The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International
Labour Office, and having met in its Sixty-fourth Session on 7 June 1978,
Noting the terms of the Freedom of Association and Protection of
the Right to Organise Convention, 1948, the Right to Organise and Collective
Bargaining Convention, 1949, and the Workers' Representatives Convention
and Recommendation, 1971, and
Recalling that the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention,
1949, does not cover certain categories of public employees and that the
Workers' Representatives Convention and Recommendation, 1971, apply to
workers' representatives in the undertaking, and
Noting the considerable expansion of public-service activities in
many countries and the need for sound labour relations between public authorities
and public employees' organisations, and
Having regard to the great diversity of political, social and economic
systems among member States and the differences in practice among them
(e.g. as to the respective functions of central and local government, of
federal, state and provincial authorities, and of state-owned undertakings
and various types of autonomous or semi-autonomous public bodies, as well
as to the nature of employment relationships), and
Taking into account the particular problems arising as to the scope
of, and definitions for the purpose of, any international instrument, owing
to the differences in many countries between private and public employment,
as well as the difficulties of interpretation which have arisen in respect
of the application of relevant provisions of the Right to Organise and
Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949, to public servants, and the observations
of the supervisory bodies of the ILO) on a number of occasions that some
governments have applied these provisions in a manner which excludes large
groups of public employees from coverage by that Convention, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard
to freedom of association and procedures for determining conditions of
employment in the public service, which is the fifth item on the agenda
of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an
Adopts the twenty-seventh day of June of the year one thousand nine
hundred and seventy-eight, the following Convention, which may be cited
as the Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978:
PART I. SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS
1. This Convention applies to all persons employed by public authorities,
to the extent that more favourable provisions in other international labour
Conventions are not applicable to them.
2. The extent to which the guarantees provided for in this Convention shall
apply to high-level employees whose functions are normally considered as
policy-making or managerial, or to employees whose duties are of a highly
confidential nature, shall be determined by national laws or regulations.
3. The extent to which the guarantees provided for in this Convention shall
apply to the armed forces and the police shall be determined by national
laws or regulations.
For the purpose of this Convention, the term public employee means any
person covered by the Convention in accordance with Article 1 thereof.
For the purpose of this Convention, the term public employees' organisation
means any organisation, however composed, the purpose of which is to further
and defend the interests of public employees.
PART II. PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANIZE
1. Public employees shall enjoy adequate protection against acts of
anti-union discrimination in respect of their employment.
2. Such protection shall apply more particularly in respect of acts calculated
(a) make the employment of public employees subject to the condition
that they shall not join or shall relinquish membership of a public employees'
(b) cause the dismissal of or otherwise prejudice a public employee by
reason of membership of a public employees' organisation or because of
participation in the normal activities of such an organisation.
1. Public employees' organisations shall enjoy complete independence
from public authorities.
2. Public employees' organisations shall enjoy adequate protection against
any acts of interference by a public authority in their establishment,
functioning or administration.
3. In particular, acts which are designed to promote the establishment
of public employees' organisations under the domination of a public authority,
or to support public employees' organisations by financial or other means,
with the object of placing such organisations under the control of a public
authority, shall be deemed to constitute acts of interference within the
meaning of this Article.
PART III. FACILITIES TO BE AFFORDED TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES'
1. Such facilities shall be afforded to the representatives of recognised
public employees' organisations as may be appropriate in order to enable
them to carry out their functions promptly and efficiently, both during
and outside their hours of work.
2. The granting of such facilities shall not impair the efficient operation
of the administration or service concerned.
3. The nature and scope of these facilities shall be determined in accordance
with the methods referred to in Article 7 of this Convention, or by other
PART IV. PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Measures appropriate to national conditions shall be taken, where necessary,
to encourage and promote the full development and utilisation of machinery
for negotiation of terms and conditions of employment between the public
authorities concerned and public employees' organisations, or of such other
methods as will allow representatives of public employees to participate
in the determination of these matters.
PART V. SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
The settlement of disputes arising in connection with the determination
of terms and conditions of employment shall be sought, as may be appropriate
to national conditions, through negotiation between the parties or through
independent and impartial machinery such as mediation, conciliation and
arbitration, established in such a manner as to ensure the confidence of
the parties involved.
PART VI. CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS
Public employees shall have, as other workers, the civil and political
rights which are essential for the normal exercise of freedom of association,
subject only to the obligations arising from their status and the nature
of their functions.
PART VII. FINAL PROVISIONS
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to
the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration.
1. This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International
Labour Organisation whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General.
2. It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications
of two Members have been registered with the Director-General.
3. Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve
months after the date on which its ratifications has been registered.
1. A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after
the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first
comes into force, by an Act communicated to the Director-General of the
International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation should
not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
2. Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within
the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned
in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of denunciation provided
for in this Article, will be bound for another period of ten years and,
thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period
of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
1. The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify
all Members of the International Labour Organisation of the registration
of all ratifications and denunciations communicated to him by the Members
of the Organisation.
2. When notifying the Members of the Organisation of the registration of
the second ratification communicated to him, the Director-General shall
draw the attention of the Members of the Organisation to the date upon
which the Convention will come into force.
The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate
to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance
with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations full particulars
of all ratifications and acts of denunciation registered by him in accordance
with the provisions of the preceding Articles.
At such times as may consider necessary the Governing Body of the International
Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working
of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the
agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.
1. Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention
in whole or in part, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides:
a) the ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall
ipso jure involve the immediate denunciation of this Convention notwithstanding
the provisions of Article 12 above, if and when the new revising Convention
shall have come into force;
b) as from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force this
Convention shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.
2. This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form
and content for those Members which have ratified it but have not ratified
the revising Convention.
The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally