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(en) Poland, ozzip: The Employee Initiative calls for joint union action against cuts in public administration [machine translation]

Date Thu, 1 Oct 2020 13:02:23 +0300


The National Commission of OZZ IP published an "Appeal against cuts in wages and jobs in public administration" addressed to trade unions operating in the state administration. It is a response to the government's announcements of reducing employment in public administration and freezing wages and the award fund in the civil service corps next year. ---- The full text of the appeal is available[here]https://ozzip.pl/informacje/pilne-akcje/item/2687-apel-przeciwko-cieciom-plac-i-etatow-w-administracji-publicznej ---- The National Trade Union Employee Initiative appeals to all trade unions operating in the public administration and the budgetary sphere to undertake joint actions against the cuts policy planned by the government. In our opinion, the announcements of reduction of jobs and salaries, as well as wage freeze and suspension of the award fund in the civil service should be met with strong opposition by the trade union movement - regardless of organizational affiliation. Therefore, we call for the launch of a joint, inter-union discussion on the coordination of protests in all institutions that may be affected by the austerity policy.

Trade union structures interested in cooperation, please contact us[e-mail]

Already in April this year. in the so-called "Shield 2.0" (the Act of April 16, 2020 on special support instruments in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus ) includes provisions giving the Council of Ministers the possibility to "reduce personnel costs" in the government administration by issuing a regulation that will oblige directors of these institutions to reduce the number of posts and / or to apply less favorable terms of employment to employees and female employees than those resulting from the basis for entering into the employment relationship. The Council of Ministers may apply these austerity measures in a situation where "the negative economic effects of COVID-19 will cause a state of threat to public finances".

Another "Shield 4.0" ( Act of 19 June 2020 on interest subsidies for bank loans granted to entrepreneurs affected by the effects of COVID-19 and on simplified proceedings for approval of an arrangement in connection with the occurrence of COVID-19 ) expanded the circle of officials potentially at risk of limiting personnel costs o institutions such as the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (KRUS), or the National Health Fund (NFZ). Assuming a 20% reduction in jobs (information about such a percentage of the dismissed people appeared in the press), the above-mentioned administration will lose about 37,000 jobs. people.

On August 26 this year, the government adopted a resolution obliging the head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister to "agree with the competent members of the Council of Ministers on solutions related to the reduction of employment in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister and offices supporting members of the Council of Ministers . " Two days later, the Minister of Finance announced a draft of the Act on specific solutions for the implementation of the Budget Act for 2021, assuming that the Civil Service Awards fund will not be established next year, salary increases will be suspended and that the base amount of the allowance to the Social Benefit Fund will be frozen at the 2018 level.

So we can clearly see that the prospect of both layoffs and reductions in our salaries is becoming real.

We are all aware that work in administration is in no way competitive, does not involve any prestige and there are fewer and fewer people willing to do this type of work with remuneration at a generally very low level. After several years, in 2019 and 2020, the base amount increased by a total of 8%, but despite this, wages in the civil service are significantly lower than wages in the private sector. After the introduction of the new minimum wage of PLN 2,800 gross in 2021, a significant number of officials will have to have increased basic salaries to reach this level. At the same time, the rate of fluctuation in employment (leaving the job) remains high in the civil service. When performing such mentally demanding work as working with documents and daily contact with the applicant, it is these people that the coronavirus wave is to hit. People who, despite difficult circumstances, carry out their tasks in an uninterrupted and smooth manner - mostly in the remote work mode, reconciling their daily household duties with demanding work and fear of what tomorrow will bring.

In June this year. our union applied to the Constitutional Tribunal to review the compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland "Shield 2.0" in the scope of provisions giving the Council of Ministers the right to issue a regulation ordering the reduction of jobs or deterioration of working conditions of employees and employees of public administration. In our opinion, this law is a repetition of solutions that were attempted during the previous economic crisis - in the "Law on rationalization of employment in state budget units", which assumed a mandatory 10% reduction in employment in state offices. This act was found inconsistent with the Constitution - incl. due to the fact that the civil service is entitled to a special permanent employment relationship.

However, we realize that the application itself is not sufficient to defend our employment and salary - primarily because it is not known how long it will take to process it. In this situation, we see no solution other than starting protests. That is why we appeal to all trade unions operating in the budgetary sphere to:

1) Commencement of talks on taking joint protests and working out a trade union alternative to the plans for cuts in public administration jobs

2) Considering taking up such forms of action as: entering collective disputes, flagging workplaces, pickets and street demonstrations, Italian strikes or, for example, actions used in previous years by employees and court employees to call on employees to take care of their own health and not postponing the decision to see a doctor in the event of illness or malaise.

3) Disseminating this appeal among its members and starting a discussion on the most appropriate protest actions.

https://ozzip.pl/informacje/ogolnopolskie/item/2688-ip-apeluje-o-wspolne-dzialania-przeciwko-cieciom-w-administracji-publ
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