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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Warsaw. City bus drivers want raises. They threaten to protest

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There is a collective dispute in the Miejskie Zakłady Autobusowe. According to drivers associated in five trade unions, in four years they received only PLN 100 pay rise. They are demanding 800. They also want changes to the remuneration regulations. – They tell us about balance sheets and bars. For me, the only balance that counts is the receipts of colleagues from cheap supermarkets and the printed price for the simplest purchases that people simply cannot afford – tells us the chairman of one of the unions in the municipal company.

Jarosław Głuchowski is the chairman of the National Union of Drivers and Motorcycles. He represents one of the five unions involved in the dispute with the management of Miejskie Zakłady Autobusowe. He has been working as a driver for 14 years.

– For the last four years, last year, we received one increase in the amount of PLN 100 to the full-time job – he regrets. As he admits, there are drivers among drivers who have up to 20 years of work experience. – So far they earn PLN 3600 gross. In addition, we are threatened with financial penalties on all sides, and you can get them for a lot of things – says Głuchowski. He emphasizes that, in addition to breaking the law and financially responsible, drivers are also penalized for, for example, the lack of a tie at work or the wrong color of pants. – And I’m not talking about white or pink, but about the fact that we are required to have blue pants and if someone happens to come in black they also get a penalty, which is absurd considering that our pants at work do not even you can see – he noted.

He explained that the penalties for the aforementioned breaches of the regulations relate to the deduction of money from the “hourly” and also from the bonus, which additionally deprives the right to apply for the award. They are also used when the driver takes a sick leave. – We can’t handle it anymore. In addition, there was a pandemic, and we were working all the time, buses were running all the time, and believe me, many employees contracted the coronavirus and many of them died – he says.

Drivers: PLN 500 now, PLN 300 in January

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About 3,500 drivers work at MZA. The first round of negotiations did not bring the expected results. The last meeting took place in early November. Also to no avail. – In addition, there is also a discrepancy protocol (it is the formal basis for moving to the mediation stage – ed.), Which the management board does not want to sign. It covers up the fact that they are waiting all the time for the final talks with the city. The only problem is that it is not the city that is the addressee of our collective dispute, but MZA. All the negotiations that have taken place so far, and there were three meetings on this matter, have not brought anything – says Chairman Głuchowski.

As he points out, drivers are willing to negotiate, but are not informed about anything. – That is why we have now stated that we are still standing at our points, i.e. 500 zlotys from October 1 and 300 zlotys from January. We go further with the next stage of the collective dispute, which is the protocol of discrepancy and the mediator. Yesterday we sent letters to the employer to appoint a mediator and we are waiting for a response – a union member tells us on Tuesday.

Earlier, Głuchowski explained to us that in the event of a disagreement, the drivers will plan a protest. – If there is no public transport in Warsaw, there will be Armageddon and fire fighting. We are surprised that there is no reaction, he said at the end of October.

“Employees are getting ready to confront the employer”

On Monday, trade unions prepared a statement in which they wrote: “Until today (November 15), the Management Board of the Company and the city authorities have not prepared any proposals for employees. Thus, a collective dispute is underway at MZA, and employees are getting ready for a confrontation with the employer” – wrote the trade unions in a letter sent to the Polish Press Agency. “Such activities will certainly limit the operation of public transport” – they add.

“Our demands are related to galloping inflation and an increase in the cost of living” – explain the unionists. Another postulate is changes in the remuneration regulations. – The regulations have become a tool for earning money by the management board – said in an interview with PAP the chairman of the Polish Drivers’ Trade Union at MZA Adam Cebulski.

In the collective dispute with MZA there are: ZZ Kierowców RP at MZA, MSZZ Solidarność 80, OZZKiM MZA Warsaw, WZZ Sierpień 80 and WZZKRP at MZA in Warsaw.

For now, as Cebulski reported, Warsaw bus drivers are planning a blood donation campaign on November 24. – In this way, we want to support the residents, our passengers – he said and added that drivers are entitled to free blood for donating blood.

MZA: the company currently has no funds

We asked Adam Stawicki, spokesman for MZA, whether there is a chance for increases for drivers. – The company does not currently have the means to grant additional salary increases than those already paid this year – said the company’s spokesman. He stressed that the information on salaries “looks completely different from that provided by the trade union representative”.

– Currently, the lowest earnings in the group of drivers are PLN 4,900 gross (PLN 4,600 + PLN 300 of the statutory monthly bonus). In addition, there are regulatory and code supplements. Wage increases took place in the years 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 – Stawicki enumerated. He also added that an employee on sick leave, “as is the case for the entire country”, receives sick pay.

The spokesman also said that infringements punished by the Public Transport Authority, such as shortages in uniforms, are only deducted from the monthly statutory bonus, not the basic salary. – The infringements punished by the Public Transport Authority and later deducted from the regulatory bonus (not more than PLN 300 gross) include, among others smoking in the driver’s cab, lack of uniforms or any of its elements, talking on the phone without using a headset. ZTM penalties are identical for all carriers under the WTP – he mentioned.

He also announced that the average gross salary for the last 12 months is PLN 5,845. – The annual bonus is also paid to people who were on sick leave – he stressed.

On tvnwarszawa.pl we informed about how the bus driver saved the boy from attack:

The city bus driver saved the boy from an attackMZA

Author:Katarzyna Kędra, est

tvnwarszawa.pl, Kontakt24, PAP

Main photo source: TVN24 (illustrative photo)



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