The SJF worked closely with education, equity and communication officers from the Programs section as well as regional staff from ROB to help develop workshops for the Forum as well as to maximize member participation during the 2014 Peoples Social Forum, a large gathering of organizations that converged in Ottawa on August 21 to 24 to build a united and cohesive front against austerity, privatization and the Conservative corporate agenda. Labour rights, social justice, human rights, sustainable development and participatory democracy are some of the important themes that were discussed during the Forum.
The SJF sat on the labour caucus of the Forum and worked with other public service unions and allies from the social movement to create a large convergent assembly to address how public services cuts are impacting democratic governance and changing the nature and purpose of public service work.
In the face of a growing income gap, and privatization of services and the commons, more and more people are losing access to quality public services and resources, the Assembly recognized:
- Public services as a vehicle to achieve poverty reduction, redistribution of income, environmental sustainability, support of community, respect for equality and diversity and economic and social security
- the need to ensure adequate public resources and investment in public services, through fiscal and monitory policies, fair tax revenue and proper expenditures; investment in sustainable energy projects, the creation of green jobs and the need to reject user fees and public private partnerships
- The need to protect the rights of public service workers, including bargaining rights and the right to unionize.