On Thursday, the Management Board of the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) started talks with trade unions about their demands. The main demands of the unions concern wage issues, including a salary increase, new tasks carried out by the Social Insurance Institution and working conditions.
At the end of July, the ZUS Workers’ Union turned to the president of the plant with requests that concerned, inter alia, increase in wages. Last week, the Wyborcza.pl portal wrote that other trade unions had entered into the collective dispute with the Social Insurance Institution, and NSZZ “Solidarność” in a letter to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki demanded the resignation of ZUS president Gertrude Uścińska.
According to the president of the company “S” Regina Borkowska, the plant is in chaos, and the president of ZUS “accepts new tasks for implementation, without preparing employees or securing additional measures to compensate for their implementation”.
Dispute in ZUS – the answer of the president of the Institute
President Uścińska, commenting on the dispute at the Social Insurance Institution, assured her that she was open to dialogue. As she pointed out, a detailed and comprehensive response to the demands of trade unionists has been prepared.
– The most important demand for a salary increase cannot be the subject of a collective dispute due to statutory provisions – the amount of remuneration is regulated in the applicable collective labor agreement. Nevertheless, the Management Board of the Department is constantly making efforts to raise employees’ salaries and improve their working conditions, and in this respect is open to cooperation with trade unions – said Prof. Uścińska.
She admitted that she was counting on constructive dialogue. – I hope that an agreement will be reached, because we act with concern for the common interest: the good of the employees of the plant and its customers. At the same time, I would like to reassure all our clients – benefits will be paid on time – assured the head of the Social Insurance Institution.
She pointed out that in recent years the salaries of ZUS employees have increased by nearly half. – We do everything to make the employees of the plant earn better and better. Only in 2015-2020, the fund for the salaries of our employees increased by almost PLN 1 billion. This is an unprecedented increase, thanks to which the average total salary in ZUS in 2020 was higher by PLN 434 than the average salary in the enterprise sector – indicated prof. Uścińska.
At the same time, she emphasized that ZUS is a state institution and its budget, including the amount of funds for remuneration, is determined by the government and parliament, and not by the management board of the Institute. – I am constantly striving to improve the financial situation of the employees of the Department – emphasized the president.
She indicated that “in recent years, ZUS has made a huge step forward, has become a modern office and has opened up to the needs of clients”.
Dispute in ZUS – tasks of the Department
– We focused on electronization and automation, which makes it easier for clients to handle their affairs at ZUS, and also facilitates their service by our employees. An example is electronic sick leave. Since their introduction, i.e. from December 1, 2018, doctors have issued over 75.5 million electronic sick leaves. During the pandemic, this solution made the work of doctors, employers and employees much easier. It also confirmed that this was a good direction for changes – emphasized prof. Uścińska.
She noted that taking up new tasks shows that ZUS is a socially useful institution that adapts to the realities. – Additional tasks during the COVID-19 epidemic, imposed by the legislator, were related to the area of ZUS activity. I will ask a question: who else would be exempt from paying contributions, since the Social Insurance Institution is responsible for contributions in every dimension? – said the president.
She emphasized that in order to relieve employees, the tasks were carried out using the principles of electronization and automation. She reminded that from June 2020 all applications for support from the anti-crisis shield were in an electronic form.
– Customers also applied for further benefits only online. This form significantly reduced the number of errors that clients made in applications and which required further explanation by ZUS employees – noted Prof. Uścińska.
FUS situation in 2020
According to the head of the Department, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the situation of the Social Insurance Fund in 2020. She indicated that the revenues from contributions were significantly lower due to amortizations resulting from the anti-crisis shield, but – she noted – thanks to them, entrepreneurs could keep jobs.
– The degree of coverage of expenses with revenues from premiums and their derivatives in 2020 was 74.7%. The costs of the Social Insurance Fund in 2020 amounted to PLN 277.3 billion. Their largest item was pensions, disability pensions and other benefits in the amount of PLN 260.5 billion. – announced the president of the Department.
She informed that the average monthly amount of old-age and disability pensions in December 2020 amounted to PLN 2,419.71 and was higher by 5.9%. from paid the year before.
– In 2020, sickness benefits were also significant expenses of the Social Insurance Fund – PLN 14.1 billion. They were higher by 15.7 percent. on benefits paid in 2019, which resulted from incapacity to work due to COVID-19 or being in quarantine – noted the head of ZUS.
– In the first quarter of 2021, despite the ongoing pandemic, the degree of coverage of expenses with revenues from contributions and their derivatives returned to the levels observed in 2018-2019 and reached 79.8%. This shows that the situation of the Social Insurance Fund is stable – emphasized prof. Uścińska.
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