced system that delivers the type of the high quality world class services that all our citizens deserve.”