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Ecuador: 3,000 public employees unfairly dismissed

December 05, 2011
Several thousand public servants, mainly in the health and public administration sectors were recently arbitrarily dismissed leaving Ecuador’s health and central administration services in disarray. Many of those dismissed are members of PSI’s affiliates.

This campaign was closed on 24 January 2012

PSI is asking affiliates to send letters of protest to the Ecuadorian government, in order to denounce the arbitrary dismissal of thousands of public employees.

On 28 October, Ecuador’s Minister for Labour Relations decided to implement the “compra obligatoria de renuncias” – somewhat akin to summary dismissal, but with compensation – in the case of at least 3,029 public servants, mainly in the health and public administration sectors. Many of those dismissed are members of PSI’s affiliates CONASEP (public servants’ confederation), FEDE (nurses’ federation) and Colegio Médico de Pichincha (medical doctors’ professional association).

In many cases, these dismissals were accompanied by the use of physical violence and intimidation, through a joint operation between the Security Forces and the Ministry of Labour Relations.  Additionally, the Government has launched a smear campaign against public employees to justify the mass dismissals, calling them “corrupt and inept”. Not one single charge has been laid against any of the dismissed employees nor has any process been followed to dispute their competence or efficiency at work.

The dismissals follow the adoption of Executive Decree 813 in July 2011 (decreto modificatorio del Reglamento General de la LOSEP de febrero de 2011). That decree in effect puts into law controversial sections of the Ley Orgánica del Servicio Público (LOSEP), which have been challenged in front of the Constituent National Assembly. The Decree itself is currently being challenged in the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court and a ruling is awaited.

As well as leaving Ecuador’s health and central administration services in disarray, the dismissals will have a devastating impact on the lives of hundreds of families, and jeopardise the pension entitlements of public employees who are being laid off just a few years before they become eligible to access these entitlements.

PSI is calling on the Government of Ecuador to refrain from issuing further dismissal notices under the guise of “compulsory resignations”, to immediately reinstate all the public employees dismissed so far under this process, and to comply with its obligations under international labour standards and as a member of the International Labour Organisation.

Please find below a model letter (word) which you may download and edit or send the protest letter on-line.

Please send your protest letters to:

and remember to copy PSI at rights@world-psi.org, ispandina@etb.net.co, ricardobuitron@andinanet.net, veronicamontufar@andinanet.net, p-gavilanezm@hotmail.com, anarvaezo@yahoo.com, remigiohurtado@hotmail.com; as well as the Ecuadorian mission in your country.

Also see