For the first time in the history of trade union movements, a trade union does not support the measures that would take a load off of their members. The Police Union of Slovenia (PSS) addressed a letter to our editorial office, stating that it does not support the activation of Article 37.a of the Defence Act, even though this article is intended to take some of the pressure off of the police officers, who are overworked in light of the recent measures taken to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Earlier, the Union of Police Officers of Slovenia (SPS) also sent us a critical letter regarding the activation of Article 37.a, stating that they were displeased by the impression that SPS was advocating for the activation of Article 37.a. They made it clear that this was not the case, stating that the activation was a purely political issue and that SPS would not pick sides when it comes to this matter?!
The Police Union of Slovenia was initially referring to an article entitled: “The Head of the Union of Police Officers of Slovenia Mlekuš did not pay close attention to what Minister Hojs said,” stating that the Union of Police Officers does not and will not take sides in the matters that the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia is competent for, as long as such matters do not directly or indirectly interfere with the legal and social situation of its members. But then, at the same time, they added that the claim that the Police Union of Slovenia supports the activation of Article 37.a of the Defence Act, is not true.
In the same letter, this union has written that the activation of Article 37.a is a political decision and that they will not take sides in such matters. Is it just me, or have they already taken a side? https://t.co/UlfsyegdFk
— BorisTomašič (@NeMaramButlov) April 5, 2020
“The mission of the Police Union of Slovenia is primarily focused on the fact that the safety of our citizens depends primarily on the security that we are able to provide to Slovenian police officers. That is why we have addressed many demands, calls, and initiatives to our employer, asking to improve the work conditions, including protective equipment for the prevention and control of the covid-19 infections during this time. The social dialogue we have had with the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Hojs so far, was correct, and in our initial talks, the Minister showed an understanding for solving the problems of the police officers,” they wrote.
The characterized the activation of Article 37.a as a purely political decision
They stressed that they are obligated to deny the statement that indicates that the Police Union of Slovenia has shown support for the activation of Article 37.a of the Defence Act. “We would like to further clarify that from the very beginning (so from the adoption of the provision of Article 37.1 of the ZObr), we believe that the activation of Article 37.a of the Defence Act is a purely political decision that requires the support of a two-thirds majority of the members present in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. The fact that the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, as our employer, has no power to activate the article in question, nor do we, further confirms that this is purely a political decision. Therefore, the Police Union of Slovenia will respect the decision of the deputies of the National Assembly, no matter what it will be.”
In doing so, they also warned that, regardless of the decision of their employer (the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Ministry of the Interior), they would still demand that the employer establishes and provides working conditions in which the workers, when coming in contact with infected individuals, would have the best possible protective equipment that would protect their health and life as much as possible; as well as being properly paid for their sacrificial work. They believe that only then will the Police and those employed by the Ministry of the Interior be able to successfully provide a high level of security to all Slovenian citizens, with the help of the deciding bodies.
Even though the Police unions state that the activation of Article 37.a is a political decision, the truth is completely different. The Police are the ones who called for the article to be activated. In the given situation, they are overwhelmed with work. Minister Aleš Hojs made it publicly clear that, since he received the proposal for the activation of the article from the Police themselves, he does not understand the Union’s reaction, since it is the Police officers who are constantly pointing out the personnel issues in the Police.