We can’t take it anymore. We can not. We decided to get up from our knees, says the judiciary and the attorney general’s office who started the protest in front of the Ministry of Justice. A red tent town is built in front of the resort building.
The protesters are demanding, among other things, a 12% wage increase next year to increase the number of jobs and tie wages to the average wage in the economy. The unionists assert that they are prepared even for months of protest.
On Friday morning, three large tents stood in front of the Ministry of Justice building, in which there are currently several people. There is also a German Shepherd dog – Falcon, who – as they say – is the “first attacker” and brings the good spirit to the group. Despite the drop in temperatures in the morning, the demonstrators received the journalist of the Polish News Agency with force and enthusiasm.
According to the protesters, the camp is another form of protest that has been going on for several months. “We are still neglectful, the Ministry of Justice is not talking to us. In this case we are forced to change the shape of the demonstration and escalate it” – they explained.
“The staff decided to get off their knees. We will not take it anymore, we will not be able to deal with it anymore. Hence the intensification of the protest” – said the head of KNSZZ “Ad Rem” Justyna Przybylska in an interview with Pap. “Hundreds of other files will be reconstructed”, “emphasis on statistics”, “job cuts”, “dramatic salaries” – the union president enumerates, adding that these are the problems that make up the daily life of judiciary officials.
“Working conditions mean that we are no longer able to function normally. We are already so overburdened with work that we do not have time to deal with the problems of the person who addresses us. We feel like we are on a tape” – says Przybylska . As he argues, overtime work in the courts and the prosecutor’s office without additional pay is not uncommon. “We are forced to check the card after the working day is over and return to the office. We work for free. At the moment, we are overburdened with work. We feel that we are already insufficient, we feel like we are in a labor camp ”- said the union leader.
Among the employees’ most pressing needs, apart from an increase in wages, they included increased employment. As he asserts, court employees are overburdened mainly due to job cuts. “When an educated specialist archivist retires, the full-time job disappears, and his tasks pass to employees of judicial departments. These people work on files, send letters, serve clients, and know nothing about them,” Przybylska notes.
In her view, job interruptions and workload are the main reasons for delays in the courts. “As long as the situation does not change, there will be no acceleration of work or improvement of working conditions and people’s service” – she added.
Przybylska also noted that the red tents erected in front of the Ministry of Justice are an extension of the “white town” in which health workers have been protesting in front of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery for several weeks. “We cooperated. We created one white and red town, because the demands of our professional groups coincide and overlap. We say out loud that we do not like the government’s approach to employee problems” – says Przybylska.
The Polish news agency asked Deputy Minister of Justice Michau Wut if representatives of the ministry would meet the protesters. The politician replied: “We have a rich dialogue with all trade unions.” He stressed that the Ministry of Justice “is interested in increasing the salaries of judicial officials.”
“Thanks to the actions of the Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General Zbigniew Sziobro, in 2016-2021 it was possible to achieve – in total – an increase of 45%. This is a higher average salary of 1584 PLN per full-time job. For comparison – in 2010-2015 salary They did not rise at all. Facts about the increase in the salaries of judiciary employees: 2010-2015 – 0% increases, 2016-2021 – about 45%.” Wu noted.
He reported that in 2021, the head of the Ministry of Finance asked the Minister of Finance to exclude judiciary employees from the 2022 wage freeze. “The draft budget law for 2022 provides for an increase in the salaries of judiciary employees by at least 4.4% and 6% within the award fund.. We support all Assumptions of raising salaries in the Ministry of Justice. He added that the real demands for wages are not the Ministry of Justice, but the Ministry of Finance or the Prime Minister’s Office.
Judicial officials have been organizing protests for several months. At the beginning of September, a demonstration of this professional group passed through the streets of Warsaw, during which the organizers of the protest presented their demands to representatives law firm The Prime Minister, the Ministry of Justice, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Protesters are still demanding, among other things, a 12 percent index in 2022 for each employee. They also want to increase the number of clerks and staff in number to ensure the efficient functioning of the judiciary and the attorney general’s office, prepare a bill on modernizing the attorney general’s office that includes an element of increasing wage competitiveness and the commitment of the Minister of Justice to “immediately take real and specific action to eliminate harassment in the courts” (PAP) .)
Author: Mateusz Mikowski
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