The trade unionists in the penitentiaries announce that on Wednesday, for at least four hours, they will refuse additional work and thus block several activities, such as visits, the program of walks or the presentation of prisoners to the courts.
They add that starting in June, the blocking of activities will no longer be for four hours, but for at least four days, if their demands are not resolved.
“The trade union organizations that participate in the protest action on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 total over 8,000 union members out of 12,500 employees and cover all units of the Penitentiary Police”, according to a press release from the National Union of Penitentiary Workers (SNPP) , according to News.ro.
According to the cited source, the trade union organizations have collected more than 5,000 signatures for the termination of the activity by refusing additional work.
“In concrete terms, the 12-hour operative shifts entered into service will not be able to be changed, the calls of the detainees will not be possible, and a long series of structures and activities will be blocked – the visiting schedule, the walking schedule, the exit to the checkpoints thing, the presentation of the detainees to the courts. The action will be maintained for at least 4 hours, during which the Deva Penitentiary, as well as the other penitentiaries, will be completely blocked”, says a press release from the “Vulturul” Union, which represents the employees of the Deva Penitentiary, informs Agerpres.
What demands do prison employees have?
Prison workers announced the strike after learning of government plans to raise the retirement age to 65 by 2035 and reform special pensions. Unionists say military pensions cannot be considered special pensions and also complain about low wages and understaffing. Thus, in order to give up the protests, they request:
- Granting the salaries provided for in the Framework Law no. 153/2017;
- Application of the law on military pensions without changes;
- Updating and indexing military pensions;
- Payment of the food norm at the updated value, without ceilings;
- Payment of the equipment standard at the updated value, without ceilings;
- Payment of the grade salary at the updated value, without ceilings;
- Unlocking vacancies.
“The minimum number of posts required in the Penitentiary Police is 20,000 according to the approved standards. Currently, 12,500 posts are filled (down) from the 16,050 provided. However, the Government is blocking competitions while changing military pensions, which will generate an exodus from the entire national defense structure,” the trade unionists said.
According to them, Wednesday’s action “will prove that the Penitentiary Police remains functional only because the employees agree to perform additional work in a unique volume in Romania”.
“The simple exercise of the legal right to refuse extra work generates blockages even in the short term, especially in the operative sector. The operative personnel will report to work, but will not enter the units”, the trade unionists stated.
“The decision to resume the activities or to maintain the refusals of additional work belongs to the organizing unions and will represent the will of the signatory union members. The action of Wednesday, May 31, 2023 represents a first warning for the governors as well as the proof that we are determined to stop the activities”, they stated the trade unionists.
“The government will have to identify alternative solutions for guarding, escorting and surveillance missions in penitentiaries, as well as for other missions,” the prison police representatives also sent.
Editor : D.R.