EPSU has today sent a letter to the prime minister of Poland,Mateusz Morawiecki, protesting agains the so-called Shield Two Act that poses a major threat to the jobs and pay and conditions of civil servants and other workers in public administration.
Despite there being no state of emergency declared in the country, the government has rushed the legislation through the parliamentary process at maximum speed without the normal and proper consultation with the trade unions. The Act allows for regulations to be introduced that could involve job cuts, worsening of pay and conditions, non-renewal of contracts and cuts in working time with proportional cut in pay.
Parts of the Labour Code and the law on collective redundancies would not apply in the event of these regulations being issued and trade unions will simply be informed of the proposed cut and given seven days to express an opinion.
The letter of protest points out that in many countries across Europe, including Italy, a country far worse affected by COVID-19 than Poland, the trade unions in public administration have been involved in the emergency response, negotiating agreements with the government to help tackle the crisis.
The Polish unions protesting against the measures have also underlined the point that civil servants have had their remuneration frozen for many years and find themselves potentially paying the price of the crisis while support measures are afforded to the self-employed and persons under civil law contracts, who have contributed to social security and other public funds in a very limited way.