The Law on Public Service Workers, which the Serbian Parliament recently adopted, directly jeopardizes half a million people working in education, culture, healthcare, social services and sports, and will have serious consequences on their labour rights.
This is what the representatives of several education and healthcare trade unions have said today at a press conference. “This law directly jeopardizes almost half a million people, i.e. about 470,000 workers in public services,” said the president of the Union of Educational Workers of Serbia (USPRS), Jasna Jankovic, and announced that trade unions would address international organizations regarding this issue.
She added that, since the implementation of the law begins on January 1, 2019, trade unions had “a year to organize a wider union front.”
Jankovic reminded that the law was adopted despite the Ombudsman and the Socio-Economic Council voicing their opinions against it. She added that the trade unions protested against the passing of the law, demanding its withdrawal, or at least exclusion of education stipulations from its text.
USPRS also sent letters of protest to the Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabia, and ministers Branko Ruzic and Zoran Djordjević, but got no reply from either of them.
The president of the Union of Educational Workers of Serbia, Slobodan Brajkovic said that the average salary in the education sector is 44,000 dinars. “With the 10% salary increase, education will still lag behind all other segments, apart from culture,” he said.
A representative of the New Healthcare Trade Union, Srdjan Nedeljkovic said that the new law stipulates that employers were allowed to send a healthcare worker to a work place that was 50km from the worker’s place of residence without the worker’s consent. “We believe that the law will have severe consequences on labour rights of healthcare workers,” he said.
President of the Union of Nurses and Technicians of Serbia, Radica Ilic, underlined that the law stipulated measuring the effectiveness of nurses, and wondered how exactly would that be done.
The amendments to the Law of Public Sector Workers, which comes into force on 1st January, 2019, postpone the implementation of payroll groups for public service workers, but it they do stipulate different calculation of the matrix of payroll groups.
(Nova Ekonomija, 20.12.2017)
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