Collective bargaining in the public service: Bridging gaps for a better future

Issues paper for discussion at the Global Dialogue Forum on Challenges to Collective Bargaining in the Public Service (Geneva, 2−3 April 2014)

This paper will focus on the Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978 (No. 151), and the impact of the financial crisis on labour relations and social dialogue in the public service. The concluding sections will consider the actions taken to promote the ratification and implementation of Convention No. 151. Three specific challenges were identified in the General Survey of 2013: (1) the slowness of administrative and judicial procedures in cases of anti-union discrimination or interference in trade union matters, and the lack of sufficiently dissuasive sanctions; (2) certain problems that can give rise in practice to a denial of the right to collective bargaining to all public servants; and (3) exclusion by some countries of certain subjects from collective bargaining, restriction of the right of the parties to determine the level of bargaining, or prohibition of collective bargaining for specific categories of workers or by federations and confederations.