Highlights of the GSEA
The Government Services Employees Association was founded in the year 1945 by a group of dedicated persons who felt the need to be responsible for defending, protecting and improving the conditions of work and the quality of life of workers, regardless of their status, function, colour and creed.
The union was registered as the Mauritius Government Employees Association in October 1945 to be re-registered as the Government Servants and Other Employees Association under the Ordinance 36 of 1954. There followed a re-registration under the name of Government Servants Association under the Industrial Relations Act in 1973. The union was further renamed as the Government Services Employees Association in 2009.
Over the years, membership has varied from 2,700 in 1945 to 1,262 in 1965 and to 2,914 in 1970. From 11,217 in 2000, membership has moved to around 10,000 as at now. This is being explained by a reduction of the workforce in the public sector and due to privatisation.
The GSEA prides itself as representing all of workers within different ministries/branches whereby each of them has an Executive Committee consisting of a President, a Secretary and a Delegate/s.
GSEA in Collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms
It is worthy to note that the GSEA has shown its readiness and preparedness to implement various administrative reforms undertaken by the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms. The Association has contributed in the elaboration of a Code of Ethics for public officers as well as an Anti-Corruption Framework for the Public Service. Also, the GSEA has participated actively in different task forces set up by the Ministry, namely, Performance Management System, Human Resource Management/Development, Re-engineering and Restructuring the Civil Service, Quality Management in the Public Sector, Financial Management.
From 1998 onwards the GSEA has been convening its Annual Congress under the symbol of a particular theme, the first being ‘Towards a Quality-based Culture in the Civil Service’ to ‘A Public service for Social Justice’.
The guiding force that runs through the leadership and the membership at large is the degree of awareness on important issues pertaining to their welfare. Thus, the GSEA invests heavily in the education and training of its members through courses, workshops and seminars at its Training Centre. Themes vary from Youth and Trade Union, Capacity Building, Elimination of Violence against women, Decent Work and Decent Life for Women, and Occupational and Environmental Diseases. In the same breath the Association has played an instrumental role in the Annual Public Service Excellence Award Scheme. Yet still the GSEA’s General President has been a Board Member of NATRESA chairing a Committee therein on the “Banning of Advertisements’’ on Alcohol in 2000.
TIES BETWEEN TRADE UNIONS AND CITIZENS
Over and above trade union matters proper the GSEA has been on various other fronts: as a staunch supporter of the initiatives taken by the Association des Consommateurs de L’Ile Maurice.
The Association has equally supported Amnesty International in its pursuit to defend people’s rights.
A similar collaboration was put up with the Comité Association Lasanté in defence of patients’ rights in the context of an efficient public health service
MID AND CEDREFI
The GSEA was instrumental in the production of a Charter of Good Governance, Quality Service and Equal Opportunity for the public sector. The latter initiative was meant as a reference for the image building of the public officer and his/her respect of values, inter alia, as good governance, equal opportunity, quality service. Further the Association obtained funds from the Decentralised Co-operation Programme of the European Union to lead and implement Good Governance Project.
CELEBRATION OF THE AFRICA PUBLIC SERVICE DAY
It is a matter of pride to say that the GSEA has been the first Union to celebrate the Africa Public Service day since June 2003. As the Titular for Southern African Region the General President of the GSEA drew the attention of the Public Service International about this celebration at SUBRAC and AFREC.
CELEBRATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY
This day is yet another occasion to equip young public officers, further with the necessary information, skills and knowledge in order to get them to be proactive in trade union matters.
The GSEA is strongly represented in Rodrigues since 1960. The Association replicates its activities in Rodrigues in terms of training, preparations of memorandums amongst others in full regular consultations in order to ensure a shared understanding of all related terms.