The union was founded at a conference in East Berlin on October 29, 1949 as the International Union of Trade Unions of Postal, Telephone and Telegraph Workers. The name was changed in 1955 during a conference in Vienna, when it broadened its scope to include workers in the health, finance and public administration areas.
The TUI-PAE had a three level structure with the Congress being the highest organ, a directive committee meeting between congress and day-to-day activities led by the executive bureau and secretariat based in East Berlin. There were five branch commission for the different sectors of the labor movement the union represented: posts and telecommunications, bank employees, local public servants and public administration.
In 1957 the headquarters for the organization were reported to be at 0.17 Fritz-Heckertstasse 70, East Berlin. In 1978 its address was reported as 47 Französisch Strasse, Postfach 1322 DDR 108, East Berlin. It was reported at the same address in 1985. Its current address is at SRTVS - Quadra 701 - Bloco O - Sala 1512 - Ed. Multiempresarial, Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil.
In 1955 TUI-PAE claimed 6.8 million members were represented at its Vienna congress. In 1977 it claimed 24.1 million members in 104 member organizations. In 1985 this had grown to 29 million in 104 affiliates in 44 countries.
In 1978 the following groups were known to be affiliated with the Trade Unions International of Public and Allied Employees:
The TUI-PAE published a quarterly Public Services in English, French, Spanish and German. It also published Information Bulletin in English, French, Spanish, Russian and German.