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(en) Poland, Workers Initiative: The position of the OZZ IP Warsaw culture committees on the "Solidarity" and MKiDN pay agreement [machine translation]

Date Tue, 22 Oct 2019 09:15:11 +0300

OZZ IP cultural commission protests under the slogan "Full Culture - Empty Accounts" Warsaw, 18.05.2019 ---- October 8 this year The National Section of Museums and Institutions for the Protection of Monuments of NSZZ "Solidarnosc" has signed an agreement with the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (MKiDN), Piotr Glinski, an agreement on 10% wage increases in museums organized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Warsaw commissions of the Workers' Initiative from the culture industry, which conduct independent activities to increase wages in this industry, comment on this agreement in a jointly issued position, the content of which is presented below. ---- You can read more about the "Solidarity" agreement with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage[here].

The position of the Warsaw Culture Committees of the National Trade Union Employee Initiative regarding the agreement signed on October 8, 2019 by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and the chairman of the National Council of the Section of Museums and Monument Protection Institution NSZZ "Solidarnosc".

We have received with interest information about the signing of the agreement on the increase in salaries in museums, which are organized and co-organized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Every step to improve the conditions of remuneration of employees in Poland is noteworthy, but we are surprised that the National Secretariat for Culture of the NSZZ "Solidarnosc" Commission has decided to conduct negotiations and finally sign an agreement concerning only some of the employees of the cultural sector - excluding other areas, which correspond to individual National Employee Sections: State Archives, Art Institutions, Radio and Television, Public Libraries, Art Schools.

In our opinion, the very general formula of the agreement is disturbing, in which the average increase of remuneration in museums is referred to without reference to the distribution of funds allocated and the issue of equalizing wages in cultural institutions and reducing wage spreads, and thus improving the situation of the least-paid people.

From information obtained by the Polish Trade Union "Workers' Initiative", differences in pay within the institution can be significant. It would be incomprehensible that, as part of the additional funds allocated by the Ministry for remuneration, the same percentage increases would be paid to those who earn the least and those with the highest salaries.

In the ongoing negotiations and the concluding agreement, the level of increase depends on the average amount of wages in museums in general and in each institution, respectively. In our opinion, the median is a much closer measure of reality and it is the organizer and employee organizations that should take it into account when starting a conversation about improving wages. This value allows you to assess the amount below which earns 50% of employees_workers and above which the other half of employees earns. It also avoids distortions caused by the pay gap to which the arithmetic average is sensitive. It is on this basis that all calculations regarding the increase in wages should be based, while the purpose of the increases should not only be the increase in the average monthly salary, but an attempt to equalize the wages of persons in "

The redistribution of funds referred to in the agreement must necessarily include company committees or other bodies representing employee interests in individual workplaces. We appeal to the basic units of trade union organizations to conduct negotiations with the employer, taking into account the interests of employees and the least-paid employees.

We welcome the announcement of further salary increases and the introduction of systematic salary revaluation in museums in subsequent years, as it egalitarily responds to the increase in the cost of living. We hope that these are realistic action plans, not just pre-election announcements, which will not be covered in reality after the campaign.

We would also like to draw the attention of the parties who signed the agreement that it lacks solutions regarding the conditions of employment in museums (and more generally cultural institutions in general), which, in our view, consumes the problem of temporary contracts and outsourcing. If, according to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage's declaration, the signed agreement is part of the "aspiration to amend the Act on museums that will meet the needs of modern museum studies", then such changes must also take into account the precise restrictions on the conclusion of temporary contracts and outsourcing by museums, so they will provide safe and stable places work for everyone who works for them. This is extremely important because cultural institutions do not function outside society and are increasingly susceptible to the pressure of the neoliberal gig economy.

As employees and employees associated in the OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza employees' culture commissions, we will follow conversations regarding changes to the Act on museums. We consider it necessary to extend the discussion on improving remuneration to types of institutions other than museums, for which the organizer and co-organizer is the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and for those for which the municipal and local government offices are the organizer. The pretext for such talks may be the report we prepare on wages and employment conditions in Warsaw's public cultural institutions, in which we present in more detail the problems of employment and remuneration in this sector. Its publication is scheduled for October 21.

Factory Committee at the Universal Theater them. Zygmunt Hübner

Factory Commission at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Factory Commission at the Museum of Modern Art

Factory Commission at the National Film Archive - Audiovisual Institute

Factory Commission at TR Warsaw

Factory Committee at Zacheta - National Gallery of Art

Factory Commission at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle

Factory Commission at the Theater Institute Zbigniew Raszewski

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