Some court employees started a grassroots protest on Monday. They don’t come to work, they take sick leave. Deputy Minister of Justice Michał Woś asked the Social Insurance Institution to “consider the possibility” of inspections in courts where the percentage of absent employees may raise doubts.
Since Monday, some employees of courts and prosecutor’s offices, including assistants and clerks, have not come to work on sick leave. This is a different form of protest that has been going on since 5 July.
According to “Gazeta Wyborcza”, the District Court for Łódź-Śródmieście has about 480 jobs, and on Monday only about 60 people were employed, and about half of the 400 employees do not work in the district court in this city.
The Ministry of Justice wants ZUS inspections in the courts
Also on Monday, Deputy Minister of Justice Michał Woś referred to the president of the Social Insurance Institution, prof. Gertruda Uścińska, a letter regarding the situation in the courts.
“Due to the observed increased absenteeism of employees of common courts, e.g. in the District Court in Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, the District Court for Łódź-Śródmieście in Łódź, the District Court for Łódź-Widzew in Łódź, the District Court in Zielona Góra, as well as the District Court in Łódź and the District Court in Płock, I kindly ask you to consider the possibility of carrying out by the Social Insurance Institution the checkups referred to in Article 59 of the Act of June 25, 1999 on cash benefits from social insurance in the event of sickness and maternity (… .), including common judiciary units, where the percentage of employee absences due to illness may raise doubts as to the correctness of adjudication of temporary inability to work due to illness “- we read.
“At the same time, I would like to kindly request you to notify the Ministry of Justice of any irregularities revealed in the course of the requested control activities, in particular in the field of gross violations of applicable law, which create the need to draw the legally prescribed consequences from the area of civil, disciplinary and criminal liability,” added Woś.
Przybylska: The Ministry of Justice does not react at all
Justyna Przybylska, president of the National Independent Trade Union “Ad Rem”, spoke on TVN24 on Tuesday about the protest of court and prosecutor’s office employees. She explained that the protest did not concern the judges, but their associates. – The protest is open to ordinary workers, all professional groups, which together form a unity, which form the entire system of connected vessels enabling the passing of a sentence. They are simply ordinary employees and officials who are simply fed up with the prevailing working conditions and pay – she said. She added that workers were forced to protest “against the passivity of the Ministry of Justice”. – On July 5, desperate workers took up a protest and we have been in the protest action since then, and since then it has been uninterrupted – Przybylska added.
– Our protest escalates in line with how the ministry reacts. He does not react at all, therefore the anger, nervousness and the feeling of disrespect of the employees increase – she emphasized.
She said that when the Ministry of Justice did not start any talks, “the employees decided to take a bottom-up initiative to take care of themselves and their health.” – They wrote us a letter we received yesterday and clearly write that they feel disrespected, they feel like workhorses. Because the courts are like this now, we are desperate – she continued.
Przybylska: it’s a snowball effect
She explained that the number of courts where employees do not come to work is increasing. – Yesterday evening there were about 40 of them. From the morning I have information about the next courts, which are also being stopped for this reason – she said.
– It is the effect of the snowball, but most of all the way the Minister of Justice approaches us – she said.
– Our postulates are primarily a change in the organization of work, reducing unnecessary office space, increasing the number of employees, because all this affects the efficiency of the procedure, (…), we now feel like a screw factory, where people do not count – said Przybylska .
Main photo source: Leszek Szymański / PAP