Public Sector

The public sector consists of government ministries and departments, provincial and divisional bodies and semi government bodies, such as corporations, boards and authorities.

The total workforce in 1998, according to the statistical pocket book 2007 of the Department of Census and Statistics was 774952. No Survey has been carried out since 2002.

The public sector was in existence since the colonial rule that commenced in 1815. Rules and regulations covering the workforce developed gradually to what is in force now.

The main law regulating the trade unions in the public sector is the Trade Unions Ordinance No: 14 of 1935. The ordinance restricts public servants in unionizing in following manner.

1. Judicial Officers

Members of armed forces

Police officers

Prison officers and

Members of any corps established under the agricultural corps ordinance

Cannot form or join any trade union

2. A union of public officers shall not be affiliated to or amalgamated or federated with any other trade union whether of the public officers or otherwise.

3. The union shall not have any political object or a political fund.

Compared with the private sector the employment in the public sector is more secure. They enjoy a fairly high wage and are entitled to a pensions as well. However , political interference is rampant in recruitment, transfers, promotions, etc. Consequently, many trade unions have come up in the sector. Some have joined together to form federations, or trade unions though banned by the trade unions ordinance, as stated above.

One such federation is the Public Service National Trade Union Federation and the National Health Services General Employees Union is one of the unions which applied to be affiliates of the NTUF. To over come the restriction in the Trade unions Ordinance the NTUF had to accept them as associate members.