International Public Services Day: Time to recall the valuable role public servants play in making improvements in society

23 Jun 2015

Today, June 23, is International Public Services Day. This year, in Europe, the day takes place - once again - in a time of austerity and continued and widespread cuts in public administrations' budgets and public servants. In this context, CESI, as a European trade union federation representing several million public sector workers, believes that it is time to recall the valuable role public sector workers play in making improvements in society.

International Public Services Day: Time to recall the valuable role public servants play in making improvements in society

The excessive austerity and cuts in public service providers that many policy-makers have imposed in many European countries during the last years should be stopped immediately if Europe wants to keep a quality public healthcare system, provide excellent state-run education systems or maintain defence and police forces that can keep Europe a safe place.

“We see a rising military escalation at Europe’s eastern borders, we face increasing rates of radicalisation and terrorist threats in Europe, Europe’s ageing societies have special needs and our societies have to compete with rising knowledge economies around the world. But political leaders do not equip the military forces to operate effectively, they dismiss police officers where more staff is needed to detect radicalising terrorists on time, they ax public heath and social care provisions for the elderly in need, and they do not spend sufficient money to educate the youngsters adequately”, CESI Secretary-General Klaus Heeger said.

Indeed, it is time to recognise the vital role that public servants play in making societies function and in ensuring social justice. Without them, Europe’s post-industrial societies will be deprived of important services that they need to keep their standard of living. Mr. Heeger concludes: “In principle, privatising public services is certainly not an option: Privately provided services will always be profit-driven and stand by the rich and the wealthy – but leave behind those in real need.”