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News in English
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Public servants feel muzzled

Some 50 percent of public servants say their freedom of speech is impaired.

News in English
Læs artiklen senere Gemt (klik for at fjerne) Læst

A survey of public servants shows that half of the country’s civil servants feel that they must curb their constitutional right to freedom of speech, according to Jyllands-Posten.

“People are afraid of reprisals and in the worst cases of being sacked if they make statements about their workplaces. And things are getting worse,” says union FTF Chairwoman Bente Sorgenfrey.

The survey, carried out among 2,500 FTF members, shows that 51 percent fear negative consequences if they make use of their right to freedom of speech.

The number of civil servants who fear being sacked if they use their freedom of speech has risen from 23 percent in 2006 to 28 percent in 2010.

Public servants have a constitutional right to freedom of speech, provided that they comply with regulations regarding issues embraced by specific rules of confidentiality.

“There’s nothing wrong with the rules but with the culture in public employment where it is not popular to criticise politicians or management,” says Sorgenfrey.

Ombudsman Hans Gammeltoft Hansen has reacted in connection with a case in Odder Council, in which management wrote to council managers forbidding them to make statements in a concrete case on savings.

Edited by Julian Isherwood

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