Court staff continues striking as minister accuses them of refusing dialogue

NEWS 13.07.202314:45 0 komentara
N1 / Mila Moralić

The leader of the SDLSN union of staff at courts and in state attorney's offices (DORH), Iva Suskovic, said on Thursday that membership had turned down the government's offer for a pay rise as of next year, and therefore they would continue striking. Pročitaj više

The unionist told the press that their industrial action would continue despite today’s decision of the government to cease paying a full monthly salary in proportion to the number of days they are on strike as of July 17.

Also, the government’s decision prompted some 200 employees from the judiciary to hold a protest walk outside the National and University Library (NSK) where the cabinet held today’s session.

Suskovic said that they had made a proposal for the cessation of the strike and they would resume working as soon as the Prime Minister and the relevant minister accept the proposal.

The unionist apologised to the general public for any difficulty caused due to the strike at courts and in offices of the prosecutorial authorities. She called on them to be patient.

Strikers to cease working on fast-track cases but will address urgent cases

Suskovic said that the union would intensify the industrial action and striking workers would stop working on cases in fast-track procedure but they will work on emergency cases when the health and lives of people are at stake.

She said that they insisted on improving the status of employees in the judiciary as an analysis of the World Bank shows that they were at the lowest status out of 24 categories.

They started their industrial action on 5 June, and now their strike is the longest one in Croatia so far.

Malenica: Ultimatum instead of resumption of dialogue

Justice and Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica explained at a government’s session that the demand by the SDLSN trade union includes the ultimatum that the monthly wages of clerks at courts and in DORH offices must be immediately raised and that SDLSN unionists are not ready to resume dialogue on the cessation of the strike or to hold a social dialogue on the introduction of a new system of wages, which is why the government proposes the measure of reducing wages as of 17 July, in ratio to the length of the strike.

The striking judiciary employees were offered a pay increase as of 2024 instead of now. The union of civil servants was offered a pay rise for judiciary employees in two steps, up to 20% in the first one, and a rise as of next year in the second one.

The union was offered to sign an agreement whereby the government would commit to additionally increasing judicial employees’ salaries in the second step.

Malenica said they had refused that.

He recalled that the salaries for June were already paid in the full amount, despite the strike, adding that a majority also received an additional €100 and that this represents 15% of the raise.

They also received a €300 holiday allowance, according to the minister.

He gave also other examples of rises in the pay for employees in the judiciary since 2019.

About 70% of employees in the judiciary have got a 9% rise in the wage coefficient, he added.

The base pay increased some 33%, he said.

Five rounds of negotiations

Malenica said after the government’s meeting that the situation was not good for anyone and recalled that the ministry had held five rounds of negotiations during the ongoing strike. However, all the proposals were turned down by the union, he said and underscored that over the last four years, the wages of the workers in the judiciary had been increased on four occasions.

He said that the minimum wage is now €660 and €750 in the judiciary, and the monthly take-home pay will rise to €1,000 for those workers as of 2024.

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