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(en) Poland, WORKERS' INITIATIVE: Two new university commissions in the Employee Initiative. The work on the 2.0 Act was an impulse [machine translation]

Date Thu, 14 Mar 2019 11:06:35 +0200

Works Commission OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza at the Jagiellonian University -- The article appeared in the 50 issue of the Employee Initiative Newsletter ---- The fight against the smuggling of contracts, more frequent salary adjustments, opening of the company's nursery, transparent principles of promotion and psychological support for employees and students - these are the postulates of company committees from the University of Wroclaw and the Jagiellonian University. On November 9, Joanna Grzymala-Moszczynska wrote on Facebook: "The time has come to set up the OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza commission at the Jagiellonian University! We invite you for the first meeting to Spóldzielnia Ogniwo on Tuesday, 13 November 2018 at 20.00. We need 10 people employed under a contract at the Jagiellonian University for a good start. "

A dozen or so people came to this meeting, first of all, the employees of philosophical, historical, Polish studies, as well as management and social communication departments.

The direct impulse for association was the ongoing work on the university statute for some time, resulting from the provisions of the Act on Higher Education and Science, called the Law 2.0 and criticized by many academic communities.

The Act introduced a division into academic and professional universities, gave extensive powers to Rectors, which raised concerns about the oligarchization of the university authority, also required the preparation of new university statutes. Meanwhile, the statute of the Jagiellonian University arises without the participation of many scientific workers, especially the younger. It is developed according to unclear guidelines - it is not really clear who gives it shape and how it works. - Trade unions consult this process, so we decided that gaining organizational subjectivity could help us - says Joanna Grzymala-Moszczynska.

Not only the statute

Work on the statute and concerns about the provisions enshrined in it were a direct impulse for the creation of a commission, but the regulation requires many more issues that the members and committee members already discussed at the founding meeting.

One of such issues is the fight against the smuggling of contracts. Some people at the Jagiellonian University realize the entire hourly pauses on contract-based contracts instead of full-time. Overtime is an additional problem - at some faculties, researchers are working overtime or second or third time. The union would like to determine how much overtime is allowed.

As emphasized by people from the commission, the problem is the lack of clearly defined rules and criteria for promotion. There is also a lack of transparency when it comes to awarding bonuses, especially to scholars. We intend to ask for more frequent salary adjustments because UJ is poorly paying employees, the assistant earns two and a half thousand on his hand. We also want to regulate issues related to the unpaid work of doctoral students-Wylicza Joanna Grzymala-Moszczynska. -There are departments where doctoral students must work free 15 hours a year, and on some of them even 90 hours. Another important postulate is the creation of a kindergarten and nursery - not only for employees, but also for students. The Jagiellonian University is the largest employer in the region, such institutions would be a real support for several thousand people.

The Employee Initiative is the fifth union at the Jagiellonian University, Solidarity and the PNA are already operating there. - We want to communicate with other associations operating at the university, find out what they are doing, agree on the extent to which we can cooperate. We are far from thinking: look, we are new, we will order here, " says Grzymala-Moszczynska. - We want to build a good relationship. In general, we focus on cooperation, we were in contact with the committees of the University of Wroclaw and the University of Warsaw before the founding of the union, we got a lot of support, we could talk a lot. That is why we are thinking about organizing meetings of the university committees affiliated to the Initiative.

The committees' plans for the coming weeks are primarily work on the statute and increasing the masses. Promotional materials and leaflets are under preparation, and a series of open meetings for those interested in joining the commission is also being prepared. The company committee at the Jagiellonian University associates not only academic but also administrative staff. Its members also encourage employees and cleaning and technical staff to join.

Direct impulse

Work on the 2.0 Act was also a direct impulse to establish a commission at the University of Wroclaw, although in fact in the winter this year a fanpage "University Monitor of Wroclaw" was created - a grassroots, informal initiative of employees and employees of the University of Wroclaw who wanted to inform each other about professional matters, working conditions, competitions and employee disputes. The site has become a platform for exchanging information and experiences.

One of the first issues discussed by employees and employees of the University of Wroclaw was changes related to copyright. Many academic teachers have entered into copyright agreements in employment contracts and the related right to reduce the costs of obtaining income. At the beginning of the year, tax laws on copyright were changed, but the employment contracts were neither changed nor annexed - employees began to simply get lower salaries.

-That was the thing that made us angry in January, we talked about it, but it was not the right impulse - says Robert Reisigova-Kielawski, one of the founders of the factory committee at the University of Wroclaw.

The next impulse was the individual experiences that the university employees talked about - they talked about what they do not like, what irregularities and abuses they face every day at work . Among them were people experiencing mobbing and various forms of discrimination. From these individual experiences general conclusions have been drawn, and in fact one of the most important ones - you have to unite in defense of your own rights.

The most motivating turned out to be July protests against Law 2.0 - this was the immediate impulse that led to the registration of the commission . - Wroclaw University quite late established a committee working on the university statute, in addition to the December 3, it is planned to issue a draft statute, and comments on the project will be able to report until December 14. This is very little time and work on this document does not meet the standards of transparent consultations with the whole environment - explains Robert Reisigovà-Kielawski.- That is why, at the time of intense work on the statute, we meet more often and cooperate with the "Solidarity" committee. This is our most important subject of action. We would also like to draw attention to the transparency of issues related to the work of competition commissions, respect for workers' rights. We have signals that feudal relations prevail in some of the factories, many people have reported that they are experiencing difficult situations at work, that they work on junk contracts, that their departments have a highly hierarchical structure without transparent rules of functioning and resolving certain financial issues. We want to be a committee to which anyone and everyone can turn for help, advice or representation in a dispute. Therefore, we invite people who are in a difficult employee situation .

The Commission at the University of Wroclaw also looks at the working conditions of property protection personnel. The University employs porters and concierges, however, we receive information that especially in the disease season there is a problem with replacements - to avoid paying overtime, the university employs outsiders under civil law contracts.

Another idea of the committee is to organize psychological support for employees and students of the University of Wroclaw - in a broader scope than before. - The University provides them to a small extent, meanwhile, such a need is, sometimes one would like to direct someone somewhere, propose support. The point is that it is really accessible, so that you know where to go - says Robert Reisigova-Kielawski.

In addition, the committee focuses on information about its activities. -We are in the process of designing leaflets, we would like to enforce from the employer the access to our website and showcases, organize several meetings and attract people - sums up Reisigovà-Kielawski.

In the Employee Initiative, there are already four university company commissions: the commission at the University of Gdansk, the University of Warsaw, the University of Wroclaw and the Jagiellonian University.

Olga Gitkiewicz

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