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Friday, May 13, 2011

Public Services And Good Jobs – Ken Georgetti At CLC Convention

Categorized | Issues

Issues: Public Services And Good Jobs – Ken Georgetti At CLC Convention

Ken Georgetti was at the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) National Convention in Vancouver this week and Today’s David Murray caught up with him top talk about the move to privatize public service jobs.
By David Murray.
One in five of all working Canadians, and one in four employees , works in the direct sector. At least another 10% of all workers work for not-for-profit and private sector employers providing goods and services to governments in areas ranging from early learning and child care, to long-term care and home care, to construction and maintenance of public infrastructure and buildings.
Workers in public serves contribute greatly to our social well-being by providing direct services to people, and by regulating business in the public interest. They pay taxes and buy goods and services. They also make a very direct contribution to economic development. Public investment in transportation, utilities, and basic municipal infrastructure is a key driver of private sector productivity growth, and the private sector depends greatly on public investment in education and skills, health care, and so on. It is a right-wing myth that only the business sector is “productive”.
Ken Georgetti’s career has taken him from pipefitter to president of the Canadian Labour Congress and from shop steward to start-up founder of labour-owned, multi-million dollar companies.
Regulation in the public interest, in areas like food and drug safety, is undermined when staff cuts lead to privatization of responsibility to corporations who put profits before the public good. Regulatory harmonization with the US also threatens government regulation in the public interest and protection of Canadians, especially in areas like security. Public services are a major source of good jobs, especially for women. Almost one in three women works in public and social services compared to less than one in five men. Gender pay and opportunity gaps are much lower in public services than in the private sector because of high rates of unionization, bargaining for equity , and pay and employment equity legislation.
Public services promote gender equality . High quality, affordable child care and elder care services reduce barriers which stop women from participating as equals in the workforce.
The CLC will fight for services which benefit working families and also create decent jobs. The key priorities should be to introduce federal transfers to the provinces and territories to support the development of affordable, high quality, not-for-profit, early learning and child care programs, and to greatly expand home care and residential care services for the ederly.
The development of child care and early learning programs would be a major investment in our children and a key driver of equality for women at work. The comprehensive development of programs and care options for seniors is imperative in an ageing society and will allow seniors to live in dignity. Not-for-profit delivery of such services is essential to making them high quality , accessible and affordable, and also to ensuring that the new jobs created are good jobs.
There are also major opportunities to expand good jobs in the public educational system, in the public health care system, and in community social services. There should be a permanent federal program to help cities renew basic infrastructure.
The current rate of growth of federal transfers to the provinces and territories, in support of health and other social programs, must be maintained to support growing needs, and the condition attached to transfers should block privatization , commercialization, and contracting out of core public services.
The CLC will continue to fight privatization, contracting out, and P3′s (Public-Private Partnerships) which transfer core public sector functions and jobs to the corporate sector.
Maintaining not-for-profit delivery of hospital and ancillary health care services, and increasing federal investment in municipal public infrastructure should be key priorities. Government funds promoting P3s should be scrapped.
The drive to privatize and contract our public services is not about efficiency, but about creating profit opportunities for corporations. When costs are cut by shifting to more private delivery, it is at the price of wages and working conditions, especially for lower paid women and racialized workers, and at the price of reduced access by those who cannot afford to buy private services.

David Murray 
running for Pitt Meadows City Council 2011 

Please contact me at 604-832-5394 or email
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