News (1369)

After 3 Decades, Privatization Has Been Proven a Failure. Let’s Bury It for Good.

Handing public assets and services over to the free market has been a boon for corporate America and a disaster for the working class. Jeremy Mohler, In The Public Interest, writes that it it is time to bust "The myth that the privatization of public goods and services “saves taxpayer money.” Much like trickle-down economics, privatization is a choice—meaning, it’s ideologically and politically motivated. And it’s pushed by the same corporate interests that profit from its implementation."


Japan Enacts a Revised Water Supply Act to all for-profit PPPs

Despite the mounting evidence of the problems of public-private partnerships (PPPs), private concessions, or other forms of turning public water utilities into profit machines for private corporations, the pro-market national government of Japan snuck in a legislative provision to do just that. PSI supports Jichiro, Zensuido and allies opposing water privatisation bill in Japan.

Cleaners in public buildings in Geneva want to return to the public sector

Several years ago, the Geneva office in charge of public buildings in the Canton took the decision to contract out the cleaning work in the buildings to private companies. This has resulted in a huge loss for the workers, and they are campaigning for the cleaning to return to the public sector. PSI affiliate in Switzerland, SSP, has sent a petition with more than 2,500 signatures to the Grand Council of Geneva, asking them to reintegrate the cleaning staff into the public service. They have published a video comparing the working conditions faced by cleaning staff in the public and private sectors.

Kenya in major policy shift on support for PPPs

In a major policy shift on support for PPPs, government support measures (GSM) will “only be issued in very exceptional circumstances for projects that are considered strategic and that are of public interest”. This decision was taken after it became apparent that private investors under the PPP framework have been abusing the government support measures exposing taxpayers to potential losses of millions of dollars.

Kenya in major policy shift on support for PPPs

Over 70 projects being implemented under the public-private partnership framework in Kenya face an uncertain future, after a government decision to withdraw financial and risk guarantees. Despite a push by the government for the private sector to be actively involved in cash-intensive infrastructure projects, the National Treasury has unveiled a new policy that is bound to have far-reaching ramifications for PPP projects.

How commercial scholarly publishers put the future of scientific knowledge at risk

On Tuesday 13 November, during Education International’s 11th International Further & Higher Education & Research Conference in Taipei, Taiwan, we will be releasing our latest report produced as part of the Global Response to the growing commercialisation and privatisation of education. Democratising Knowledge: a report on the scholarly publisher, Elsevier, aims to provide the foundations for a critical study into Elsevier’s business model and practices. The study also aims at contributing to developing policy objectives relating to open public access to research and educational materials, academic freedom, researcher autonomy, and the scholarly communication system. This research will form a key part of Education International’s Global Response campaign on the commercialisation and marketisation in and of education aimed specifically at the further and higher education and research sector.

EI on the World Development Report: “One must have a vision to have hope”

Education International urges the World Bank to radically change its approach, which is damaging to workers, democracy and the future of our societies. In an open letter to Jim Yong Kim, Director of the World Bank, general secretary of Education International (EI) David Edwards raises the global union’s concern about the policy views and values contained in the Draft 2019 World Development report (WDR).

The Great Barrier Reef: government was “outsourcing its responsibility"

The opposition Labor Party says, if elected, it will reverse the government’s decision to put the fight against the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef in the hands of a private organization. “Labor says that should it win office, it will re-allocate the funding to public sector agencies.” The party's environment spokesman, Tony Burke, said the government was “outsourcing its responsibility. (…) The foundation is scrambling to try to deal with a level of responsibility that can only properly be handled with the advice and corporate knowledge of the government agencies themselves." Mr. Burke said “the government has a policy to privatise the decision making over the Great Barrier Reef and have priorities and delivery agents determined by a small foundation.”

The General Secretary of NUEE is disputing claims by the government’s privatization agency

The General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Joe Ajaero, is disputing claims by the government’s privatization agency (BPE) that it has made final payments to staff affected by the dissolution of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). “They can’t say that this batch constitute the final payment, because I'm aware that those waiting for final payment and NOKs are up to 900 alone,” said Ajaero, “and we are talking of about 1900 or thereabout, those with short payment and those that were not paid anything at all. If they say that is the final verification, they are liars.”

Rally to rebuild and improve our public health care

The Ontario Health Coalition has called a rally to rebuild and improve public health care. “[Premier] Ford’s appointment of infamous privatizer Gordon Campbell as financial guru, was a tell-tale sign of his real priorities,” they say. “Under Campbell’s leadership, B.C. became ground zero for health care cuts and privatization in Canada—long waits and user fees are rampant. That’s not the Ontario we want. Now is our time to take a stand; to make it impossible for this government to cut and privatize our health care system.” The Ontario NDP has warned that “Ford’s health minister is warning of a ‘system transformation’ for Ontario’s health care. That means health care cuts and privatization.”

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