pop-logo-verticalCreated with Sketch.

News (18)

Back in house: Why local governments are bringing services home

This new report from the Columbia Institute is about the emerging trend of remunicipalization. As part of our ongoing work to promote the value of publicly-delivered services, the Canadian Union of Public Employees helped fund the production of Back in house. The report examines the Canadian environment for local governments, shares 15 Canadian case studies about returning services, follows-up and reports back on two earlier studies promoting contracted out services, provides a scan of international findings, and shares some best practices and governance checkpoints for bringing services back in house. Many of the local governments examined employ CUPE members.

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees

Jakarta’s remunicipalization plan raises hope for better water service

Jakarta’s remunicipalization plan has raised hopes for better water service. “The remunicipalization plan is part on the city’s efforts to achieve 82 percent tap water coverage by 2023. The realization of this target has been slow because of the previous agreement with the private operators. Tap water coverage today sits at 59.4 percent, a sluggish increase from 44.5 percent in 1998. Activists and the public alike have long demanded remunicipalization. Although Jakarta’s plan is still underway, Badung regency in Bali has found success after ending its 20 year partnership with private firms in 2012, according to remunicipalization global tracker website remunicipalisation.org.”s.

Source: The Jakarta Post

KPTU wins termination of contract for Seoul metro Line 9

Halfway through a 10-year deal, South Korea’s capital local government decides to put an end to its contract with French private operators RATP Dev and Transdev after negotiations over renewed contract conditions failed. The announcement, on 18 January, came shortly after members of the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU), a PSI and ITF affiliate, made public their intention to go on strike.

Source: PSI

Global Labour Remunicipalisation workshop

A growing body of research and documentation shows that cities, communities, and in some cases states, are increasingly bringing back public services from private to public ownership due to the failure of privatization to keep its promises in term of cost effectiveness, service quality and user access. PSI recently held a workshop bringing together trade unions and allies from around the world to share experiences of remunicipalisation and strategies for bringing public services back in-house.

Source: peopleoverprof.it

A damning report should spell the end of England’s privatised water industry

The chief executive of the public regulator of private water companies in England and Wales (Ofwat) says the companies “have ‘created the perfect conditions for renationalization” as a result of their own actions. Writing in The Canary, James Aitchison says a damning report should spell the end of England's privatized water industry. “The report, by the University of Greenwich Public Services International Research Unit, compared the privatised English water industry with the public Scottish industry. It provides compelling proof that the privatized water industry in England is inefficient, unnecessarily overpriced, and benefits shareholders at the expense of consumers.” [The Privatised Water Industry in the UK: An ATM for Investors, by Karol Yearwood, September 2018]

Let’s take back what’s ours!

In the wake of a £120 million fine levied against Thames Water by Britain’s regulatory authority for failing to stop leaks, critics are calling for the water system to be brought back into municipal operation. “But if the minister thinks a slap on the wrist will be enough to make Thames Water mend its ways—or even its pipes—he hasn’t been doing his homework. A firm with monopoly control of the supply of water to the capital, which registered operating profits of over £600m last year and which has paid out billions in dividends to private shareholders even while more than doubling its long-term debt (which was over £10 billion in 2016) will hardly feel the pinch at being fined a few million. (…) Thames’s owners—a faceless coterie of Canadian pension funds, the Abu Dhabi and Kuwait investment funds, BT and the China Investment Corporation—can sleep sound in the knowledge that the privatized water supply in England and Wales will keep the payouts flowing. (…) Water belongs to us all and its supply is a natural monopoly. Let’s take back what’s ours.”

Source: Morning Star

The inspiration from the success of the remunicipalization movement in Germany

Steve Rushton of Equal Times writes that “the momentum to democratize UK public services is growing,” and it has taken inspiration from the success of the remunicipalization movement in Germany. “A key pillar of the Community Wealth Building plan is the facilitation of municipal energy companies, which connects to a wider global shift away from privatized provision,” Rushton reports. “Germany is leading the global charge in remunicipalization. Last year, the Transnational Institute detailed 835 cases of public services such as waste management, water and transport either returning from various forms of privatization (outsourcing of services, public-private partnerships, etc.) back into public hands, or cities and regions creating new local public services. Some 347 of these examples took

Source: Equal Times

Jakarta should just return water management to the public

The Jakarta Post says that “instead of confusing the public with legal technicalities of contract restructuring, Jakarta should just return water management to the public. Like Paris, it should form a Water Observatory, a space where citizens can ensure that the water company is publicly held accountable.” The media outlet was responding to a demonstration by Jakarta residents on World Water Day demanding “that water management be returned to the public, as part of a global trend called ‘remunicipalisation.’”

Source: The Jakarta Post

Twenty young African trade unions leaders gathered to discuss remunicipalisation

Twenty young African trade unions leaders gathered in Abuja recently to discuss remunicipalization, PSI reports. “This meeting was the opportunity to discuss collectively the many reasons why it is key to defend the public ownership of essential municipal services, how to ensure fair public procurement processes and why it is in everyone’s interest to reclaim them for the public whenever they are contracted out to the private sector. Profit-oriented service procurement is not compatible with the general interest and the young trade union leaders uncovered many reasons why essential service privatization does not work for people.”

Source: PSI

Barcelona reorganises public services in the people's interest

Barcelona and Madrid are reorganizing public services by building upon a strong remunicipalization movement. David Hall of PSIRU offers a summary of the December conference. “A number of common features emerged during the day’s discussion. The first was that the new groups are approaching the question of remunicipalization systematically, based on explicit criteria. Secondly, public service workers are at the centre of the new policies—even though the parties and groups have no formal connection to the established trade unions. Thirdly, the process is being conducted with a high level of professionalism—legal, financial, and technical. (…) The direct employment of public service workers is inevitably central, for a number of reasons. The central reason for remunicipalization is to re-establish the capacity of a city council to carry out those services, which requires direct employment of the workers with the necessary professional and practical skills. This enables the city council to work with a group of people dedicated to public services, and so manage, develop, and change these services in the public interest. Ending the privatized contracts means that those employed by private companies need to be transferred to employment by the municipality.” See also the detailed presentation on “Strategic Approaches to Remunicipalization in Barcelona.”

Source: Transnational Institute