All across America, AFSCME members and the public face the threat of privatization of vital services that are fundamentally part of the public domain. From public works and social services to public schools and corrections facilities, corporations are trying to seize control of public services and public assets.
They’re writing and lobbying for bills that create a market, buying the ultra-conservative “think tanks” that are working overtime to convince the country that private companies can do everything better than the public sector. This coordinated campaign to privatize government at every level has even mutated to include privatization of important policy decisions.
For public service employees and the people we serve, the price of privatization is high and getting higher. Because the privatizers are often non-union and are located far from where they provide a service, it means fewer good jobs, a reduced tax base and money shipped out of the local economy. For local and state workers, privatization threatens job security, pay and benefits, worsens working conditions and decreases career opportunities. For the public, it means less control, less accountability, lower quality and higher costs. That is why we must fight privatization — before the first warning sign and with every resource.